Few can match Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk’s poise in a tight game.
But Wayne Bennett doesn’t want Ben Hunt to follow Cronk’s lead as the maligned Brisbane No.7 looks to end his clutch play jitters in Thursday night’s NRL clash with the Storm.
Bennett raised eyebrows when he revealed Hunt was “not comfortable” taking an extra-time field goal after Brisbane’s epic 21-20 last round golden point loss to North Queensland.
A tentative Hunt baulked against the Cowboys, leaving Brisbane pivot Anthony Milford to make two unsuccessful field goal attempts before North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston stepped up to seal the epic win.
Hunt could do worse than base his clutch play approach on the man he will line up against on Thursday night – the ice cool Cronk.
However, Bennett backed Hunt to find his own way.
“I don’t want him to match Cooper Cronk, I want him to be Ben Hunt,” he said.
“He played well last week, he needs to back up and play well this week.”
Hunt has not kicked a field goal in his 168-game career but was seen potting a few at training all week.
Bennett reckoned it was only a matter of time before Hunt stepped up in a tight match.
“You can only work on them (clutch plays) when the game is on, there is not much we can do at training about it,” Bennett said.
“But he will get more confident, he will get there.”
Former Brisbane skipper Corey Parker warned Brisbane would become one dimensional if Hunt did not turn it around.
“If Hunt is not setting up for a field goal obviously there is only one other guy who can do it – Milford,” Parker told Fox Sports.
“It makes it very predictable.
“You need your star playmakers to want the ball in their hands and follow through.
“It surprises me (that Bennett said Hunt was not comfortable).
“Confidence probably has something to do with it.”
Bennett insisted there would be no fall out from their gripping last round loss.
“I don’t think so. We got a lot of confidence out of it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bennett said the Broncos would be as per program with winger Jordan Kahu (thigh), Test backrower Matt Gillett (concussion), centre James Roberts (knee) and bench forward Tevita Pangai Jnr (ankle) proving their fitness.
Roberts caused a stir when he hobbled through Wednesday training with his knee heavily strapped but Bennett said it was “not an issue”.
Backrower Alex Glenn missed Wednesday training to attend the birth of his child but will fly out later to Melbourne.