New Melbourne Storm five-eighth Ben Hampton says he’s trying to drain his halves partner Cooper Cronk of knowledge as he grows into the role.
When Cooper Cronk speaks, Ben Hampton listens.
It’s not everyone who gets to learn from one of the world’s best halfbacks.
Hampton is the new Melbourne Storm five-eighth this season following the departure of Gareth Widdop to St George-Illawarra and retirement of Brett Finch.
Ahead of their NRL clash with Newcastle on Monday night the 22-year-old said his halves partner had been a massive source of knowledge as he transitioned into the top playmaker’s role.
“He is helping me with stuff every day at training,” Hampton said.
“In the video sessions he’s always telling me little things I can work on to help myself and help the team and I’m trying to do that every week.
“He is probably the best half in the game at the moment and I’m just try to drain him.”
Hampton was signed to the Storm as a 14-year-old but only made his NRL debut last season and has now played four games.
The former Queensland under-20s captain is of diminutive stature but his toughness is a talking point.
He has delivered solid performances as the Storm eked out two tight wins to start the season, with Cronk making his return from a shoulder operation in the last.
“It was a bit different to the week before, having someone like Cooper there.
“He’s very dominant and I need to grow in that role and hopefully get used to playing with him.
“He controls the team and he’s very good at it.”
Hampton said that coach Craig Bellamy had also been very supportive, and didn’t expect him to try to win games for the side.
“He’s not expecting me to score magnificent tries and run the whole team; he just wants me to make sure I’m strong in defence and doing my role in attack.”