Qld's Hunt pays price for poor Origin II

Ed Jackson
·2-min read

He was among Queensland's best in their game one victory over NSW but Ben Hunt's poor display in Sydney has cost him a spot in next week's State of Origin decider.

The utility was on Friday overlooked by Maroons coach Wayne Bennett for youngster Harry Grant in the No.14 position for the game three clash at Suncorp Stadium.

It's a high cost to pay for Hunt who was thrust into Wednesday's game two at ANZ Stadium with less than three minutes on the clock after Cameron Munster's early head knock ruled the five-eighth out of the match.

Playing in a position he'd barely trained in, Hunt struggled defensively as the Blues claimed a 34-10 win to take the series to a decider.

The 30-year-old had four missed tackles as the Blues targeted Queensland's makeshift left-edge, in a performance the man himself knows wasn't up to scratch.

"I didn't really prepare to play in the halves all week which is probably partly my fault," Hunt said.

"I wasn't expecting to get thrown into that role but at the same time I need to be ready for that."

The Maroons have named Munster at No.6 but the Melbourne playmaker still has to pass the NRL's concussion protocols to be deemed fit to play in next week's match.

If Munster is ruled out it may open the door for Hunt to be brought back into the team, either at five-eighth or on the bench with Dally M rookie of the year Grant to start.

Whoever takes the field, Hunt said the message from Bennett following Wednesday's game two defeat was to move on quickly.

"He touched on having a think about what you did in this game and then leaving it behind," Hunt said.

"He said he knows that we're a better team than what we offered there and we need to leave that one behind us and be better in Brisbane."