NRL legend Mark Carroll says struggling Dragon Ben Hunt’s current form is closer to reserve grade than State of Origin.
With the Dragons unable to post a single point against the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday, Hunt and Dragons coach Paul McGregor have become the two most scrutinised figures in the NRL with opinion divided on who is to blame for the Dragons limp start to the season.
Caroll took aim at Hunt given his his big salary and for criticising Origin being played at the end of the NRL season.
“Old Mary (McGregor), he can’t hide. He’s had one game back and they’ve lost,” Carroll told Fox League Live.
“But I just look at the halves. Ben Hunt, everyone’s talking about (how) he’s on this massive money.
“But he came out last week saying he’s worried about the end of the year because State of Origin is going to be played after (the season) and there’s going to be some teams disadvantaged about not playing in the semi-finals.
“Hello? Ben? Deadset, mate, no one gets picked from reserve grade and the way his performance was at the weekend, he’ll end up being there.
“Mary will have no other option than to put you in reserve grade. You’ve got to aim up and guide this team around. I don’t see any guidance.
“You can see by the footy – they wouldn’t scare anyone.”
Queensland coach Kevin Walters has also questioned Hunt, imploring him and Dragons five-eighth Corey Norman to take the line on more.
Hunt had just two runs from 65 possessions while Norman took the line on only six times over 80 minutes.
“They’ve got some explaining to do,” Carroll said of the Dragons’ woeful attack, before offering his own solution.
“I was watching the Wests Tigers game and on the sidelines, Josh Reynolds. Mate, he’s not going to get a game there.
“Give this kid a go. Josh Reynolds, go to the Dragons with your energy, enthusiasm and guide this team around.
“He only needs a chance and I think there’s an opportunity there at the Dragons.”