NRL flame still burns for Leary

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON

TOWNSVILLE Black­hawks sec­ondrower Blake Leary says his NRL dream is well and truly alive as finals ap­proach in the Queens­land Cup.

The 2014 Q Cup pre­mier­ship win­ner and 32- game NRL player has be­come an in­dis­pens­able part of the Black­hawks’ pre­mier­ship puz­zle, with his ex­pe­ri­ence and abil­i­ties of­ten prov­ing de­ci­sive in the weekly grind.

Leary be­came a valu­able in­clu­sion for the North Queens­land Cow­boys dur­ing their early sea­son in­jury woes, play­ing three games af­ter part­ing with the Manly Sea Ea­gles last year.

He came to Townsville to re­sume play­ing full games in his pre­ferred back- row role af­ter get­ting limited min­utes at Manly and, while his Cow­boys’ con­tri­bu­tion has ended for now, Leary is ea­ger to keep the NRL fire burn­ing head­ing into to­mor­row’s away game against Burleigh.

“All I can do is play my best footy,” said Leary, who also got a Queens­land Res­i­dents nod in May.

“That NRL dream – that fire – is still there for sure and I still think my best footy is ahead of me. I just have to make a strong run to the finals and see what hap­pens from there.

“It’s good to get a bit of con­sis­tency, that’s what I was look­ing for­ward to this year and I think I found it … play­ing in my pre­ferred po­si­tion.”

The Black­hawks play Burleigh, who are out of finals con­tention, in the first match of a four- game run to the Q Cup finals. They en­ter the Round 21 clash af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing 22- 20 loss to Ip­swich in Win­ton.

Leary was again a stand­out, scor­ing a much needed sec­ond- half try off a well- timed run.

“Ip­swich are a team you can’t let off for one sec­ond, but we did and we def­i­nitely weren’t at our best,” he said.

“They aren’t your stock stan­dard team, but we’ll re- eval­u­ate where we went wrong. We still have a lot of be­lief in our side and we have four games left, so hope­fully we have a strong run at finals and I’ll see what I can do to help the team at the end.”

Burleigh host Townsville at Pizzey Park to­mor­row from 5.45pm.

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