Hunt yearning for NSW clash

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Karmichael Hunt is used to smashing blokes wearing sky blue jerseys.

He played 10 State of Origin matches for Queensland and would have played plenty more if he had not shocked the Australian sports world in moving to the Gold Coast Suns at the end of 2009.

His fearless ball carries from behind the Brisbane Broncos defensive line earned him that honour in 2006 and the desire to beat NSW still burns strong 11 years later - all that has changed is the tint of red in the jersey he wears now.

"Everyone is looking forward to it - everyone is looking forward to playing NSW," Hunt said.Karmichael Hunt has taken his game to a new level in 2017. Photo: Getty Images"When you're coming up through the ranks - whether it is union or league - when you play NSW the coaches put a little bit extra on it and Stilesy has done that this week.

"Origin probably gets most of the attention these days but we are looking forward to getting stuck into them on Saturday."

Nick Stiles comes from a long line of teachers and he has been handing out some history lessons of his own this week.

No one loves Queensland rugby more than Stiles and Hunt said he has made it known how important this game is for the Reds - both in isolation and in the context of their season.

"He (Stiles) has re-hashed some of the great games that Queensland have come back and won, some of the games they've gritted out for 80 minutes and won, he's hanging signs on the walls around the club with scorelines, dates and their history," Hunt said.The Reds have lost their last six against the Tahs. Photo: Getty Images"He wants us to understand how much history is involved in this contest with NSW and I'm sure he will have another game to talk about today before our team meeting."

The history of the QLD-NSW clashes in the last three years is something Reds fans would rather forget.

Queensland have lost six straight to their arch rivals in a match which typically serves as a barometer for both teams' Super Rugby season.

"That's pretty fresh in the players' minds - he (Stiles) hasn't re-hashed that and I'm not sure if he is going to," Hunt said.

"We understand that they've really bullied us over the last couple of years and we really want to turn that around."