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Issac Luke's bid to become an 80 minute player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs

Rsag85

Rsag85

RABBITOHS ace Issac Luke has thanked coach Michael Maguire for showing him tough love, describing last season's dumping as the "kick up the arse I needed".

Of all the change he generated last season, Maguire's call to axe the Kiwi ace on finals eve best illustrated the cultural and disciplinary transformation at Redfern.

Luke was dropped for lapsing on and off the field, but returned a changed player who ran amok through the ruck in South Sydney's semi-final win over Canberra.

The 25-year-old rake also returned to pre-season training last November a week earlier than required in a bid to become an 80-minute player this season.

Speaking for the first time about last season's sacking, Luke yesterday accepted full responsibility for dropping his standards below what is now expected under Maguire.

Breaking curfew and getting into a training stoush might not be the most severe breaches, but Luke has learned the hard way they won't be tolerated.

"I didn't do anything that bad, but I was naughty," he said. "Madge changed the club around and had everyone on the same page.

"I didn't go off the rails or anything like that. But I did put expectations on myself at the start of last year and I broke my own rules.

"It was my awakening. It was the kick up the arse I needed. We've all got to grow up some day and you can't be 21 every year. I have to put ownership on myself and I take full responsibility for the consequences."

The maturation of Luke, already a father in his early 20s, took another step when he married after last October's Trans-Tasman Test in Townsville. But the newlyweds have postponed their honeymoon until the conclusion of this year's World Cup in November, with Luke grabbing the rare opportunity to complete a full pre-season.

After sharing hooking duties with Nathan Peats last year, Luke is determined to make the spot his own.

"I came back a week early with all the other boys, because I've not really had a full pre-season since 2008," Luke said.

"I've always managed to make the Kiwis team, and usually those boys don't start serious training until early in the New Year.

"Hopefully it will help me out at the end of this season.

"I want to try and get fitter and stay out there as long as I can.

"I can't run like I do for 80 minutes if I don't do the extra work. That's my goal, but Peatsy is there too and he's a quality player.

"He's always pushing me and keeping me on my toes."

Luke's other goal is to erase the pain of coming so close to his first grand final berth.

Souths bowed out to Canterbury on the penultimate weekend after losing halfback Adam Reynolds late in the first half.

Luke took over at No.7 but conceded he was not ready to make the switch in such a high stakes game.

"I thought if that little punk arse (Reynolds) didn't get injured, we were a chance," he said.

"I went to the halves and I didn't know what was happening.

"They threw everything at me and there were a lot of linebreaks up the middle.

"I don't want to take anything away from the Bulldogs, but it would've been a good game if he stayed on.

"I would rather lose in the grand final than that game.

"It has given us a lot of hunger to get back there as a team.

"And in my dreams we can go even better."

* http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/issac-lukes-bid-to-become-an-80-minute-player-for-the-south-sydney-rabbitohs/story-e6frexnr-1226556151240 
View all 30 comments
MrChook

MrChook

Agree. Luke should play about 50 to 60 mins per game. He is at his most effective that way. It would be at Souths detriment to play him for the whole game. He would need to pace himself to last the distance and Souths attack, particularly those scoots from dummy half, would suffer.

His defense would also suffer. He is an ordinary defender as it is, imagine how bad it would be in the last 10 minutes of each game when he is out on his feet. 
Rsag85

Rsag85

I don't see how Issac Luke is a risk playing the full 80, he's best year so far was when he was a 80min performer in 2010. Our best performances last year was with Issac Luke playing the full 80, Peats to me doesn't offer much in attack IMO he's more of a defence player you never see him running out of dummy half much.

But your using Issac size saying and I quote

"It's a long,hard tough season & it's an extremely big ask for a small man to carry that load every match for 26 wks."

But what about young Reynolds? He's smaller then Issac and also plays in a key position so what about him? 
bandwagon

bandwagon

Agree with Doyen and Chook, playing 80 mins is far less important than delivering quality for 50 - 60.

As for using Reynolds as an example as you did Saggy, how does that relate at all? A very poor argument, for reasons that should be more than obvious. 
Doyen

Doyen

Issac is in the engine room being belted up or trying to belt others up constantly.Not an easy thing to do wk in & wk out for 80 mins.Burn out is a major concern.
A good half plays most of the game in a dinner suit by comparison!
Peats is 3 yrs younger & less experienced than Issac & is still learning the ropes but mark my words,he is an outstanding prospect & an excellent backup dummy half!! 
Rsag85

Rsag85

How is that related to my argument? Are you serious ? Doyen used the Issac size on why he shouldn't play the full 80 saying he is to small but Reynolds is smaller in size and also playing in a key role where he will be targeted alot during a game and a full season 
bandwagon

bandwagon

Hooker and Half back. FFS. Size is relative to position, the work rate in terms of impact is not even comparable.

Trying to do so is laughable. But then I should be used the Idea by now that you believe a Half's most important role is in defence. 
Doyen

Doyen

Size was not my main reason;most hookers are smallish & are interchanged during games to keep them fresh for quality introduction to the game;you're trying to compare the heat of the engine-room to the relative coolness for a half---he is arguably our most valuable player & should be used the right way;he is vital to our chances in the long-term--he should play about 60 quality mins in a game,in general!
We don't want him going off the boil come September because he is jaded. 
Rsag85

Rsag85

I'm comparing the position I'm comparing the size of the two players, halves get targeted alot during the season you should know that being a eels fan and all. 
bandwagon

bandwagon

You can't make that comparison and have it mean anything without taking into account the requirements of their position.

Your obsession with Luke as an 80 minute player blinds you to his defensive deficiencies and the importance of defence for a starting hooker. 
Rsag85

Rsag85

I have and I did.

Issac is a good defence player he makes more one on one tackles then Peats and he's tackling rate is high as well and still does more in attack then most.

This is a fact most of our try's at the start of the season just before Issac got the 3 week banned came from Issac Luke's dummy half runs, to get the best out of our key players eg Inglis, Issac is a must a 80min hooker 
rabbitohs95

rabbitohs95

I think Issac's lasting in a game should be determined on how he's going and how tired he is, sure he could play a majority pf the games for 80 minutes, and sometimes we have both of them on the field at the same time but if he's busted his arse for 60 minutes and is clearly getting tired, bring Peats on for sure. 
bandwagon

bandwagon

Seems Maguire believes Peats has a role to play at hooker, that being the case, how will Luke manage 80 mins? 
Rsag85

Rsag85

I hope Maguire saw the light after the Raiders game seeing how great Luke can performer for a long period, Peats should remain as a lock 
Rsag85

Rsag85

By James MacSmith AAP Fri, Feb 01, 2013 - 2:27 PM

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire is banking on the NRL's most explosive hooking combination to finally break the club's 42-year premiership drought.

Last year, Issac Luke cemented his status as one of the game's premier No.9s with some stunning big-game performances for the Rabbitohs.

And while Maguire has backed the New Zealand international to continue that stellar form this season, he has also nominated his back-up Nathan Peats as one of the players to watch in 2013.

Luke responded to his late-season dumping from the Rabbitohs side, due to off-field disciplinary issues, by producing career-best form as Souths surged to within one game of the grand final.

Peats provided more than able support and even started a few games ahead of Luke.

It was a combination that pushed Souths to within one win of their first grand final since 1971 and one that is set to spark the Rabbitohs again this season.

"Issac grew and evolved as a player last year and we were all happy to see that," Maguire told AAP.

"He showed a lot of improvement in his game and was able to take advantage of a lot of good work by the players around him. He was one player who grew into the season and into what we expected as the season went on.

"And (this pre-season) I have really enjoyed watching Nathan Peats develop. He has been outstanding in training and I expect him to continue that through the trials and into the season. I like the style he plays with, he is a very hard worker and a real student of the game. It will be exciting to see what he can do."

Maguire said the club's depth in the hooking department was an indication of the keen competition across the team for first grade spots.

"There is some depth there and that is what every coach wants to see and I would like to think that is the case across the board," Maguire said.

"You look at Luke Burgess' injury - it is so disappointing for him, he has been working so hard - but it opens things up for someone else. Front row is one of the most competitive positions in the team and it gives someone else the chance to be part of the team."

Burgess is sidelined for six months with a shoulder injury. Co-captain Matt King (broken arm) is the Rabbitohs' other main injury worry and Maguire said he was hopeful the former Kangaroos centre would be fit for the round-one clash with arch-rivals Sydney Roosters on March 7.

"Matt has had a few problems because the break got infected," Maguire said.

"It is a bit of a setback but we will know more in a few weeks, whether the break has healed well or not and whether he will be fit for round one."

http://www.nrl.com/luke,-peats-to-pr...4/default.aspx 
bandwagon

bandwagon

That was the article to which I was referring. 
Rsag85

Rsag85

As I said Peats should remain in the lock position. That's where he is pick in the all stars game and he was overlook in the hooker role by a player without a club in Waddell. 
Doyen

Doyen

It looks from that article that Madge has Peats & Luke of pretty equal importance.Peats already,it appears,is held in very high esteem by the coach.Personally,I reckon Peats is already as good a player as Issac, with more versatility for good measure.
The players that will mean the real difference in 2013 are players like Peats,Clarke,the Burgess twins,Tyrrell,Everingham etc.
If guys like Peats & Clarke,with 2 or 3 seasons behind them & youth on their side don't step up to the plate than we will have some problems!
I'm not counting on guys like Crocker,Asotasi & King to save the day! 
Rsag85

Rsag85

If you where compare the two players game the stand out in attack is Issac and in defence Issac wins that one as well, he's a better one on one tackler then Peats and has a better tackling % then him as well, Peats is more suited as a lock forward but I feel he needs work on his attacking game. 
rabbitohs95

rabbitohs95

I feel as though Peats would be a better lock than hooker and he'd have a very slippery way of attacking, by slipping through defenders rather than eat metres and run into the opposition 
Doyen

Doyen

Peats is 3 yrs younger than Issac & still learning the dummy half game.Even last year Issac had to have his arse kicked because the coach wasn't happy with him.Issac's game depends almost totally on dummy-half running.He is not the typical hooker like Cam Smith & Robbie Farah who have excellent kicking games & deft passing games.
He is fairly one-dimensional & other teams should be able to work him out & shut him down.He is basically a strong running dummy half & a strong defender.He is very good at what he does but IMO his game has limitations!
Not that Peats is any better at this early stage but when he is 25 yrs like Issac in another 3 seasons,I would predict he will develop into a better,more complete, all round hooker.
I do agree that Peats will be a terrific lock as well & is a perfect utility player for our team.
He reminds me of Paul SAIT who is possibly the best STHS utility I've seen.He played centre,5/8,lock,2nd row & finished up as a prop.He was good enough to rep for Aust.in any of those posses!If he evolves to anywhere like Sait we will be extremely lucky!
We need 2 good hookers in our side & I believe that Madge will go that way with Peats & Luke. 
Rsag85

Rsag85

Teams have trouble shutting Issac down just ask the Raiders mate, he's passing game isn't as bad as you make it out to be.

Peats will never over take Issac IMO and in fact I see Koroisau over taking Peats as our second choice hooker.

Issac hopefully this year will remain a 80min performer under Maguire because we need it. 
Doyen

Doyen

I don't know about that---I wish you wouldn't keep pushing the stats out like that!!They don't count the missed tackles at critical moments or the poor passing options etc.Stats are just a rough guide & don't really display the true influence that a player may have on a game!! 
Doyen

Doyen

If the article mentioned previously is accurate,Madge is already talking about them in the same breath!
Peats is every bit as valuable at this stage as Issac because of his utility value! 
Rsag85

Rsag85

Issac has utility value to mate. 
Rsag85

Rsag85

Peats needs to work on his game, gave away a few stupid penatly's tonight. 
SonicStar

SonicStar

Peats performed strongly tonight.

So what if he gave away a few penalties. Not like he has a habit of doing it.

About time Daley worked out he's shitloads better than Waddell and started him, should have started him last season as well. 

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