Warrington Wolves v Leeds Rhinos: Returning veteran Rob Lui full of praise for young Rhinos
TONIGHT’S GAME at Warrington Wolves is a second step towards stand-off Rob Lui’s goal of leaving Leeds Rhinos on a high.
Lui made his comeback from long-term injury in the 48-18 win over Leigh Centurions four days ago.
The 31-year-old Aussie, who will retire from elite-level rugby at the end of the current campaign, had been sidelined since suffering a quad injury in pre-season.
With injuries and suspensions leaving Rhinos down to the bare bones, he was drafted into the starting line-up, despite not having trained for the game and is included in Leeds’ initial squad for this evening.
“It was good,” Lui said of his comeback.
“To be honest, I was a bit tired – I hadn’t played since our last game of last season, against Catalans, but it was good to be out there and I was proud of the young boys.
“They really stepped up, people like young Tom [Holroyd] and the leadership from Dog [Brad Dwyer] and Kruise [Leeming].
“I can see a big difference from last year and it is only going to get better.
“We didn’t have Galey [Luke Gale], or Konny [Konrad Hurrell] or Richie [Myler], but I was proud of the boys.”
Leeming, normally a hooker, played alongside Lui as an emergency scrum-half.
It was Leeming’s second successive game in that position and third match in seven days and Lui said: “Credit to him, he has been chucked in as makeshift half-back, but he just plays what he sees.
“He is a rugby player and he competes, that’s the main thing.
“We got along good and everyone fed off him and it was good to get the win.”
Lui will again go into tonight’s game without any training under his belt, with the short turnaround restricting Leeds to just their captain’s run session yesterday.
“I didn’t train,” he said of the build up to last week.
“All I had was the captain’s run and then I played.
“That’s why I was a bit tired, but the boys helped me out.
“I just need some games – I have got the smarts, I have been playing for 12 or 13 years now so it’s just about getting k’s in my legs and then everything will come, it is second nature.”
Of tonight, Lui added: “For me it is just doing my re-hab’, recover and then go into Warrington.
“They’ve been one of the best teams this year, it is going to be tough, but I have got confidence in my team.
“We will get a few players back and we can only get better.”
Rhinos are on a three-match winning streak and Lui reckons they have turned a corner.
“It has not just been individual players standing out, it has been a collective, through the squad,” Lui said.
“It has come down from Rich, Longy and Kev [coach Richard Agar, assistant Sean Long and director of rugby Kevin Sinfield] – we just go out and give it our all and whatever the outcome is, we deal with it and learn from it.”
Lui will return to Australia at the end of this season, where he plans to play second grade rugby in Queensland.
He is determined to make the most of every game before then and insisted: “I enjoyed it on Thursday, it was good to play in front of our fans – they drive you and lift you.
“It was good to be out there, having fun, playing what I love and what I’ve done for a long time.
“When it comes to the end I know it is going to be hard, but I am just going to take every game as if it’s my last.”
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