Rugby league hardman Mark Carroll says besieged Ben Hunt is closer to reserve grade than State of Origin.
Hunt and his St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor are the NRL’s two most scrutinised characters four days into the competition’s resumption with opinions divided over who’s to blame over the Dragons’ dismal winless start.
With only twin wins over last year’s wooden spooners Gold Coast from their past 13 games and unable to post a point against the New Zealand Warriors at the weekend, McGregor is odds-on to be the first coach sacked in 2020.
“Old Mary (McGregor), he can’t hide. He’s had one game back and they’ve lost,” Carroll told Fox League Live.
“But I just look at the halves. Ben Hunt, everyone’s talking about (how) he’s on this massive money.
“But he came out last week saying he’s worried about the end of the year because State of Origin is going to be played after (the season) and there’s going to be some teams disadvantaged about not playing in the semi-finals.
“Hello? Ben? Deadset, mate, no one gets picked from reserve grade and the way his performance was at the weekend, he’ll end up being there.
“Mary will have no other option than to put you in reserve grade. You’ve got to aim up and guide this team around. I don’t see any guidance.
“You can see by the footy – they wouldn’t scare anyone.”
Queensland coach Kevin Walters on Monday urged Hunt and Dragons five-eighth Corey Norman to take on the line more.
Hunt had just two runs from 65 possessions in the Dragons’ 18-0 loss to the Warriors, while Norman took the line on six times in his 80 minutes.
“They’ve got some explaining to do,” Carroll said of the Dragons’ woeful attack, before offering his own solution.
“I was watching the Wests Tigers game and on the sidelines, Josh Reynolds. Mate, he’s not going to get a game there.
“Give this kid a go. Josh Reynolds, go to the Dragons with your energy, enthusiasm and guide this team around.
“He only needs a chance and I think there’s an opportunity there at the Dragons.”