Ben Hunt says it’s hard not to view his move to St George Illawarra’s bench as a demotion but he accepts it’s likely to continue after they finally cracked a win.
The million-dollar star was dropped from the halves to bench utility for Sunday’s 30-16 NRL victory over Cronulla, coming on after 20 minutes to play dummy half – the position he fills at both State of Origin and Test level.
Hunt said experience had taught him not to sulk about such personal setbacks.
“I’d definitely like to be back in the starting side but if that’s going to win us games like it did I don’t see why the coach has to make any changes,” he said.
“If we’re going to get the job done like that, that’s how it is and I’ll just go about my business.”
Following two humiliating weeks of losses against the Warriors and Canterbury, Hunt was drawn into a meeting with besieged coach Paul McGregor on Wednesday and told he would be dropped to the bench.
“Obviously I haven’t been playing well and we knew that there were some changes coming to the side…I was hopeful it wasn’t going to happen but in the end I kind of expected it and was ready for it,” he said.
“Once he told me I was pretty excited just to get on with it.
“Things like this have happened to me in the past and I’ve learned that there’s no point sitting around sooking about it.
“First thoughts were it’s a demotion or a setback or something, and it is a demotion in a way.
“I just wanted to win, really, and if he thought that was the best way for us to get a win I was excited to do it.”
McGregor was coy on whether Hunt would make a permanent switch to hooker, but any change in the team line up would have a big impact on starting No.9 and captain Cam McInnes.
Putting Hunt at dummy half forced McInnes to move into lock, an unfamiliar role for him that he would need to spend time developing.
“Cam’s a great competitor and he’s in the same boat of, if this is what’s best for team, then he’s happy to do it,” Hunt said.
“He’s our heart and soul, he brings so much energy to everything so he can’t come off the field.
“If I come on at No.9, he has to stay on, so he doesn’t seem to mind. He might mind, but he doesn’t let anyone know, he just gets his job done.”