Thornton rates Hunt a chance to succeed - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thornton rates Hunt a chance to succeed

Darren Cartwright 04/04/2011 01:50:01 PM Comments (0)

Seasoned Carlton defender Bret Thornton exploited the inexperience of code-hopping experiment Karmichael Hunt to party as a gun forward, yet he firmly believes the Gold Coast recruit can be an AFL success story.

Thornton had kicked just eight career goals in 161 AFL appearances before bagging four majors, mainly on Hunt, in the 119-point drubbing of the Suns at the Gabba last Saturday night.

Yet the Blues' key defender had only praise for the former Brisbane Bronco's star who, in his first official match, had a team low five disposals and would need to do a lot more to convince the critics he will make a successful transition from NRL to AFL.

"'You have got to take your hat off to him as it's not easy what he is doing and he's got a great work rate," Thornton told AAP.

"If he keeps working at it, there is no reason why he can't make it.

"He's got a good attitude and he bodies well in a contest, but he probably ran out of legs in the end."

Thornton said Hunt's skills were not yet at a level that would cause concern for his opponents and his endurance levels were blatantly short of what's required at AFL level.

The 27-year-old Thornton said the Blues attempted to isolate Hunt, and did so to some effect, although he believed the Suns were comfortable with their NRL recruit being forced into one-on-one combat than being faced with a pack situation.

"He doesn't have that fitness base to play four-quarters at this stage, but there is a bright future for him I reckon," Thornton said.

"We tried to isolate him at times because (Nathan) Bock was playing up the ground and Gold Coast were probably happy to have him deep and it suited us as well.

"He halved a few contests, but he doesn't hurt you with the ball at the moment so if you can isolate him it's better."

Hunt's on-field banter was friendly and jovial according to Thornton.

"He was saying stop running so much because he was cramping a fair bit," Thornton said.

Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna said Hunt's performance was less than satisfactory, but he will still be lining-up against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday at Etihad Stadium.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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