Mental toughness...Darcy Lussick in action against the Brisbane Broncos, just three days after the passing of his mum. Photo: NRL Photos
Darcy Lussick is in a good head space.
A ‘new’ left shoulder, enjoying life on the northern beaches, and that passion to win a premiership with his beloved Sea Eagles.
2016 was a fine season for Lussick on the field, and a hard one off it for his close knit family. His mum, Cristy, passed away in May at the age of 42.
Lussick, the eldest of four siblings, put the grief aside to play his heart out for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles just three days later against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
“It wasn’t really a tough decision. My mum loved me playing rugby league and she would have been filthy if I hadn’t played,’’ Lussick said post-match.
The Beacon Hills Bears junior, with the support and love of the club, family and friends, bounced back to produce his finest season in the maroon and white jumper.
“When it happened, I was thinking about it. I could have gone two ways – sit around and feel sorry for myself, and not take it seriously, or I could get stuck in and have a have a go and be a good role model for my younger brothers,’’ Lussick said this week.
“I wanted to be there for my family, to show we could get through it. It was what my mum would have probably wanted as well.”
Lussick credited his form to being back at Narrabeen and training under Manly’s Head of Physical Performance, Dan Ferris.
“I guess I was just really happy to be back. I feel comfortable in the surroundings here. Manly is where I play my best footy,’’ Lussick added.
“The main thing was enjoyment. I enjoyed coming to training and playing again for Manly, especially at Brookie. I just really enjoyed my footy under Trent Barrett. He is a good young coach.
“Dan has been great for me. He got me in the best shape I have ever been. It helps when you are a front-rower and you are fit. It gets you through more work.”
Lussick is working on his rehab program after undergoing surgery following his last match, the golden point loss to the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
“It was a full reconstruction. I think there were four tears in the shoulder and they repaired the bicep as well. It was pretty big surgery. It feels like I have gone a brand new shoulder now,’’ Lussick said.
“I had a slight problem with the shoulder for a few years, but I could always play. It got really painful towards the end. Every collision against the Bulldogs just hurt.
“I was hoping to have a week or two off after that game, and then get back on the field, but it just didn’t respond to treatment. It was best that I went in and got it done. It just gives me time to train as much as I can in the pre-season.
“These next few weeks are a good opportunity to get my fitness up through plenty of running. I will be right after that to get stuck back in.”
As for his immediate goals for next season, Lussick was clear.
“I want success here at Manly. I want to win games, make the finals, and I want to win a premiership,’’ he stated.
Darcy Lussick 2016 stats
19 games, 809 minutes, 235 runs, 2381 metres, 1 line break, 8 offloads, 396 tackles, 59 missed tackles, 19 tackle breaks, 3 errors.
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