A bizarre sin binning is not the only thing Brisbane backrower Matt Gillett has been coming to terms with of late.
Gillett may still be getting his head around referee Ben Cummins’ last round clanger but the Broncos forward says teammate Ben Hunt’s meteoric rise has also been something to behold.
Gillett not only tipped surprise Dally M Medal contender Hunt to match Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk in their must-win NRL away clash on Friday night but also one day usurp the Storm playmaker’s Test and Queensland No.7 jersey.
Gillett was left scratching his head – along with most watching the game – when he was incorrectly sin-binned by Cummins in last round’s win over the Dragons for being offside, despite running 40m to make a tackle.
“It was one of those decisions that was out of my hands, I just had to cop it and take a 10 minute rest,” Gillett said.
“I was a bit confused but you can’t change those decisions.
“I just had to get off the field and do my time.”
Gillett says he is now more worried about Brisbane downing Melbourne for the first time since round nine 2010 and clinching their NRL finals berth.
And he believes Hunt will be the key.
Gillett has marvelled at Hunt’s transformation in 2014.
Hunt won the NYC 2009 Player of the Year but struggled to find his feet in first grade, spending more time on the bench as a back-up hooker.
But thrown the starting No.7 jersey this year by coach Anthony Griffin, Hunt hasn’t looked back.
Hunt received a sobering reality check with a flat performance the last time he tangled with Cronk in round 20’s 30-8 home loss.
However, Gillett backed him to bounce back at AAMI Park on Friday night.
“He’s been a pleasure to watch,” he said.
“I am sure Ben was looking forward to this challenge (against Cronk).
“Obviously Cooper is the Australian and Queensland halfback.
“One day Ben probably wants to be in those shoes. I am sure he will be up to it.”
Hunt is one player grateful for the faith shown by Griffin, who marks his 100th and possibly last game at the helm before Wayne Bennett reclaims the reins.
“A lot of players are here because of Hook (Griffin),” Gillett said.
“I think a lot of us here owe him a fair bit. He stuck by us so we want to stick by him and do a good job for him.
“I am sure he doesn’t want us to be thinking that way but he is why a lot of players are around here – it’s because of him.”