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Danny - The Best is Yet to Come
Posted by southstander on January 13 2005 - 17:32:35

Not Finished
Nothing could beat the feeling of seeing the Rhinos lift the Superleague Trophy for the first time. After nine years of watching Saints and Bradford dominate the competition, and take pleasure in rubbing our noses in it at every opportunity, we were finally released, the hoodoo broken.

So often the also rans, the Old Trafford win on the 16th October 2004 was a pressure release which saw grown men crying like babies, and gave an adrenaline rush beyond compare.

What was the moment that signified that release? At what point did I believe that the silversmith was pulling out his engraving tool? It was the moment that Danny McGuire skirted past the Bulls defence an scored in the corner to give us a six point lead with five minutes to go.

I won't be the only one who felt that Danny McGuire was their life-saver that early saturday evening at the Theatre of Dreams. For me it was the perfect end to a near perfect season, and a memory that each time I replay it in my mind, fills me with joy!

At twenty-two Danny McGuire is still only learning his trade. In the mix for Man-of-Steel and Best Newcomer at such a tender age, and from the pivotal position on the field, speaks volumes of the talent that the Rhinos have on their books.

Danny has shown that he is a big fish in the big Headingley pond, and I suspect that Gary Hetherington sees him as the key component of the Rhinos set-up for the next decade.

Too Little

But how much better can he get?

A lot of Dannys play reminds me of the mercurial Gary Schofield. Schofield was around Danny age when he joined from Hull in 1987, he dominated the side for the next seven years, often single handedly demolishing the opposition.

Schofield had the step, the turn of speed, the chip over, and the footballing brain that were the keys to unlock many defences. I've seen all of these in McGuire, and more.

Danny got his tilt at international honours last November, although Nobles Anti-Rhinos policy cut his game time short. He impressed when he was on the field and caused the Aussies a few problems, sadly, he was on his own!

He will be looking forward, along with several other overlooked Rhinos, to putting the record straight during Superleague X and the defence of our crown.

Danny is still some way from the finished article, a realisation that must strike fear into all Superleague defences. He will be targetted this year, but I believe that he has the right mentality to overcome any bully-boy tactics.

I remember speaking to him after Powell had dropped him for the 2003 Challenge Cup Final. He was understandably devastated, almost inconsolable. I remember my words to him then were, 'Remember how Sinny was dropped for the Murrayfield final, and look how he's bounced back. There will be bigger days that this, and then it will be your stage.'

How right he's proved me! No one deserves more.



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