Last night was a special game at Headingley.
New Zealand beat the Rhinos 74-0 as they prepared for the World Cup, but that was secondary to the emotional farewells on display.
The Rhinos bid farewell to their departing stars from the 2022 campaign such as Tom Briscoe, Brad Dwyer, Bodene Thompson, Muizz Mustapha and the injured Liam Sutcliffe.
On top of this, the game acted as a tribute to the retiring Thomas Leuluai of New Zealand meanwhile, Leeds gave a last appearance to Adam Cuthbertson after his time at York and Featherstone following the end to his Leeds career in 2020 denied the chance to say a proper farewell to the Leeds fans due to the pandemic.
He produced some lovely touches on his Rhinos swansong last night which turned back the years back to the days of 2015 when he produced a record number of offloads.
That was the season he was nominated for the Man of Steel losing to Leeds teammate Zak Hardaker as the Rhinos won the treble.
After that, he won two more trophies with the Rhinos in the shape of the 2017 Grand Final and the 2020 Challenge Cup Final which proved to be his last game due to injury.
It was lovely to see him back in a Leeds shirt last night and coach Rohan Smith spoke highly of him after the game last night: “I’ve watched Cuthbo’s career from his Manly career and coached against him, he’s always been a skilful player and it was good to see him with a couple of offloads there for old times sake to farewell the crowd.”
When asked if Cuthbertson was the best offloader he had seen, he said he’d be up there and could go a game without playing the ball: “He’d have to be amongst them for sure, he could probably play a whole game without having to play the ball if he wanted to.”