Bennett's tough love key to Broncos halves
He put his faith in two young men big on raps but low on experience but Ben Hunt has revealed that Broncos coach Wayne Bennett is not afraid to dish out some 'tough love' to expedite their first grade education.
Writing in the Round 18 issue of Big League ahead of the Broncos' big clash with the Bulldogs on Saturday night, Hunt has spoken about the 'shaky start' to he and Milford's partnership and how Bennett has guided them to the top of the Telstra Premiership table.
With their Origin representatives still on a high after Wednesday night's extraordinary win by Queensland, Hunt and Milford shape as key figures for the Broncos this week and he credited Bennett's faith and tough stance for their good form in 2015.
"Wayne Bennett has been extremely good for us. He’s done a lot of work with us on structures and how we want to play," Hunt says in this week's Big League.
"If we divert from that structure he’ll be on our case, pulling us aside after training and making us do kicking extras.
"Wayne is firm and Anthony and myself are two of the players a coach should be the strongest on. I appreciate it. He’s giving us tough love, but it’s teaching us to win tough games.
"In the past we haven’t been able to get over the line in the tight games, but that’s something Wayne is drilling in us, how to close out games."
Having just been pipped for the Dally M Halfback of the Year award by Daly Cherry-Evans last year, Hunt had to get to know another new halves partner over the pre-season but says that the arrival of Milford is making him a better player.
"Anthony has also been great for me as a footballer," Hunt says.
"There have been times where he's come to me and asked about plays; at first it was strange for me because I've always been the younger player doing that, but Anthony wants to learn. He has a mature head on his shoulders and he shows that with the way he plays.
"I've learnt things off Anthony too. He shows me how he likes to play and I enjoy that insight.
For example, we could be running a play to the right and he could be on the left but suddenly he’d turn up on the right. That's something I've never had from a halves partner so I enjoy the variety that Anthony brings. He can see things that other people can't."
The Round 18 issue of Big League is on sale now from newsagents and at the ground. Digital version is also available from Zinio.