NRL flame still burns for Leary
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.