HomeAustraliaBen Hunt tips a Shark to snap up game’s top award

Ben Hunt tips a Shark to snap up game’s top award

Ben Hunt is the raging favourite for the Dally M Medal on Wednesday night, but the Dragons’ halfback quickly nominated a Cronulla rival to pip him for the game’s most prestigious gong.

“I like Nicho Hynes – he had a cracking finish to the back end of the season,” Hunt said. “There were a few games where he would have got three points, so he’s the danger.

“I’d love to win it. It would mean the world. It’s a team sport, and you’d rather win a premiership, but at the end of the day you’re always striving to be your best, and just to be mentioned among the guys who have won it in the past, it’s something I’d cherish for the rest of my life.

“There have been so many good winners. The year Jarryd Hayne won it [in 2009] sticks in my mind. Even Tommy ‘Turbo’ [Trbojevic] winning by a country mile last year. He missed plenty of games and nobody got close to him. The season he had is the best I’ve seen in my life.”

Hunt was on 19 points when voting went behind closed doors after round 12, two clear of Penrith’s Isaah Yeo, with Hynes three away on 16 votes. Sydney Roosters skipper James Tedesco and Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards are the only other realistic Dally M contenders.

Considering the Dragons failed to make the finals and Hunt continued to pinch votes is a decent indication of what a memorable year he had. The thing he was happiest with was “taking on a leadership role and getting more involved in games”.

Ben Hunt was top of the Dally M leaderboard when voting went behind closed doors after round 12.Credit:Getty

The 32-year-old, who is close to inking an extension at the Red V, said he would also love Tyrell Sloan to be patient and bide his time at the club after a release request was shut down by club officials during the week.

“I hope he stays,” Hunt said. “I know the club wants him to stay, and we’ve all seen the glimpses of the talent he has had. “If he can put his head down and work hard in the pre-season, you never know what can happen for him.

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