He has long had his critics but Ben Hunt continues to shine for the St George Illawarra Dragons and did so again in their win over the Manly Sea Eagles.
Scoring two tries and setting up another in their 20-6 win over the Manly Sea Eagles, there is a reason why Hunt is among the favourites to take out the Dally M for 2022.
It was a different story for the Sea Eagles who were already down on troops from Covid and lost two more due to injury, forcing them into some reshuffles.
The first player to leave the field would be Cody Ramsey, with the Dragons fullback suffering a suspected MCL injury.
Down a man but now down on heart, it was Hunt who would break the game wide open for its first try.
Hunt would scoot out for a run, duck under a defender and score the try.
Hunt would have two tries inside 17 minutes when he was first to the ball off a Talatau Amone grubber.
The score would remain as such until the second half when a penalty early on would let Manly back into the game.
Manly prop Josh Aloiai penetrated the Dragons defence and gave Manly a sniff after his tough try.
Though it was not to be for Manly as Mat Feagai put the game to bed for the Dragons in the 100th game at Kogarah Stadium.
The winger was on the receiving end of a right side play by the Dragons and sealed the game.
To rub salt into Manly’s wound, Ben Trbojevic left the field with a concussion and Sean Keppie suffered a shoulder injury.
Manly coach Des Hasler admitted that the week was going be tough when players had to withdraw due to Covid.
“It was always going to be a difficult night with the lead-in, but that’s certainly no excuse and obviously losing players during the game made it a little more disruptive, to an already disrupted week,” Hasler said.
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin was confident that the win would come their way after a good week of training and praised Ramsey’s form prior to his injury.
“I was very confident coming in, we trained really well during the week and the feel was really good yesterday,” Griffin said.
“It’s a big loss when you lose your fullback, particularly Cody, he’s been one of our best.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Ben Hunt (SGI)
2. Josh Aloiai (MAN)
1. Zac Lomax (SGI)