‘No need for that’: Ben Hunt slammed after ‘nasty’ act in record St George Illawarra bloodbath against Tigers

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The St. George Illawarra Dragons destroyed the Wests Tigers 56-14 in a massacre at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.

It’s hard to believe, but the Tigers led 14-12 at halftime, but the second half was a one-sided affair with the Dragons collecting seven unanswered points, including a personal milestone of 32 points for NSW Origin representative Zac Lomax.

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With a 26-14 lead and 23 minutes remaining, Hunt backed up his Origin double by running down the right before cutting inside, wrong-footing three Tigers players and scoring.

This was just the tip of the iceberg of a masterful performance that also included four tries, a line break and a line break assist.

But despite his great individual attempt, Hunt was anything but satisfied as he stood up and threw the ball to Tigers second-row player Samuela Fainu.

“And a bit mean of Ben Hunt throwing the ball at the boy on his debut,” Dan Ginnane said on Fox League.

“Tensions continue to simmer here, but the Dragons should give it a go.”

It wasn’t exactly Fainu’s debut in terms of statistics – the game was the 16th of his NRL career, having played five games for the Sea Eagles in 2023 and his 11th game of the year for the Tigers.

It was ultimately awarded a try, but Cooper Cronk missed on the play from the Dragons’ half.

“He’s a fighter and I don’t think he had to do that, Ben Hunt, and throw the ball to Fainu,” Cronk said.

“Fainu is coming from above, he doesn’t like that, maybe the wing has come down.

“Ben Hunt didn’t have to drop the ball, Fainu didn’t have to react. That’s unnecessary.”

Ginnane said Fainus’s action did not appear to be enough for an eight-point attempt, so the referee awarded the four-point attempt.

Although Hunt received a warning from the referee not to get involved in the brawl, the try stood and the Dragons claimed their victory.

On Nine, Phil Gould pointed out the incident, to which Andrew Johns replied: “That’s not necessary. I’ve never seen Ben Hunt do anything like that.”

Gould added: “It doesn’t take much to unsettle footballers these days.”

But the fans were furious.

One called the action “unsportsmanlike,” another said Hunt’s actions showed “no class,” a third said it was “cowardly,” and a fourth claimed it was a “disgraceful act.”

However, this was just one of several vicious moments, but it did not stop the Dragons from going wild and reaching 50 at WIN Stadium for the first time in seven years.

It’s hard to believe, but Lomax’s huge haul surpassed the previous club record for the joint venture held by Amos Roberts (2000), Jamie Soward (2007), Gareth Widdop (three times – 2015, 2017, 2018) and Lomax (2021) by just 22 points, meaning he beat it by 10 points.

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