Luke makes winning possible
OPINION: They sure breed them tough in South Taranaki.
Over the years there have been many examples, with All Black Graham Mourie and Silver Fern Adine Harper just a couple of examples.
Both Mourie and Harper captained their national teams and were outstanding role models. That didn’t stop them from being uncompromising, tough players and netball in particular would love to have an Adine Harper back in the mess that is the current Silver Ferns. If they keep that sort of tragic form up it might make the marketing bods at an international meat firm of the same name want to change their name.
All of this brings us to the latest addition to such an elite group, Hawera born-and-bred Issac Luke. What a remarkable athlete the Warriors’ hooker is.
As far as rugby league is concerned there have always been plenty of hard men in their ranks, with former Hawera player Graham West a notable example.
West captained the Kiwis and was a hard but fair forward with a great work ethic. Physically he was the opposite of Luke, being a tall lanky player, and that’s not a description anyone would ever use about Luke who is typically described as nuggety, a word sports scribes reserve for short (by comparison) players.
Luke has been a revelation this year and capped off a memorable season with a man-of-thematch performance against St George Dragons a couple of weeks ago.
Then he was injured against Melbourne and the Warriors got belted after Luke left.
His knee injury was reportedly going to put him out of action for four weeks. That might have been true for any other player, but Luke amazingly was back on the field on Saturday as the Warriors thumped Wests. Then tragedy struck as he left the field with a dislocated shoulder.
Out for four-six weeks is the best estimate. We’ll see.
Issac Luke makes a run down field in the . NRL Premiership rugby league match Vodafone Warriors v Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium.