Rhyse Martin: Grand Final heartache will spur us on

Rhyse Martin Leeds Rhinos SWpix
Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Leeds forward Rhyse Martin says the Rhinos will use their Grand Final defeat as motivation to go one better next season.

The Rhinos were outclassed 24-12 by champions St Helens, who made history as they became the first Super League club to win four titles in a row.

“They came firing off the blocks,” Martin said. “The try just before half-time when we’d been on the back foot gave us a bit of hope, but they came out for the second half and put it straight back on us.

“But you dream of this as a kid. It’s my first one and you get goosebumps walking out to the fireworks.

“Seeing them spray the champagne and lift the trophy at the end, that’s what I want, that’s what the team wants.

“Tonight wasn’t the night for us, but it lit that fire. I’m excited for next year because we’ve got the team to do it.”

World Cup on the horizon for Rhyse Martin

Martin will in his second World Cup for Papua New Guinea this autumn – but he could also feature in Leeds’ match against New Zealand at Headingley on October 8.

“I’ll see what the boss wants me to do,” Martin said said. “I’ll let my body heal and I’ve got the PNG camp coming up for the World Cup.

“They’re coming over on October 4 and it’s exciting.

“I get to see some old friends I haven’t seen for a long time and get to meet some new players that have come into the squad.

“I also get to go back to the culture of where I’m from and that’s something to look forward to. The PNG camp is always enjoyable.”

KUMULS: How Papua New Guinea could line-up at the Rugby League World Cup

Martin was born and raised in Australia and is of Papua New Guinean heritage through his father, who is from Hula in the Central Province.

The former Canterbury Bulldogs forward has won 11 caps for the Kumuls so far. He also represented his PNG heritage at the Nines World Cup in 2019.

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About Drew Darbyshire 8513 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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