Suns warn of 'frightening' Karmichael Hunt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns warn of 'frightening' Karmichael Hunt

By Jim Morton 28/03/2011 07:32:07 PM Comments (0)

Karmichael Hunt will debut for the Gold Coast on Saturday night and Carlton have been warned he has the ability and licence to split his opponents in half.

Suns coach Guy McKenna on Monday confirmed the rugby league convert would deservedly play in defence in the fledgling club's AFL debut at the Gabba and predicted some frightening hits in the early rounds of the competition.

Proud of Hunt's diligence and work ethic, McKenna said the former Brisbane Broncos NRL star had still been playing within himself during the pre-season but had been urged to unleash his power without fear of punishment.

"When he gets into that position where he thinks he can split this bloke in half he chooses not to do it because he doesn't know if he can do it at the moment," he said.

"I've said: Go out and make mistakes. If you give away a free kick there's probably every chance the bloke won't be able to take it anyway. But, in a fair way so you don't get reported, just hit him. I want to see you hit someone.

"He does it off one or two steps when he feels it's right there, but off a three or four metre step he could really hurt someone."

While McKenna's words will get in the minds of Carlton's forwards, he hinted it was round four opponents Melbourne and round-five rivals Port Adelaide who could have more to worry about.

"Were certainly pushing him," he said. "Probably by round four or five they might be in a bit of trouble around then because he might be a bit more comfortable within himself.

"He would have played a few games and he's thought `okay this is what I can do now' and he'll cut himself a bit loose.

"It will be frightening when that happens, that's for sure."

Hunt highlighted his toughness in the Suns' last pre-season match against the Brisbane Lions when he was accidentally shirtfronted by a teammate in a marking contest.

Lions star Simon Black said the collision sounded like a car accident but Hunt remarkably got to his feet.

Former West Coast premiership captain McKenna admitted he himself would have waited for three ambulances but Hunt had no thought of being stretchered off.

"Most Aussie rules blokes would have just laid there and expected to get carted off but the first thing K did, where he's come from, he put his hand up and asked someone `give me a hand to get up, I need to get on my feet.'

"He does add another element to the physicality of our game."

Cautious about being viewed as a circus act due to the hype of his code leap, Hunt has ticked all the boxes in the pre-season where he was rated as the Suns' third best defender behind vice-captains Campbell Brown and Nathan Bock.

"He's had some big jobs and played on talls and played on smalls," McKenna said.

"And for all the naysayers out there, he's been picked on his merits, he's our third-best defender in the pre-season - he's got to play."

McKenna has told his team, which will contain 10-12 debutants, to embrace their historic first match like a grand final week.

Small forward Alik Magin, who stood out in the second round NAB Cup loss to West Coast, looms as the biggest bolter to play the Blues after being elevated from the rookie list on Monday.

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