Gareth Widdop has gelled well with new halfback Ben Hunt.
Gareth Widdop has gelled well with new halfback Ben Hunt.

Like Locky: Hunt’s incredible rap on Widdop

ST GEORGE Illawarra recruit Ben Hunt has given teammate Gareth Widdop the ultimate rap, comparing the five-eighth to Brisbane legend Darren Lockyer.

Hunt and Widdop's on-field partnership got off to the best possible start with the international duo firing for the Dragons in their huge season-opening win over the Broncos.

Hunt, who played alongside Lockyer in his first three seasons of NRL, said Widdop shared plenty of similarities with the former Australia and Queensland champion - not just their positional switch from fullback to five-eighth.

Ben Hunt in action for Dragons. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Ben Hunt in action for Dragons. Picture: Phil Hillyard

It's an incredible statement given Lockyer is among the favourites to be named the ninth rugby league Immortal later this year.

"I'd put Gareth up there with Darren Lockyer the way he does everything at training," Hunt said.

"I was lucky enough to have a bit of time with Darren and then to go down there and train with (Widdop), his knowledge of the game and everything he does is excellent.

"You come into a game and he's the type of player, that if I do my job, he's going to be even better.

"The more I can do in the game to open it up for him; we're going to do a lot of damage this year."

Hunt said his playmaking role at the Dragons had slightly changed from the way he played at the Broncos.

He put that down to his conversations with new coach Paul McGregor.

Gareth Widdop of the Dragons celebrates with his team in round one against the Broncos.
Gareth Widdop of the Dragons celebrates with his team in round one against the Broncos.

"Paul told me midway through last year he wanted a genuine halfback, someone who can take control of the team and let Gareth play his natural game," Hunt said.

"I've come down and he's asked me how I like to play and given me a few tips on how he'd like me to play as well.

"He wants me to be more up on the ball and playing off my forwards.

"The more I'm controlling the team and moving us around the better it's going to be for the guys like Gareth and young 'Duff' (Matt Dufty) at the back."

After pass his first big test, Hunt's focus now turns to Thursday night's local derby against Cronulla at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

It's not the first rugby league derby the crafty playmaker's been involved in, having taken part in the Queensland clash between Brisbane and North Queensland since 2010.

Ben Hunt in action for Dragons. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Ben Hunt in action for Dragons. Picture: Phil Hillyard

"It's a bit of a strange feeling," Hunt said of the Dragons-Sharks clash.

"Everyone at training has been talking about how big of a derby it is and it's a big clash going up against those guys.

"Coming from Queensland, (Broncos-Cowboys) is one of the biggest derbies in the competition.

"You get to Suncorp and there are about 40,000 people in the stadium. It feels like a finals game.

"To be a big clash, it's got a lot to live up to the Queensland derby."



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