Playing for your country is always special and always emotional, but for Rhyse Martin last night it was even more so.
Martin was captaining his country in a game that he had waited three years for after last playing for Papua New Guinea in 2019 when PNG stunned Great Britain.
Adding to it, the game saw him equal the World Record for most consecutive goals without missing with 41.
His next could break the World Record. Sadly, his efforts were in vain tonight but there was one thing that clearly meant more to Martin than the result tonight.
For the Leeds backrower it was been a strange season. His side struggled for so long before a march to the Grand Final but all of this came after Martin lost his father at the start of the season prior to producing an amazing performance against Warrington that weekend.
Less than a year on, an emotional Rhyse Martin reflected on this added motivation for the game today after receiving a message from his brother yesterday morning of his dad in a Papua New Guinea kit.
“It was a special moment,” Martin reflected on the game, “This morning when I was getting messages from my brothers, they were excited and getting ready, setting their alarms for the game and my second oldest brother put up a photo of dad in his Kumul gear and that made me a bit emotional.
“But just tonight I wanted to do my job because I don’t want to be like this in front of my team [referencing the tears in his eyes.] I’ve been waiting three years to do it.
“I’m just happy I got to put on this jersey, that we put in a good performance but this morning with my family, that’s what I’m doing it for.”