Hunt did a dance around Cowboys

BRISBANE Broncos fans may have to get used to seeing a new halves combination in 2006 and beyond.

The Karmichael Hunt halfback experiment proved a success in front of a sellout crowd at Rockhampton's Browne Park on Saturday night.

In a man-of-the-match performance, Hunt captained the Broncos to a powerful 36-4 win over the North Queensland Cowboys.

Hunt crossed for two tries in the game scoring his first in the 12th minute and his second early in the second half with a solo kick and chase effort, which would have done master halfback Allan Langer proud.

"It was a bit more tackling than at fullback but I had fun,'' the 2004 NRL rookie of the year said.

"The main thing for me tonight was to keep it simple.''

Hunt has called fullback home for the past two seasons but last year's regular No.7 Brett Seymour remains in extreme doubt for the season opener against North Queensland on March 13 following shoulder surgery.

Broncos assistant coach Ivan Henjack said Hunt was impressive in his halfback debut and could join captain Darren Lockyer in a lethal halves combination this season.

"He's a great player ? itwouldn't matter what jersey you put him in,'' Henjack said.

Cowboys assistant coach Neil Henry said his team's poor ball security allowed Hunt to dominate play for the Broncos.

"He (Hunt) was dangerous with the ball and we allowed him to dictate out there,'' Henry said.

The Broncos led 14-4 at halftime before they piled on 22 unanswered points in the second half, with speedster Steve Michaels collecting a double.

Queensland State of Origin forward Carl Webb showed glimpses of his devastating best in a Cowboys side which struggled with cohesion in attack throughout the game.

Both teams continue the build-up to their opening round showdown this weekend, with the Broncos playing Canberra in Port Macquarie while the Cowboys tackle the New Zealand Warriors in Cairns.

BRISBANE 36 (K Hunt 2, S Michaels 2, J Simpson, I Lacey, T Tupou tries, M Ennis 4 goals) d NORTH QUEENSLAND 4 (M Henry try). Referee: G Suttor. Crowd: 6500.

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