In a triumphant display of athleticism, the Sydney Roosters secured a win over arch-rivals South Sydney in a nail-biting game that kept the team’s finals dreams aflame. However, for star player Luke Keary, this was second in significance as his wife Amy delivered their third son, Riley, just 24 hours prior to the game.
Keary’s formidable performance, despite his unusual preparation, undoubtedly acted as a beacon of hope to Roosters fans. The in-demand playmaker, 31, displayed heightened flair during the season’s second half, although he laughingly admitted that his training schedule against Souths was disrupted. He openly accepted, however, that the thrill of victory was transcended by the joyous arrival of his newborn son.
Recounting the hectic events, Keary said, “Thursday was a wild one, but once the baby arrived, I knew how important the game was, we’d been building up to it, and I tried to get my mind back on to Souths. In the sheds I could feel the boys were on. It was a pretty good feeling.”
In spite of the rumours in circulation only a few months ago suggesting Keary might hang up his boots at the season’s end, he has since been a standout for the Roosters, aiding their five-match unbeaten run. His dynamic combination with Sam Walker, who recently returned from a knee injury, has further elevated the team’s performance.
Keary, in his analysis of the spectacular turn of events, emphasised the essential role of consistent hard work and the imperative for the key players to excel. He mentioned the contributions of teammates Teddy, Siua Wong, Victor Radley, Terrell May, and Fletcher Baker in bracing the team’s morale.
His impressive gameplay is highly regarded by his teammates as well. Fellow Rooster Walker lauds Keary as an exceptional player who thrives in crucial moments and states, “He’s a big-game player, and that’s why he’s been at the top of the game for such a long time.”
Additionally, Billy Smith, who incidentally struck a security guard with an exuberant throw of the ball in the Souths’ game, praised Keary, likening him to “a fine wine, the older he gets, the better he gets.” Smith was confident in the Roosters‘ ability to make a strong finals push stating, “Our roster speaks for itself, once you’re in the finals – if we get there – it’s anyone’s game.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Tupou was withdrawn prior to the Souths clash, and with his knee currently in a brace, is unlikely to return for the coming weekend’s game. In positive news for the Roosters, Joey Manu, recovering from a hamstring injury, is looking positive for his first finals appearance in three years. Despite initial worries, Coach Trent Robinson claims, “He will be named Tuesday, and I’m confident he will get back there by the end of the week.”