Hess key to fu­ture

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JON TUXWORTH jonathon. tuxworth@ news. com. au

RE­PORTS of the demise of the Ma­roons dy­nasty are pre­ma­ture.

That’s the opin­ion of for­mer Queens­land prop Ben Han­nant, who be­lieves the smooth in­tro­duc­tion of young­sters like Coen Hess will re­sult in more pain for the Blues. Hess has been grad­u­ally eased into the sys­tem af­ter be­ing blooded the past two Ori­gins, step­ping up his min­utes from 19 in Game Two to 32 in Wed­nes­day’s se­ries- de­cid­ing win.

Valen­tine Holmes, An­thony Mil­ford, Jar­rod Wal­lace, Tim Glasby, Ben Hunt and Cameron Mun­ster also de­buted this se­ries.

Their youth­ful en­thu­si­asm was a ma­jor fac­tor in Queens­land turn­ing the se­ries around af­ter they were hu­mil­i­ated 28- 4 in Game One.

Nor­mally a back rower, Hess has been shifted to the mid­dle by both North Queens­land and the Ma­roons with great ef­fect.

It has al­lowed him to use his mas­sive frame to his ad­van­tage and avoid be­ing forced to make cru­cial de­fen­sive de­ci­sions on the edge.

Han­nant said Hess should con­tinue his ap­pren­tice­ship in the mid­dle, but has the abil- ity to de­velop into one of Ori­gin’s most de­struc­tive back row­ers.

“At this high level in the mid­dle you’ve got a lot of sup­port around you and he’s got a good head on his shoul­ders,” Han­nant said.

“In a cou­ple of years’ time we may see him on an edge with a bit more ex­pe­ri­ence, but when he’s given a task he de­liv­ers ev­ery time.

“He was only in un­der 20s when I was there ( at the Cow­boys) and see­ing him train and de­velop, he’s built for this arena.

“He’s built like a Greek god and he’s will­ing to learn, that’s the big thing.

“He’s teach­able and wants to learn more and im­prove, that’s the sign of a cham­pion.

“Th­ese young kids have learned the cul­ture, and how to win.”

Hess was forced to wait un­til the sec­ond half for game time in his de­but, but was thrown into the ac­tion af­ter 25 min­utes at a packed Sun­corp Sta­dium.

“I felt a lot more com­fort­able af­ter my de­but and I’m on cloud nine at the mo­ment,” Hess said.

“I don’t know how to ex­plain it. It’s all hap­pened and un­folded so quickly.

“Com­ing into Ori­gin there’s a lot of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers and be­ing so young and raw to the NRL, I’m try­ing to be a sponge and soak up as much as I can.

“Be­ing in the mid­dle you get through more of a work­load and ev­ery­thing hap­pens so quickly and that’s the big­gest dif­fer­ence. You get a lot more cat­e­gories and I’m en­joy­ing it.”

The 20- year- old proved he al­ready has the ma­tu­rity to brush aside the eu­pho­ria of Ori­gin and back up for the Cow­boys.

He ran for over 200 me­tres against Pen­rith af­ter Game Two and ac­cord­ing to fel­low Cow­boys star Gavin Cooper got more shut eye than most of his cel­e­brat­ing Ma­roons team­mates on Wed­nes­day night. “He was keen for bed at about 2am, I think he wanted to go play Crash Bandi­coot or some­thing,” Cooper said.

LEARN­ING CURVE: Coen Hess is seen dur­ing a Queens­land Ma­roons State of Ori­gin train­ing ses­sion at Sun­corp Sta­dium last week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.