Manly prop Darcy Lussick can't hide his pride when thinking about playing his 100th NRL game in the maroon and white jersey.
A local junior from the Beacon Hill Bears Club, Lussick will achieve the honour when he lines up for the Sea Eagles against South Sydney Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium this Monday night in round 20 of the Telstra Premiership.
Lussick made his NRL debut for Manly against North Qld Cowboys at Brookvale Oval in round 14 of the 2011 season. He played another year for the Sea Eagles and ended up playing 31 games for Manly before playing 53 matches for Parramatta over the next three seasons.
He then returned ‘home’ this season. In his 15 matches this season, Lussick has been a real leader in the Sea Eagles’ quest to make the finals.
Lussick made an incredible 210 metres from 17 runs, and made 30 tackles, in very heavy conditions in the Golden Point win over the Warriors in Perth last Saturday.
The 27-year-old said wearing the Manly jersey for his 100th match was a ‘pretty special’ honour.
“It has been a long time coming and I’ve had a few stop-starts along the way,’’ he said.
“I’m really happy to celebrate it here at Manly.
“Since I’ve come back from Parramatta, I feel like I have gone up another level. It has probably been a few years coming to where I wanted to get to.
“There is always room to improve but I’m pretty happy with the way I am going at the moment and I hope I can continue it on.”
Sea Eagles Captain Jamie Lyon said Lussick deserves the accolades.
“It is a massive milestone for Darcy. He has probably been our best in the last eight weeks, along with Jake Trbojevic and Tom Trbojevic. They have all been outstanding,’’ Lyon said.
“Darcy has really got us on the front foot. It is a great milestone.”
Queensland Origin prop Nate Myles was also full of praise for his team-mate.
“He’s probably been one of our better players, an unsung hero to be honest. What he has been doing up front week in week out has been fantastic,’’ Myles said.
“You talk about young blokes training hard, he’s an old bloke that doesn’t train hard, but he plays fantastic football and 100 games is a big achievement.”
Hooker Apisai Koroisau said Lussick had work hard to overcome a tough pre-season.
“I didn’t see him in pre-season, he had a niggling knee injury for three months,’’ Koroisau said.
“He has really come into his own and been a leader for us in the last few weeks.
“Off the field, Darcy is really quiet in person, but he’s one of those keyboard warriors on social media.
“The calibre of players that we have in this team with the likes of Martin Taupau and Jake Trbojevic, it’s not easy to step up and be one of our best, but he definitely has been in the last few weeks.”