Hannant returns as Brisbane's enforcer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hannant returns as Brisbane's enforcer

Joe Barton 17/04/2011 04:51:03 PM Comments (0)

A series of niggling injuries hampered Ben Hannant's return to the Broncos, but now that he's fully fit again, he's on track to reclaim the title of the NRL's best prop.

The Queensland and Australia representative took the mantle from Penrith skipper Petero Civoniceva on the back of an enormous season in 2009 - he averaged 133 metres and 36 tackles a game as the Bulldogs finished second after the regular season.

Injuries dogged Hannant throughout last season, and Penrith suffered as a result, while his Origin teammates David Shillington and Matt Scott emerged as the game's dominant big men.

Now, after missing Brisbane's opening two matches in 2011 with a calf problem, Hannant is slowly building back to his best.

"I've carried a couple of injuries through the pre-season which I've carried from last year and I picked up a couple of fresh ones at the beginning of the year," Hannant told AAP.

"Hook (coach Anthony Griffin) is happy with me just building and improving each week.

"My form can only get better, it's definitely not where I'm at my best, but I'm doing my role in the team and I just need to improve that each week.

"I think I've got a lot more to improve on ... (Being known as the best prop in the game) doesn't really bother me because it's not about me and how I'm going, it's about the team ... and the team is going fantastic."

Hannant showed one reason why 2011 is already more similar to 2009 - he's taken just four matches to find the tryline, scoring in Brisbane's 24-6 victory over the Roosters at Bluetongue Stadium.

After going tryless throughout last season, Hannant was pleased to be able to celebrate a four-pointer so early - even if he only had to dive on a loose ball, after a Darren Lockyer kick was fumbled by Roosters duo Justin Carney and Anthony Minichiello.

"I guess that's why Hook keeps telling us big fellas to chase the kick. It paid off in the end," he said.

Ex-Broncos enforcer Andrew Gee said Hannant had the potential to be among the game's finest props.

"I don't know if Ben's the best prop in the world, but he's certainly got the potential to be right up there and he's starting to do a really good job for us," Gee added.

"He's not far off (being the best prop in the world), but there's a lot of good props out there, too.

"He's a very consistent player and I think tonight showed that. The last couple of weeks he's gone really well."

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