Cronulla Sharks & Toronto Wolfpack MUST Win For Leutele

Ric Chapman 21 Sep 2018
  • Cronulla can take Ricky Leutele to Grand Final
  • Toronto can take Ricky Leutele to Super League
Ricky Leutele needs both Cronulla and Toronto to win this weekend

So, what are we looking at here?

Six, probably closer to seven billion people on the planet and only one, a solo man living in Cronulla near the beach in NSW Australia, is at this particular emotional cross roads.

His name is Ricky Leutele, an Aussie born rugby league juggernaut who has Samoan parents and a passion for the great game.

But this weekend, oh this weekend, is indeed a nexus of emotions for him.

And why? 

Well he alone could, if the Good Lord wills, the creeks don't rise, and the universe so deems it - become the ONLY man on the planet to make it on the same weekend into the holy of holies - the NRL Grand final, then while nursing that joy and a few bumps etc, watch his next team, force their way via qualification into the English Super League.

Leutele currently plays centre for the Cronulla Sharks and they take on arch and often bitter rivals, Melbourne Storm on Friday night Sydney time, for a place in the 2018 Grand Final.

Then on Sunday morning in Australia, Leutele will get up and watch the Toronto Wolfpack, the team he is a marquee signing for next year, play for what amounts to a spot in the English Super league competition next year.

"I watch every one of their games and will be cheering them on from down here," he said. "They play hard and they play well. I hope to be joining the boys in November."

It would be a meteoric rise for the Toronto based team if they do beat Widnes and as such, make their way into the top 2 on the Super 8 ladder. After this weekend there will be just 2 games left and the top 3 teams on that 8-team ladder, will be promoted.

So much hinges on this weekend’s result at Lamport Stadium in Toronto, it is probably as much as Leutele’s Cronulla Sharks.

Pressure, pressure, pressure.

"I love Cronulla and I'm so looking forward to playing with the Wolfpack next year," said Leutele who shocked everyone when he accepted what many believe was a 7 figure sum to live the Shire where he has made a huge name for himself.

And it’s a name Shire folk in Cronulla will always remember. Let’s not forget, this was the bloke who drove the great Sonny Bill Williams back with sheer force of will and strength one day. Nearly knocked him out such was the ferocity and perfect tackling technique.

This was the bloke who also made ’THAT' game saving tackle late in the 2016 Grand Final to help his Sharks hang on for victory.

Leutele, who will strengthen the Wolfpack's backline and defence in a way they've never seen before, is not just another star of the future.

He is so talented in the back line, with his speed and evasiveness being added extras to his tackling, he’s an under stated but admired star. He’s one of those softly spoken, 'let me do my talking on the field', honest, hard-working, tough-as-nails NRL stars, the type who leapfrogs the stage of the controversial and the grubby rugby league players.

He will probably never be a national hero for his play, but he is something of a Cronulla Sutherland Shire curiosity in a region which loves its footy stars.

So why the move across the globe?

"It was a hard decision," Leutele has stated. “Toronto came from left field with their generous offer and the wife and I had a long night talking about it. I had to make the decision for my family.

"The boys were all happy for me and they wished me well. I just want to finish this year strong and get to where we were in 2016 (when Cronulla won the NRL title)."

On Friday night in Sydney, they face the team they beat in that epic 2016 Grand Final, and it's also the same team they've beaten 2 out of 2 times this year - Melbourne.

"Ricky has been a quality player for a long period of time," said Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan. "He's a very under rated player but someone highly valued within our group."

As he will be in Toronto also...probably more so.

Cronulla to win                     $3.20 with Ladbrokes
Cronulla with +8.5                $1.95 with Ladbrokes
Ricky Leutele to score first   $23    with Ladbrokes

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Cronulla Sharks & Toronto Wolfpack MUST Win For Leutele

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