NRL legend PAUL GALLEN will be a regular guest on Nine’s 100% FOOTY show every Monday night throughout the NRL season. Joined by Phil Gould and James Bracey, they will engage in lively debates about rugby league’s hottest topics. Don’t miss tonight’s episode at 10.20pm (AEST) following an exciting round 16!
It’s understandable why the Dragons are hesitant to release Ben Hunt from his contract. I was taken aback when I heard that the St George Illawarra captain had requested a release after Shane Flanagan was appointed as the new coach.
Although Anthony Griffin’s recent sacking might have influenced Hunt’s decision, not much has changed since he signed an extension last year. The potential uncertainty surrounding Griffin’s future was known, so Hunt shouldn’t act completely surprised.
There are reports that Hunt is unhappy at the club, but he should focus on the possibilities of having a new coach and the future prospects. Let’s not forget that Flanno took the Sharks from last place in 2014 to a premiership victory two years later. If anyone can turn the Red V’s fortunes around, it’s him.
While players are released from contracts frequently these days, it’s important to remember that a contract is a legally binding document, and the club has the right to hold Hunt accountable. There are rumors that Hunt would be willing to pay $150,000 out of his own pocket to leave immediately if given the opportunity elsewhere. If true, that’s quite an extreme measure.
If the Dragons were to let him go, they would have to find a suitable replacement, which I strongly believe won’t happen. Hunt is a talented player, an Origin-class playmaker, and options like him on the market are scarce.
My advice to the Dragons would be to give Flanno a chance as the coach, and I’m confident that better days are ahead for Hunt at the club.
How the Blues Can Succeed in Brisbane
Playing at Suncorp Stadium for State of Origin is undoubtedly a daunting task, especially when trying to level the series. However, it’s important for the Blues not to fear the challenge and approach it with the belief that they can win and force a decider in Sydney.
Starting the game better is crucial for New South Wales. Surrendering a 10-0 lead to Queensland in Adelaide was unacceptable. Although the Blues made some errors towards the end of the game, the fact that we fought back to take the lead after a poor start was a positive sign.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, we should emphasize the strengths and adopt a positive mindset heading into the Brisbane game. The Blues have made several changes, some necessary due to injuries, which surprised me. However, the decisions have been made, and it’s important for everyone to support the team.
I’m excited to see how newcomer Stefano Utoikamanu performs. He’s a talented and powerful player who can make a significant impact in Origin. My advice to him is to keep it simple – run hard and tackle hard. If he focuses on these aspects, he’ll do just fine.
And most importantly, enjoy the experience! State of Origin is a special event, and the players should make the most of it.
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Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.