When Rhyse Martin had his ban upgraded to a two-match suspension for a “frivolous” appeal against the one-match ban he picked up for a high tackle against Castleford Tigers, Martin may have feared his season was over.
Left just one goal shy of setting a new Super League record for most consecutive goals without missing and just five shy of equalling the World Record.
However, Martin has been given a chance to create history on Saturday night in the Super League Grand Final as Leeds take on St Helens with the winner set to become the first team to win nine Grand Finals.
But what has the journey been like for Martin over the last two weeks watching his teammates battle through to Old Trafford for him as he revealed speaking on the Rhinos YouTube channel: “You know the last two weeks have been tough, the most nervous I’ve been ever. I just wanted to help as much as I could over those two weeks.
“I had all the belief that the guys could do it but those last two games have been unreal and now we’re in the big one.
“I’m excited, it’s been such a big year for us as a club. We’ve overcome so many challenges, I think it’s testament to everyone has chipped in.”
He even admitted to nearly throwing up at Wigan he was so nervous: “Before that Wigan game I was so nervous I was thinking about throwing up in the bin. Not playing is way worse.
“Just being able to play again, the situation is the biggest one that we can play in. I just want to get out there and in five, ten minutes that emotion is gone and you’re in the battle.”
Martin has never been involved in a Leeds side able to beat St Helens with the Rhinos losing the last 11 against the Saints in recent seasons and he spoke about just how good the Champions are: “They always are, they’ve been the toughest team to play in the last three years. You’ve always got to be for it, they’ve been unreal.
“We’ve just got to do what we do best.”
Lastly he spoke about the extra motivation Aidan Sezer’s absence will give the Rhinos on Saturday. Sezer misses the game through a head knock sustained in the semi-final win over Wigan: “It’s a tough one, the way he’s handled it has been unreal but I think it will be really tough to get over. I wish he was out there.
“I think the team’s going to put the performance in for him.”
Here’s the full interview: