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Watch: Brodie Croft breaks down as he pays tribute to Rob Burrow in Man of the Match speech

Brodie Croft

Brodie Croft inspired Leeds Rhinos to their best performance of the season as they beat Leigh Leopards 18-10 and in the post-match Man of the Match speech, the Australian broke down as he paid tribute to the legendary Rob Burrow.

It was an incredibly emotional night at Headingley with the life of Rob Burrow being celebrated on what was also global MND Awareness Day, the disease that Burrow battled for four-and-a-half years before his sad passing at the start of the month.

A crowd of 17,535 packed into the ground with over 80 former players attending, including some of those who flew in from the other side of the world, as Rob Burrow and his life were celebrated.

One man who made sure that Burrow was celebrated with a win was Brodie Croft as he put in a Man of the Match performance to inspire the coachless Leeds Rhinos to an 18-10 win over an in-form Leigh Leopards. The former Man of Steel winner bagged a first-half brace and also made a try-saving tackle in a spirited and inspired performance.

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Emotional Brodie Croft leads Leeds Rhinos to victory

Brodie Croft

Credit: Sky Sports

Speaking post-match to Sky Sports as he was awarded the Man of the Match award, the Australian had to be comforted by Jenna Brooks as he broke down prior to and during the interview.

“I’ve been trying to hold it in all day,” a tearful Croft told Brooks as she asked about his visible emotional state.

He continued: “I’m just pleased we could get this win for Rob and this crowd.

“It’s hard to put into words. It’s been such an emotional two weeks, I met Rob’s parents and I’ve seen them in the stands today… I just can’t.

“I tried to keep emotions in and not think about it too much. It’s one of those ones where I will remember this day for the rest of my life. I’m so pleased we could get the win,

“It’s special to see the old boys. This whole occasion and to have the old boys including Danny fly over from Australia shows the impact that Rob has had and for the MND community as well.”

Croft’s first try evoked memories of Rob Burrow as he danced through multiple defenders before diving towards the line and grounding via an outstretched arm, whilst the second was an 80-metre dash following a smart line break.

Even during his celebrations, Brodie Croft was animated as he made a number seven symbol with his fingers before pointing to the sky on the final hooter as well. An inspired performance from one magical number seven to a majestic number six.

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