Luke makes win­ning pos­si­ble

South Taranaki Star - - FRONT PAGE - GOR­DON BROWN

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.

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