TOUGH AS teak forward Brett Delaney played through the pain barrier to be part of Leeds Rhinos history.
The back-rower featured in Rhinos’ 22-20 Grand Final win over Wigan Warriors just eight days after suffering a severe dead leg in semi-final beating of St Helens.
He didn’t train in the early part of the week and revealed his involvement was in the balance right up to the day before the game.
Delaney has now won three Super League titles and he said: “I didn’t know I’d be playing until Friday.
“It was touch and go, I hit a nerve in my knee, trapped a nerve and I didn’t run.
“I had to cross my fingers and my toes and I didn’t know until Friday when I had a run and I pulled up all right.”
But Delaney said if there was ever a time to take a risk, it was in the game two days ago, with Leeds’ first clean sweep of available trophies on the line.
“It was the last game of the year, do or die, so I had nothing to lose,” he conceded.
“I think you’d have to chop a leg off for me not to play.
“I am just grateful I got through the game.”
Delaney described the feeling at the final whistle as “unbelievable”.
He said: “To do the treble, when just five weeks ago everybody was writing us off, is fantastic.
“To finish on that high, especially for the three boys who are leaving and the great coaching staff we have here, is great.
“It is overwhelming, very humbling.”
There was no score in the final 17 minutes of a tense final and Delaney said he didn’t think the game was won “until the last minute”.
He added: “That’s us, that’s Leeds – it’s how we do it. We do it the hard way and it shows the character we’ve got.
“It was never over, Wigan threw everything at us, but we held on.
“We knew they’d throw everything at us, but it’s a Grand Final and you’ve just got to put your body on the line.
“There’s 17 blokes – more than that, there’s a whole squad – who do that week-in and week-out.
“They stand shoulder to shoulder every week and I am just proud of them.”