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Revealed: The man who inspired Brodie Croft’s Man of the Match performance against Leigh

Brodie Croft

On a night that was all about Rob Burrow and celebrating his life, Brodie Croft almost managed to steal the show with an incredible Man of the Match display and it’s been claimed that a speech by Danny Buderus could have inspired it.

Buderus was one of 80 former players that had featured alongside Burrow to attend Headingley and form a moving tribute on the pitch before the game as all those former Rhinos took the pitch arm-in-arm with the current squad.

The Australian was one of several, including Ali Lauiti’iti, who had flown in from Australia for the occasion but it was Buderus tasked with addressing the players before the game and presenting shirts to debutants Ben Littlewood and Sam Eseh Jr.

It was at that shirt presentation that Buderus made a speech that inspired and ignited the fire in Brodie Croft that helped Leeds Rhinos to victory, it’s been claimed by Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

Danny Buderus behind stunning Brodie Croft display?

Brodie Croft

Credit: Imago Images

Following the stunning first-half display from Brodie Croft in which he scored two spectacular tries and made a try-saving tackle, Jamie Jones-Buchanan revealed that Buderus had addressed the players and spoke on the value of the number seven in reference to Burrow but also with a slight goal of inspiring Croft.

Jones-Buchanan revealed: “Sam Eseh Jr and Ben Littlewood had their shirts presented by Danny Buderus who then leaned into a story about the two number sevens that he’s played with at the two clubs, Rob Burrow and Andrew Johns.

“As trump cards, they cannot be beaten and then he went into a story about how important it is in that number 7 jersey to foster team morale, to own the accountability of the performance of the side and on the way out, he said to me, ‘Jonesy, how do you think Brodie Croft’s on that?'”

The answer was emphatic as Brodie Croft would go on to put up his best performance in a Leeds Rhinos shirt, even revealing that he felt like “someone was with me” on his long-range try as he referenced ‘help from above’.

Leeds Rhinos have since released footage of Buderus’ address to the players where you can see exactly what he said that might fire up Brodie Croft with a transcript and a video below.

What Danny Buderus said to inspire Leeds Rhinos to victory

Danny Buderus

Credit: Imago Images

In footage shared to Leeds Rhinos Youtube channel, Buderus is seen addressing the players as they have a team meal.

He said: “I’m glad to be here, I only flew in last night but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a sad day but I can’t wait for tomorrow night. I know there’s some opportunity for some guys who going to debut for the club so I look forward to that.

“For me in 2008, my time at the Knights was up and I didn’t know where I was going to end up but I knew I would love to come to the UK one day and it was to be the Leeds Rhinos.

“I played a lot against the Leeds Rhinos players, Jamie Peacock, Kev, during the Ashes against Great Britain and England. I just respected the hell out of the way they played and we can talk about yesteryear but it’s all about you guys today and it’s all about you guys from here on in as well.

“This is a big club. The identity of the club for me has never been flash. I loved what it had, it had an identity and it was always a Leeds way, it was a tough way. It’s a hard-working town. My town in Newcastle is a blue-collar hard-working town. They’re both big uni towns so there are a lot of similarities.

“A lot of people spoke about the sevens that wore the jersey. Andrew Johns and Rob Burrow, for me, the halfback represents the personality of your half and whatever your team stands for is usually driven through the communication and the play of your half.

“As an extension of that is your nine, so you get to pass it to them a hundred times a game. You’ve got to have a combination together. The middle is obviously where it’s won, and I can see tomorrow night will be no different.

“The game’s always been won on the advantage line. You big boys have got an amazing opportunity, along with the debutants, to set a tone. A full house, super excited old boys to see you guys do your thing. So congratulations to you debutants.

“Like I said, I can talk about the old days, that’s what I’m here for, to talk about the old days, to the older players, but it’s about you boys. It’s about you boys being the best you can be and being first and foremost the best teammate you can be.”

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