Bennett saddened to see 'Special K' go - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bennett saddened to see 'Special K' go

By Wayne Heming 20/09/2009 11:25:06 AM Comments (0)

Karmichael Hunt is called Special K for a very good reason.

Wayne Bennett knew the young Kiwi kid who arrived at Red Hill was special from the very first time he laid eyes on him.

Nothing changed after watching Hunt sink his Dragons' premiership aspirations in front of 50,000 delirious fans at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night with two trademark second man tries.

Like most of the fans in the stands, Bennett admitted he was sad to see one of rugby league's best young talents saying goodbye to fans before making the leap to the AFL next year in a bold career challenge.

Bennett noticed something in Hunt - a rare toughness and determination - during the 2004 pre-season.

It convinced him to make Hunt the youngest first grader in the club's history at just 17.

"I just knew he was special, he was doing things in our pre-season better than a lot of the senior players and he was exceptionally mature for his age," recalled Bennett.

Hunt was smashed early in his debut against the Warriors in the opening game of 2004 but displayed a fearlessness for which he has become renowned and respected.

"It is (sad he is leaving rugby league)," said Bennett, who had so much to do with Hunt's development.

"(Parramatta's) Jarryd Hayne's put his hand up but there's not enough of the Karmichael Hunts and Jarryd Haynes. If we had more of them it would be wonderful.

"The special players are the ones you don't want to lose because people want to come see them play."

Hunt had his official Suncorp Stadium farewell in Brisbane's 22-10 win over Canberra a fortnight ago but backed up for a spectacular encore against Bennett's minor premiers on Saturday night.

"It was a nice performance from the side to beat St George up here," said the 22-year-old.

"I just went out there and played my game.

"I wanted to get stuck into attack and defence which I did and it came off."

With serious concerns over the fitness of halfback Peter Wallace (ankle), Brisbane need Hunt to keep providing that inspiration.

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