All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the site.
It was very fitting that our glorious captain Kevin Sinfield paid tribute to the squad members who didnít make the final seventeen for the Grand Final Saturday night. However it was very bitter to dedicate the victory to those who wrote the team off as well. On the topic of bitterness I found it very disappointing that Weller Hauraki was omitted from the final seventeen last Saturday despite playing a major part in getting the Rhinos to the Super League Grand Final.
He was displaced by Ali Lauiti'iti, who played his 200th and final game for the Rhinos. In the bigger picture of things its right and a fitting ending for one of our biggest stars of the Superleague era. There is no denying that he had a fine game, however I feel that it was morally wrong for him to play at the expense of someone who has come on 'in leaps and bounds' this season and whose performance at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium that helped put the Rhinos in the final.
Aliís career at the Rhinos has, at times, been a joy to witness. Unfortunately the final chapter of his Leeds career was a hard one to take. I hope that he returns to his best for Wakefield because he was just a worthy passenger in his final game for Leeds. He had a great pass and nearly scored a try which indicated some rolling back of the years. But none of this justify his selection ahead of someone who earned his spot in the final game of the season surely?
I donít expect much outrage over this farce. However, I can only begin to imagine the reaction if an injured Keith Senior took Zak Hardakers place in the Grand Final squad. Thankfully this wasnít to be, and we all got to witness a superb try from the find of the season in the closing seconds of the game. Something that Iím sure Keith Senior would have failed to do in his current state. If your reading this Keith then I wish you all the best in pastures new and thanks for everything.
Finally I just want to congratulate Leeds Rhinos on another fantastic Grand Final victory. Iím guessing that the World Club Challenge will be next and hopefully Weller can be a part of that final since he missed out on this one. Hopefully there is some justice in this world!
P.S. - The Damo Bit is now on twitter