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Ranking Rob Burrow’s seven greatest moments

Rob Burrow is a Super League legend but he’s also a legend of a man as he battles Motor Neurone Disease. This week his book ‘Too Many Reasons to Live’ came out and to celebrate we’re looking at his seven greatest moments as a rugby league star.

7. Announcing his arrival

Before his debut in 2001, there was plenty of talk about what Burrow would bring to the table. Unsurprisingly, plenty had their doubts over whether the little fella could handle the physicality of Super League. However, he instantly threw himself into the action and put the league on notice when he scored his first try showing his superb pace to devastate the Warrington defence. He went onto claim the Young Player of the Year Award that year as well.

6. Dismantling the Kiwis

In 2007, Great Britain picked apart New Zealand in a three-match series. At the heart of the whitewash series win, was Burrow. He claimed the Man of the Series with his stunning performances which combined game management with his electric speed and scintillating creativity. He scored two tries and kicked nine goals in the three wins.

5. Harry Sunderland Hero

2007 was arguably one of the greatest years of his career and it peaked just before his outstanding performances in a Great Britain shirt when he was the star man in Leeds’ Grand Final victory over St Helens. Despite the fact Leeds conjured up arguably the greatest team performance in Grand Final history as they defeated the reigning Champions 33-6, Burrow still stood out and claimed the Man of the Match after a performance filled with bursting runs as well as the drop goal which put the result beyond doubt.

4. Toppling Warrington in their own backyard

Four years later, Burrow was guiding Leeds back to Old Trafford this time though it was an impact sub. The Rhinos went into their semi-final clash with Warrington as massive underdogs but only trailed 18-12 when Burrow took the game by the scruff of the neck. He ducked and weaved his way through the Wolves defence before finding his old partner in crime Danny McGuire in support. McGuire then teed up Ryan Hall who finished off the move. Then, Burrow crossed for his own try as he supported a Brent Webb break. Those two majestic scores helped Leeds to a 26-24 victory and secured their place at Old Trafford.

3. The best individual try Old Trafford has ever seen

A week later in the Grand Final, Burrow was even better. Again, he was introduced as an impact sub and again ripped the opposition to pieces. He entered a tight game which was all-square at 2-2 with just 10 minutes to go until halftime and suddenly injected life into the contest carving open the St Helens defence before jinking past Paul Wellens to score a superb try and some consider it to be the greatest ever Grand Final try but for me there’s one better.

2. The assist that won the 2011 Grand Final

I may be in the minority here, but I’ve always preferred Ryan Hall’s try in the 2011 Grand Final. Burrow’s pace and agility is just the beginning where this try is concerned. His ability to sell a masterful dummy to remove Francis Meli from the equation and the timing of his pass to Hall was simply incredible and very few players would have had the intelligence to make that decision. If he’d have done anything differently the chance might have gone. Instead, Hall scored to put Leeds back in front and from there they’d go onto claim the Super League crown.

1. “A heart of a lion”

No one is ever going to forget this. It was a magical day at Headingley last January as thousands pilled in to see the Golden Generation one last time but more importantly to support Burrow at the start of his difficult journey. To pull on that Leeds jersey one last time and step out onto the field, Burrow again showed his strength of character again proving, as Bill Arthur said in commentary, that he does indeed have “a heart of a lion.”

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