Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.
Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium. Bradley Kanaris

Ben Hunt can't understand Mitchell Pearce caning

BRISBANE'S Ben Hunt can't understand why Saturday's Roosters rival Mitchell Pearce cops such a hard time from the southern media.

"He's an outstanding player. I don't really get why he cops so much flak at home," said Hunt before lining up against him in Saturday night's NRL blockbuster in Sydney.

"It's a team sport and he is always out there doing his very best and he is right up there with the best halfbacks in the game.

"Whenever we play the Roosters he is always one of their biggest threats. If you are not on your game 100%, you know he is going to hurt you."

The clash of the top two teams on the ladder could decide the minor premiership and some believe it could even be a preview to the October grand final in Sydney.

Pearce and his halves partner James Maloney have been in terrific form working behind a powerful and intimidating Roosters pack led fearlessly by Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

They can take top spot on the ladder from Brisbane with their ninth-straight win at Allianz Stadium.

Hunt, who was very sharp with the ball scoring two tries against the Dragons last weekend while coming up with some great try-saving tackles on his own line, said the Roosters were hot premiership favourites because they had class, quality and experience across the paddock.

"They've got a great side right across the board. We are going to have to be at our very best if we are going to match them," Hunt said.

"They've got a great forward pack, a great backline and two of the best halves in the game who've played Origin.

"Wherever they come at you, they can hurt you."

Hunt and his new No.6 Anthony Milford are becoming a real danger pairing, especially with late starter Darius Boyd working with them giving them an extra attacking option.

The Roosters will miss the hard work and productivity of suspended forward Aidan Guerra, but Hunt said they would employ their awesome power game up the middle through Waerea-Hargreaves and Dylan Napa.

"We know where they will come at us," he said.

"They like to play that power game."


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