Yesterday was a huge game in the context of Leeds’ season. The Rhinos needed a win against rivals Castleford to ensure their play-off hopes remained alive and thanks to a second half blitz the Rhinos were able to secure the win.
But in many ways the result played second to something for more important: the continue battle of Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow against Motor Neurone Disease.
Both Leeds and Castleford wore specially designed jerseys to honour Rob and raise money money for MND.
Leeds’ kit was designed by his three children and his daughters Macy and Maya led the team out yesterday.
Speaking after the game, Rohan Smith spoke about how much winning for Burrow meant: “I think it meant a lot to the whole club. We spoke about it during the week without trying to make it too emotional. I think sometimes you can build it up too much but we had the pleasure of the family coming to speak to us before the game and his girls spoke about the making of the shirt and design.
“That was special for all of us and I like to think we’ve done the family proud today.”
He also revealed just how well documented Burrow’s courageous battle is down under and how he read Burrow’s book as inspiration for the Leeds job: “The story has been well shared in the NRL and in Australia. Pretty much everyone is aware of the situation and how many people it impacts.
“To see such a great player struggling is tough for everyone. I listened on his book on audio when I first got here to get a picture of what that era of the team looked like from a camaraderie and spirit point of view and it sounded like Rob drove that.”