Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The St.George Illawarra Dragons haven’t played finals football in over three years, with their last finals games resulting in a crushing defeat against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the second week of the 2018 NRL finals series.
Zac Lomax kicked a penalty goal with five minutes left on the clock to put the Red V in the lead 12-11, putting the Dragons on the cusp of a first Preliminary Final in eight years, before two Adam Reynolds field goals sent St.George Illawarra packing.
Dragons halfback Ben Hunt is all too familiar with that game but is determined to give his side a chance at redemption in 2022 by leading them to this year’s NRL Finals series.
He spoke of this ambition to the Sydney Morning Herald’s Christian Nicolussi on Thursday.
— christian nicolussi (@mrchrisnico) January 27, 2022
“I want to take us to the finals,” said Hunt.
The 31-year-old also addressed his future beyond 2022, confirming that he had taken up his player option with the Dragons for 2023 and that he is looking to remain at the club once his current six-year deal is up.
“I’m definitely open to staying at the Dragons beyond next year, and it’s bloody exciting seeing these kids come through,” stated Hunt.
“These guys now have their chance to make their own mark and set the club up for the future.
“They hang out together every day, they are in each other’s pockets, and the few games they all played together last year they were all sniffing around each other for the ball.
“When it’s all said and done, my family wants to get back to Queensland and live in the Sunshine State.
“I’m not saying I’ll go back to finish playing there, I’m open to wherever my career takes me.”
Ben Hunt seems to be quite content seeing his NRL career out in the Red V of the St.George Illawarra Dragons but could end up back in Queensland if an opportunity arose.
Unless they can sign a halfback that another club is willing to release for 2023, The Dolphins will likely be going in strong for a number seven for 2024 and Ben Hunt could be one of their primary targets.