Life’s looking good for mid-season signing Robert Lui - and Leeds Rhinos - insists the Aussie stand-off
MID-SEASON SIGNING Robert Lui says he is enjoying life at Leeds Rhinos and reckons he and the team will be better next year.
Lui joined Rhinos from Salford Red Devils at the end of June, with Tui Lolohea moving the other way.
As Rhinos start their autumn break, Lolohea and Salford are preparing to begin a play-offs campaign but Lui, who was on loan until the end of the season before beginning a two-year contract, insisted he has no regrets.
“Coming in halfway through, I have enjoyed it,” he said of his first three months at Leeds. “I am just going to take it [the off-season] week by week, enjoy the break and then come back in and work hard.
“I have got to find a special needs school over here for my son, who is autistic, and get him settled in and then we’ll be ready for next year. We are getting about six weeks [off], it’s not long, but we need it after the season we have had.”
The Australian stand-off made 10 appearances and scored three tries, including one in last week’s 26-4 win over Warrington Wolves which brought the curtain down on Rhinos’ season.
Lui and scrum-half Richard Myler had their best game together and he believes that is a positive sign for next season.
“I think we just need to get the ball in our hands,” Lui insisted. “When we stick to the game plan and get our kicks on the right spot we are hard to beat.
“It is a new year next year and we have just got to get fit and look forward.”
The closing win secured eighth place in Betfred Super League and provided a fitting finale for retiring players Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Carl Ablett.
Lui said: “It was a good way to finish the season, I am happy about that.
“We said to ourselves we wanted to beat a top-four team and Warrington are a top-four team and Challenge Cup winners.
“It was good for us to finish off with a win to send off Jonesy like that and also our fans. We owed them one after the last couple of performances at home. We will take that confidence into our pre-season.”
Jones-Buchanan kicked a conversion in his final game before hanging up his boots.
“I am happy for Jonesy,” Lui added “I have played in a couple of games when we’ve been sending off some legends – I played in Matty Bowen’s last game – and I had the same feeling then. We just wanted to get the job done.
“He led by example, he was our captain and I was happy for him and Abbo.”
It was also the last regular-season game for Warrington’s long-serving back-rower Ben Westwood. Lui said: “He coaches my missus in the Warrington women’s team. Benny’s from around here, he is a Yorkshire lad and a good bloke and I wish them all the best for the next chapter of their life.
“I didn’t get to play with Abbo, but the things he does at training are second to none. I think they will have a bit of family time, then on to the next chapter.”