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Out of Luck: ultimate Warrior bids farewell

Date

Ben Stanley

Heading home ... Micheal Luck.

Heading home ... Micheal Luck. Photo: Getty Images

IN ANY code, there are players whose value to their team goes beyond their deeds on the field.

Their presence is in every movement a team makes, whether playing or not; their weight behind every positive step.

Warriors second-rower Micheal Luck is one such player.

A hard-as-nails defender, he will run out onto Mt Smart Stadium for the last time tomorrow when the Warriors meet the Raiders in their last game of the season.

For the Warriors, there will be no football after Sunday. A season of under-achievement capped by the axing of coach Brian McClennan has put pay to that.

The ship will have to be righted next year, with rumours that co-owners Owen Glenn and Eric Watson will spare no expense to make the team a premiership contender.

For Luck, there will be no more football, full stop. Eleven hard years in the NRL, including five with his home state Cowboys, come to a close.

Eleven years. More than 7000 total tackles. Close to 1800 carries. Seven tries. More than 13,600 minutes played.

The praise has been gushing from all quarters this week. From Luck's team mates, to the Warriors coaching staff, to a cynical league media and public, who have endured a tough season along with a club that made last year's grand final.

''He's about the bravest bloke I've ever met,'' Warriors caretaker coach Tony Iro said.

''Every club has got one player who does all the nasty stuff, who never shirks a task. Never complains about injuries.

''Every club's got a real good one - we've got an outstanding one, so he'll be really missed over the next few years.''

Benched five-eighth James Maloney said: ''[Luck's final game] is a big motivating factor to put on a good performance. He's bled for this club for seven years.''

Luck has been humbled by the attention. For him, he's just been doing a job - and performing at the high standard he expects of each of his teammates.

''I'm really flattered with the attention I've got this week,'' the 30-year-old said. ''It's not why I've done what I've done, but I understand that it's all part and parcel of it. Some people have said some really amazing things this week, so [I'm] very, very grateful for all the good wishes I've had.''

Luck made his debut for the Warriors in round one against the Storm in 2006, and will bring up his 150th game for the club tomorrow. The figure is the highest ever for an Australian at the Warriors, 45 more than former hooker Nathan Fien.

Upon his departure from Auckland, Luck will return to Townsville, where he will take on the director of football job with the Cowboys.

Yet, typically for Luck, he doesn't want to get sentimental. His attention is on tomorrow, and the Warriors turning in a good performance to end their horror season and avoid creating a club record of eight straight losses on the trot.

''We've got to get back to playing the way we play well,'' Luck said. ''Defensively, we've been pretty brittle. Stuff like that is contagious. When confidence is low, it only takes one or two things to go against you and it's just like a snowball.''

You can bank on Luck giving it his all come tomorrow afternoon. And giving their admired teammate the send-off he deserves may inspire the Warriors to do something they haven't for nearly two months - win a game of footy.

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 14 vs SAM 12 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 16 vs ENG 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 16 vs ENG 14 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 44 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Final
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 22 vs AUS 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 22 6
Australia 3 2 1 0 12 4
England 3 1 2 0 0 2
Samoa 3 0 3 0 -34 0
View all
 
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