Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils: Ex-Red Robert Lui ‘can’t wait’ to tackle his former side

Robert Lui celebrates scoring Leeds Rhinos' third try at Castleford.
Robert Lui celebrates scoring Leeds Rhinos' third try at Castleford.
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STAND-OFF ROBERT Lui says it will be “all business” when he lines up for Leeds Rhinos at home to his former club Salford Red Devils tomorrow.

READ: YEP Jury share their relief after Rhinos win at Broncos

Salford's Jackson Hastings.

Salford's Jackson Hastings.

READ: Brett Ferres’ verdict on Rhinos’ season

Lui has helped turn Rhinos’ season around – securing their top-flight place for next year – since joining them 10 weeks ago in a deal which saw Tui Lolohea move the other way.

The Australian made 108 appearances for Salford and will be cheering them on once the play-offs start, but has no time for sentiment this week.

“I am happy for Salford, how they are going, but we want to finish off the season strong and I still think we have a lot to prove,” Lui said of tomorrow’s clash.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

“I’ve come here with a plan, I want to get back to where Leeds were in their heyday when they were winning everything.

“That’s one of my goals and I want to get through these next couple of games and then look forward to next year.

“Playing my old club, I can’t wait – it is going to be different, but it is all business for me.

“It is going to be a good game, I have got a lot of mates at Salford, but once I step on that footy field it’s different.

“I am a Leeds Rhino and I am going to give it to them.”

A club record six successive Betfred Super League wins have lifted Salford to fourth in the table and they could finish as high as second if they maintain their impressive run and other results go for them.

“They’ve hit some form,” said Lui who has pin-pointed his former half-back partner Jackson Hastings as a major threat.

“I think Jackson is going to get the Man of Steel.

“He has been good, when I was there with them he was killing it. He has found a belief.

“We have had a look at them, we know what they are going to bring but, for us it is just about turning up for each other.

“We owe it to the fans here – especially after the last time we played here, against Saints – and to ourselves too.

“We have come up against top-four sides before and we’ve struggled a bit.

“For us it is about believing in our game plan and just do anything to win.”

The threat of relegation has been lifted following last Sunday’s win at London Broncos, but Lui said Rhinos can’t afford to cruise through their final two games.

“In rugby league the pressure’s never off,” he warned. “There’s always pressure, whether it’s playing for contracts or to prove something.

“Personally, I still have something to prove. I want us to finish off strong and be close to the top-five. I think Leeds has been one of the top teams in ther last five or six weeks since I have got here.”

Rhinos veteran Jamie Jones-Buchanan will hang up his boots after next Friday’s visit of Warrington Wolves and Lui stressed that is another reason to finish the season strongly.

“We owe it to Jonesy, all the things he has been through as a Leeds lad ” he said.

“I have played in a few games where you know a club legend is going to come to an end and you want to play for that.

“I want to play for Jonesy.”