One thing you’ll always be guaranteed with the Hunt brothers is honesty of effort and off-the-cuff candour.
Like the old perfume ad’, the one with lads leggin’ it up the street with flowers after a sweet-smelling passer-by, they can’t help acting on impulse.
They give it their all, call it as they see it. “The brothers are very similar… They have much enthusiasm and we need that mentality… That is our heart and that is important. In the life, you need these players,” says Trapattoni.
Hunt Bros Unlimited haven’t read the bluffer’s guide to post-match interviews neither. Whatever’s on their mind at that particular moment in time, chances are they’ll say it.
Noel thought the equaliser against Italy was his goal, and was prepared to get UEFA to prove it, but alas RTE’s behind-the-goal camera subsequently confirmed captain Keane had indeed notched for the 37th time in the country’s cause. (Some record Robbie.)
Meanwhile, Stephen’s best 90 minutes for Ireland by a long, straight Clonea-Power mile summed up the team’s spirit on a balmy night in Bari which was reminiscent of the good old give-it-a-lash days of old.
Though he didn’t even know Italy had scored until half-time, having been clattered in the head when defending an early free-kick, Stephen was named man-of-the-match by most media, including the top-selling Italian football daily ‘La Gazetta dello Sport’, which was impressed with how “He never gives up”.
By a strange coincidence Noel suffered a smiliar experience last October when he was concussed while scoring against Burnley. “I don’t remember any of Saturday at all – getting up in the morning or going to bed, nothing at all,” he admitted afterwards. “I didn’t know that Stephen had gone away to Ireland, or even why I was in Reading. It was a strange feeling.”
The Hunts, who along with John O’Shea gave the Republic’s finishing XI a remarkable 3:11 Déise ratio, are the first Waterford brothers to play together in a World Cup tie for Ireland, but not the first siblings. David and Pierce O’Leary were paired together in defence in a 2-1 victory over Holland in Dublin in September 1980.