Hunt limps off in Newcastle loss

Timing: Incumbent Queensland State Of Origin player Ben Hunt is under pressure to be in the 2020 selectors books .Picture NRL Images
Timing: Incumbent Queensland State Of Origin player Ben Hunt is under pressure to be in the 2020 selectors books .Picture NRL Images

On a day when CEO Andrew Abdo announced the NRL will reorganise its business model, resulting in a 25 per cent reduction in staff levels Dragons utility Ben Hunt is in danger of being unavailable for State of Origin selection after being handed a crusher tackle charge.

Hunt, who limped off with a thigh injury in Sunday's bad loss to Newcastle, can miss just the Dragons round 20 match - and be available for Origin I - if he enters an early guilty plea or roll the dice and face the judiciary.

In a reflection of their season the Dragons let in seven tries in a humiliating 42-18 loss to the Knights and have to address their defense issues before facing the Storm next Sunday in their last game of the year.

"We wouldn't have beaten Dapto today the way we played that first half," coach Dean Young said of the five tries conceded in the opening 40 minutes.

"In the end they made 265 tackles and we made 406. So you're going to get some poor defensive stuff and fundamental errors when you're making that many tackles." Young said

He identified rookies Cody Ramsey, Max Feagai, along with consistent first-graders Zac Lomax and Matt Dufty as putting in the hard work , but every player needs to be more consistent in rolling the sleeves up, which was not in evidence at Newcastle.

Young said facing an inform Melbourne team is going to be a challenge but we've got to put their big-boy pants on and get into it.

" We need to dust ourselves off and get ready for a game back home.

"I feel we've got a lot to play for and that's pride in the jersey." he said

Dean Young has officially told the club he will leave at the end of the season, bringing to a close his 17-year association with the Red V.

Young told St George Illawarra officials that he would leave after next Sunday's final-round clash with Melbourne at Kogarah.

He was offered a role on Anthony Griffin's staff for next season but is expected to join Todd Payten's staff at the Cowboys in 2021.