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Ultimate League: Please welcome Ben Hunt and Andrew McCullough to the 50 club

Value: Ben Hunt of the Broncos.

Value: Ben Hunt of the Broncos. Photo: Getty Images

What do a cricket batting average of 50 and the 15-minute barrier in the 1500 metres swimming have in common?

They are the benchmark in their respective sports that grants instant prominence when achieved.

In Ultimate League that benchmark is an average of 50 points a game. Only 14 players can lay claim to having the magical number besides their name in 2014.

Andrew McCullough.

Andrew McCullough. Photo: Getty Images

All the usual fantasy suspects are in there: Paul Gallen, Cameron Smith, Robbie Farah, Shaun Fensom and Sam Burgess. But there are two names that stick out – and they have zero representative games and premierships between them.

Brisbane duo Ben Hunt and Andrew McCullough have been this year's Ultimate League revelations.

McCullough, who averages 48 tackles a game, has thrived on becoming an 80-minute player and is the fifth-best player in the competition with an average of 56.

Injury has halted his progress in the past fortnight but he is expected back after the Broncos bye in round 18. He could force his way into the top three players of the year with a big end to the year.

His partner in crime Hunt has made a mockery of his average draft position of 110 and is the best half in Ultimate League after 14 rounds.

Better than Johnathan Thurston? Yes. Better than Daly Cherry-Evans? Yes. Better than Cooper Cronk? Yes.

He has made the No.7 jumper his own this year and has an average of 55 to put him in seventh place overall and second in terms of total points to Sam Burgess.

To put his form into perspective, the 2008 under-20s player of the year scored six tries in his opening 87 games across five years. This year he has scored seven tries in 14 games and also made 12 line breaks.

Can he keep his golden run alive to the finals? Can more players force their way into the 50 club? All will be revealed in a bumper final 11 rounds.

Ultimate League Team of the Week

1. Billy Slater (56)

2. Josh Dugan (55)

3. Jamie Lyon (58)

4. Jarrod Croker (58)

5. Drury Low (54)

6. Robert Lui (55)

7. Ben Hunt (61)

8. Josh McGuire (60)

9. Jake Granville (63)

10. Paul Gallen (60)

11. Tariq Sims (64)

12. Mark Minichiello (61)

13. Ryan Hinchcliffe (71)

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ vs SAM 14:00Toll Stadium
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS vs ENG 16:00AAMI Park, Melbourne
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ vs ENG 17:30Forsyth Barr Stadium
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS vs SAM 16:00WIN
View All Fixtures
Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 1 1 0 0 18 0
England 1 1 0 0 6 0
Samoa 1 0 1 0 -6 0
Australia 1 0 1 0 -18 0
View all
 
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