Cleary is up there with JT: Ben Hunt

Brisbane's Ben Hunt believes Penrith teenager Nathan Cleary has already earned comparisons with Johnathan Thurston ahead of Friday night's knockout NRL semi-final at Suncorp Stadium.

Hunt said preparing to stop the 19-year-old Panthers halfback was like "going into a game against Thurston".

"He's so young but look at what he has done in the game already. It's not going to be hard for him to get to the heights of Thurston," the Broncos hooker said.

The NRL's leading point scorer in his first full season, Cleary has emerged as Penrith's danger man after stepping up in the absence of troubled Matt Moylan to help guide the Panthers past Manly 22-10 in last week's elimination final.

Hunt, who made his Queensland State of Origin debut this year, said he had not seen anyone dominate the competition at such a young age.

"You see all these young players come through and they have spurts of greatness and are very patchy, but his biggest thing is that he has been so consistent for the whole year," Hunt said.

"He's the leading point scorer, he scores tries nearly every week.

"He just plays with such a cool head on his shoulders, he never leaves anything out there."

And just like Thurston, Hunt said Brisbane had ruled out trying to stop Cleary just try and limit his damage.

"A lot of teams have tried to stop him this year. I think he has shown how good a player he is," Hunt said.

"It doesn't matter what you do, he will find a way around it and a weakness in your defence.

"We just need to limit his opportunities."