Langer to give Hunt hand with his kicks
BRONCOS halfback Ben Hunt will cram in some kicking tuition with club legend Allan Langer before Friday night's NRL heavyweight clash with North Queensland.
Hunt (pictured), who has finally found his way into Langer's famed No.7 jumper, admitted yesterday his short kicking game was not up to scratch against Canterbury in round one, even though Brisbane escaped with a tough 18-12 win.
Former Brisbane skipper and chief playmaker Darren Lockyer said during commentary on the game that kicking was one area Hunt had to do some work on before the Cowboys clash.
Under the new rules, which include a zero tackle from a 20m restart if the attacking side kicks the ball dead in goal - effectively making seven tackles for the set - the emphasis is on kickers to be deadly accurate, especially with short kicks close to the opposition try line.
There was no better exponent of the chip or grubber kick than Langer.
The little halfback with the blonde locks would terrorise opponents and put fear into defenders with his mesmerising short kicking game, something Hunt struggled with against the Bulldogs and will need to improve sharply against the Cowboys and their star five-eighth Johnathan Thurston.
Langer told APN he had already spoken with Hunt about his predicament.
"We've already had a chat and we'll be doing some extra work on it. He just has to keep at it, keep practising till he gets the touch and feels confident," Langer said.
"My kicking game wasn't the greatest, but you just have to keep working on it and working on it - that's what all the good players do."
Langer said Hunt had to have a clear thought in his head about what kick he wanted to use before he got his hands on the ball.
"In his role as the major playmaker, that has to be the one thing on his mind," he said.
"You watch the great halves running around, like Thurston and Cooper Cronk, before that last tackle they know in their head what they are going to do and where they are going to kick."
Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough is expected to play against the Cowboys with Brisbane likely to lodge an early guilty plea to a grade two careless high tackle charge on Bulldog rival Mitch Brown.