JOB TO DO: Ben Hunt is staying positive but knows the pressure is firmly on the Maroons.
JOB TO DO: Ben Hunt is staying positive but knows the pressure is firmly on the Maroons. Adam Head

Hunt concedes loss may cost him his spot

BEN Hunt is determined not to let negative thoughts disrupt his State of Origin preparation despite knowing his goal of locking down the Maroons' No.7 jersey could be hanging by a thread if Queensland loses game two.

Following the retirement of Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston, Hunt and Cameron Munster have the chance to seal their long-term futures as Maroons if they can help Queensland to an upset win over NSW.

But Hunt concedes a losing series could open the door to another emerging half.

"That's definitely the long-term goal - you want to make that your jersey for a long time, but for me right now it's concentrating on this Sunday," Hunt said.

"It's a must-win for us and if we don't win that, there could be some changes in the side.

"So I need to go out and (take care of) that game first."

Out to improve on a game one effort he was "relatively happy" with, Hunt admitted it was difficult not to let the thoughts about future selection seep in.

But the hard-learnt lessons about exactly what he can control have him in a sanguine mood about the situation.

"It is hard at times, but I've played a lot of footy now and I've had different things like that throughout my career and I feel like I can control it pretty well," he said.

 

Ben Hunt has been told to take the line on in Game II. Pics Adam Head
Ben Hunt has been told to take the line on in Game II. Pics Adam Head

Hunt has had plenty of highs and lows in his career, but going from state league player to Origin representative - and being one of the most prized recruits in the league in the past year - has taught him plenty.

"It was a strange 12 months but it's definitely benefiting me now," the Dingo product said.

"You look back and appreciate everything that's happened and it makes you a better person and a better player, I believe.

"I've had a lot of different setbacks over my career and things that have happened and I've just learnt to let them go, and concentrate on what my next job is and just try and move forward."

Hunt revealed a corked thigh almost kept him out of game one.

"It was pretty touch and go at the start of the week - I was pretty nervous myself and I was trying not to give the physios too much or they'd want to pull me out," he said.

"But it got to about mid-week and I knew it was starting to improve then and I knew I was going to play. I wasn't going to go out there and not be able to play at my best, so I knew it was all good."