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Time for one last hurrah


Departing Eels' duo Nathan Hindmarsh and Luke Burt had a light-hearted chat with Adrian Proszenko about their careers on the eve of today's farewell.

Hindy-sight ... Eels stalwart Nathan Hindmarsh on the burst as a fresh-faced Eel soon after making his first-grade debut.

Hindy-sight ... Eels stalwart Nathan Hindmarsh on the burst as a fresh-faced Eel soon after making his first-grade debut. Photo: Getty Images

What were your first impressions of each other?

NH: He was pretty quiet. And he'll claim that we never hung out too much and that's probably true. Burty spent every second day back in Newcastle, so it was hard to hang out. But my first impressions of him: very polite, pretty quiet but very quick.

LB: First impressions were how athletic and fit he was for such a big guy. And the other thing - he didn't talk to me for the first couple of years. Brushed.

Surfy kid made good ... Parramatta winger Luke Burt takes a stroll on the beach in the lead-up to his NRL debut in 1999.

Surfy kid made good ... Parramatta winger Luke Burt takes a stroll on the beach in the lead-up to his NRL debut in 1999. Photo: Stefan Moore

What do you remember about each other's NRL debut?

NH: That his jersey was probably 10 times too big for him. But he held his own. A debut in front of 110,000 fans - he had a solid game, from what I can remember. Debuts can make or break footy players.

LB: It was the year before me. I know it was in Parkes because he's told me a lot about it. I didn't watch it.

Did you think he'd last in the NRL?

NH: Of course I did. The reason why? He was never one to shrug training, he'd always work hard at what he had to do, whether it be goal-kicking, tackling. He was always working hard to try to improve his game. Those type of players tend to last a lot longer. He's had to change the way he's played. When you think of wingers you think of speed, that type of stuff. Obviously as Burty has gotten older the speed hasn't been there but he's gotten smarter, he's a good thinker of the game. What he lacked in speed towards the end of his career he made up for in smarts.

LB: Definitely. When I first came into first grade I always knew he was going to make it. He may have even been playing for Australia at the end of my first year, but it was definitely the next year.

What's the most embarrassing moment of his career?

NH: Burty is pretty cruisy, nothing really rattles him. Probably getting up on The Footy Show in a fashion parade. [Laughing] I was embarrassed for him then! … We looked at some photos the other day and he had the old shark-tooth necklace, the blond hair and all that type of stuff.

LB: He enjoys his arse being shown. He's one of those blokes who doesn't miss any tackles, so when he does miss that odd one, that's probably when he gets most embarrassed, Hindy.

What's an embarrassing anecdote that has never been told about him?

NH: There's nothing. He's done nothing.

AP: Not even in 14 Mad Mondays?

NH: It's quite tame. We just hold our own. We're pretty much the last ones there on Mad Monday. Nothing really. There was a Mad Monday he couldn't come to because he had a baby. That's not an excuse, I think, no. I was pretty disappointed that just because he'd had a kid, he couldn't come to Mad Monday. Make sure you put sarcasm in my voice when you print that!

LB: I think he's given away most of his secrets in his book.

Who was more popular with the ladies when you both burst onto the NRL scene?

NH: Burty! Most popular with the ladies. Definitely! Well, the ladies of the right age group. See, as a younger guy I got the mothers and the grandparents but Burty got the 18- and 19-year-olds as well as a mix of the mums.

LB: Of course I'm going to say me. Although he'd say the opposite.

Who would make a better coach?

NH: I think Burty probably would, he's got a bit more patience than what I do. I think we'd both go all right but Burty has the patience for it … I think we could both be good assistants. I wouldn't mind assisting Burty. If he wanted to take the top job, I could easily assist him.

LB: In time he would. He'd be a great assistant coach to any club. He'd be excellent at that straight away, right now. I think in time he'd make a great NRL coach.

Who is the most annoying teammate?

NH: Michael Vella. Just a pest.

LB: Michael Vella. Hands down.

Who handles their drink better?

NH: [Laughing] Definitely Burty.

LB: I'd probably get pissier first but I can drink longer than him.

What has been your highlight?

NH: Fifteen years is going to be my highlight. There's all those other things, too - making Origin, winning the World Cup. But my highlight has just been playing 15 years at this club.

LB: Probably the mates I've played with. I've made some great mates, obviously with Hindy and Nathan Cayless and Vella, those type of guys. All the blokes I've met have been a great bunch of blokes, I haven't met any idiots. There's been a couple of little rep games I got to play in which is also another highlight.

What's your lowlight?

NH: The obvious ones, losing grand finals. There's never been a lowlight, just the ups and downs of playing rugby league.

LB: It's a bit of a highlight and lowlight, the two grand finals. They were a highlight but losing them was a bit tough. Probably one of the lowlights and it has been well documented, was the goal I missed against the Tigers to send it into extra time. I think it was 20-18 and I missed one from 30 metres out, practically in front. That was another ordinary day.

Who's smarter?

NH: Definitely me. Burty is thick as two short planks. He might have some street smarts but just no commonsense.

AP: Isn't he doing uni?

NH: Anyone can do uni these days. You can get on a computer and look up your answers.

LB: Me. Easy.

Who has been the best player you have played with or against?

NH: It's hard to go past Andrew Johns. I've played with and against him. Shane Webcke, Petero Civoniceva, Danny Buderus, Nath Cayless, Johnathan Thurston, Burty … the list goes on. I think of someone who doesn't give up. You can be beaten but if you keep trying, that's good enough for me. And their game doesn't change, they're out there giving 100 per cent all the time.

LB: The best player is probably Jason Smith. Skilful, competitive, he had everything, he was probably the best. Closely followed by the likes of Hindy and all of them, but Jason Smith was the best I played with. Against? Definitely Andrew Johns.

Any strange pre-game rituals?

NH: He likes to shave his body. He likes to ''manscape'' himself before every game. Since the beginning. Because Burty is quite a hairy gentleman. He says [manscaping] makes him feel faster.

LB: I know he doesn't wash the swimmers he wears week to week. They just sit in his bag. That's what he does. And he always has Subway for lunch.

Who is the grumpier captain - Cayless or Hindmarsh?

NH: Cayless. Definitely. He got nicknamed Captain Grumpy. Don't worry about that, that speaks for itself.

LB: While Cayless was captain he was much grumpier than Hindy. But since Cayless has retired Hindy has taken over that mantle. He's just as grumpy as Cayless, he's exactly the same. They're both grumpy bastards.

Who's been the best coach you've had?

NH: Brian Smith. Just because of what he instilled in us as young guys and because of what he has taught me.

LB: That's a tough one. I'd have to say Brian Smith. With the start, he did a lot for me. He taught me a lot, the ropes in NRL and also he taught me a lot outside of footy. I've enjoyed all my coaches a lot. One of my better years was under Michael Hagan, I really enjoyed my time under Hages. He was another wonderful coach I really enjoyed playing under.

If he was down to his last $10, how would he spend it?

NH: His family, definitely. He'd do something with his kids.

LB: [Laughing] Poker machines! Nah, I'd like to think he'd spend it doing something with the kids.

Who'll cope better in life post-football?

NH: Burty, hands down.

LB: He will definitely have more tears than me in life post-football. When we go away together in the off-season he'll be crying a lot more than what I will be.

You've holidayed together. Is he active or is it more a lazy holiday?

NH: We're on par there. We both like to spend time with the kids, but as we start to wear them down and they get tired, we bring out the Esky and we start getting into cruise mode. But we'll spend a lot of the day wearing the kids out so we can sit down with a beer and have a relax ourselves and a chin wag.

LB: We holiday together, along with Cayless. He's very active, he struggles to relax, Hindy. Sometimes it's a bit annoying how active he is. When you're on holidays you're meant to relax. But when the kids are in bed, he does relax then.

Who is quicker over 150 metres?

NH: Me, probably. Burty has got me over 50 but then I just start winding up and I'd get him over 150. He's got the starts but I'd click into gear, definitely.

LB: He'd be coming at me but I'd hold on. The long distance stuff, he'd get me, but under 200 metres, I'd kill him.

Who will get the last kick at goal if the Eels score at the end?

NH: I'd like to have a kick at goal, but I don't want to take the last kick. That's something that should be left up to Burty, I think. It would be nice if the full-time siren has gone, we're in the lead and he gets to kick the goal.

LB: Without fail, he'll get a kick in the last game. We'll make sure he gets a kick.

Related Coverage

NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Report Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Report Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29 vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20 vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20 vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12 vs MAN 4 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16 vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Report Stats
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17 vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16 vs BRI 26 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16 vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW vs STG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 12 vs CRO 20 Report Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 6 vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 22 vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs NEW 6 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 16 vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32 vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22 vs MAN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR 10 vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31 vs CBY 6 Report Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT 32 vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28 vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17 vs SYD 16 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
WST 22 vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22 vs PAR 28 Report Stats
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 18 vs SOU 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14 vs WST 38 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NZW 28 vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24 vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10 vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28 vs PAR 16 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN 26 vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 8 vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36 vs WST 4 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 56 vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16 vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23 vs CBY 16 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 30 vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10 vs MEL 28 Stats
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 16 vs STG 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY 10 vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31 vs BRI 20 Report Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR 13 vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22 vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16 vs SOU 12 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG 32 vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22 vs WST 12 Stats
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 10 vs PEN 11 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:45ANZ
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NQL 19:30CSS
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO Stadium
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs WST 19:45BO
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs SYD 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
MAN vs BRI 00:00TBA
WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
CBY vs GCT 00:00TBA
NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
PEN vs NZW 00:00Pepper Stadium
CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
WST vs NZW 00:00CSS
GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
CBY vs NZW 00:00ANZ
NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
Melbourne Storm 10 7 3 0 14
St George-Illawarra Dragons 10 7 3 0 14
Brisbane Broncos 10 7 3 0 14
North Queensland Cowboys 10 7 3 0 14
Sydney Roosters 10 5 5 0 10
Canberra Raiders 10 5 5 0 10
South Sydney Rabbitohs 10 5 5 0 10
Warriors 10 5 5 0 10
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