Ben Hunt’s career has been filled with highs and lows. From Australian and Queensland selection to the infamous grand final drop, Hunt has already experienced more major moments than many players will in their entire career.
In many ways, 2018 will be a chance for a fresh start for Hunt. As the St. George Illawarra Dragons marquee purchase, Hunt has the opportunity to play how he wants and lead his new team.
2017 was a disappointing year for Hunt despite playing his first State of Origin game. Poor form in the middle of the season led to the then Broncos halfback being dropped to Queensland Cup by Wayne Bennett.
For a player of Hunt’s ability, this would have hurt; especially as it was his final season at Broncos.
Hunt enjoyed a successful return to the Broncos and eventually the Kangaroos and he claims being dropped was a turning point in his career. However, missing out on the club’s top 17 altogether is no doubt another unhappy memory Hunt has at Brisbane.
With the Dragons, Hunt has a golden chance to shed the disappointing moments from his time at the Broncos.
However, the halfback must ensure he makes the most of his move. Hunt is being paid over $1 million a season at the Dragons and needs to justify the money he is on.
This is a huge amount for any NRL player to be paid per season and the club will expect serious returns from their investment.
The Dragons will base their entire season on the Hunt and Widdop partnership so both must perform if the club is to taste success in 2018. Hunt must show that he is capable of winning games for the club when they need someone to stand up.
The first opportunity Hunt will have to prove his worth the Dragons is in round one when he will face his former club. The Broncos have dominated the Red V in recent history, and Hunt could help turn this around.
The new Dragons number seven showed tremendous skill in the Charity Shield, particularly with his kicking game. This is a strong indication that Hunt is ready to dominate in 2018.
Much of the talk of new halves in 2018 was about Cooper Cronk, but Ben Hunt may prove to be one of the best buys in modern history.
The Dragons are a club on the rise and the addition of Hunt could make them a serious threat in the upcoming season.