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Rhyse Martin reflects on “hardest year” and promises Leeds Rhinos “fairytale” in 2023

The 2022 season one was a rollercoaster for Leeds as a club but no player has had it as tough as Rhyse Martin.

In Round One, the second row was exceptional against Warrington with an outstanding performance in all facets of the game.

What made it even more impressive was the fact that after the game then Leeds boss Richard Agar revealed Martin’s father had passed away that week.

The second-row then went home on compassionate leave and when he returned he didn’t miss a beat despite what he had been through emotionally through the start of the season.

As Leeds struggled, Martin stood out as their best player and scoring a fair few tries as a forward though he sometimes filled in at centre.

The Rhinos were 11th in April, but the arrival of Rohan Smith sparked the Rhinos revival which remarkably guided them all the way to the Grand Final.

Though it wasn’t a simple journey for Martin. Though playing outstandingly, he controversially picked up a one-match ban going into the play-offs for accidental contact to the face of former teammate Alex Mellor as the Rhinos beat Castleford in a play-off shootout.

Believing that this was harsh, Leeds appealed and had him banned for another game. In his absence, Leeds managed to plough ahead to the Grand Final giving Martin the chance to set a new Super League record for consecutive goal kicks without missing.

That came in the Grand Final and he has now gone 38 efforts at goal without missing and also crossed for a try in the final but Leeds unfortunately came up short.

So, such an up and down season for Martin, he has taken to Instagram to reflect on the year calling it the “hardest” of his life no doubt in reference to losing his dad which has prompted him to lean on his family more than ever.

He also hinted that he expects the Rhinos to be back at Old Trafford in 2023: “Where do I start? This season has been a tough one to put into words. Thank you to my teammates, we all stuck in there together and turned our season around. Halfway through the year I don’t think anyone expected us to make it to the Grand Final, but somehow we did it. Thank you to the fans, we didn’t get our fairytale ending but we will get next year. Lastly, thank you to my family for being my rock through the hardest year of my life, you are always there when I need you and I love you all.”

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