General ex-cowboys have there day

sebastian_old

Guest
League Lines with ADAM GARDINI

12aug06
WHEN the Cowboys stormed into the semi-finals in 2004 with a group of transformed individuals, North Queensland quickly picked up a tag as the NRL's second-chance city.

A place where players unwanted elsewhere could go and then seemingly turn their careers around with some hard work and an opportunity.

Canberra discard Rod Jensen was effectively the pin-up boy for that tag but even highly rated Luke O'Donnell fitted the mould after transforming a career which had been previously hampered by injury and suspension.

While that theme hasn't been as prevalent for the Cowboys since then, it seems a new second-chance city has emerged at the opposite end of the NRL's radar at the New Zealand Warriors.

And ironically, heading the list of players thriving on a second chance in Auckland are former Cowboys pair and now housemates, Micheal Luck, 24, and George Gatis, 28.

"There's a lot of guys here from all different areas, whether they are Australians, Polynesians or Kiwis, they're all from different places – I think there's only one or two that are from Auckland," Luck said yesterday from the pair's townhouse in Ellerslie.

"Everyone's sort of orphaned all together I suppose and we're all making a go of it."

In a Warriors team which includes respected Test props Ruben Wiki and Steve Price and a sprinkling of high-profile Kiwis, working class Luck and Gatis are still flying under the radar.

But when you consider Gatis was last year working in his family's fish and chip shop for a living and Luck played only nine NRL games in 2005, both have remarkably re-invented themselves this season.

Luck has played in all 20 games for the Warriors this season and Gatis, who had played just 24 career games before 2005, will play his 14th for the year against his former club tonight.

"It's been a good year," Luck reflected.

"The boys over here have made it pretty easy to come into the side – they're a good bunch.

"Playing with blokes like Ruben, Awen Guttenbeil and Pricey makes it pretty easy."

Luck said the turnaround in his career could be attributed to the development of a fresh outlook on life and football since taking the plunge and leaving the club he started out with as a teenager.

"Now that I'm getting a bit older you realise that football is not everything – it's a game that you play for two hours on a Saturday night," he said.

"I used to live and die by what I did on the field and if I had a bad game I'd probably string a few together because I'd be too worried about it."

A familiar face in unfamiliar Auckland has no doubt also played its part, with the pair becoming good mates since heading across the Tasman.

Interestingly though, they had to move to another country to do so.

"We sort of ran with different circles in Townsville," Luck said.

"It helps a lot because we're both from there and if we ever want to know what's going on at home either one of us can ring one of our families and find out what's happening."
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Haha that's cool. It's almost a total reflection to the Nathan Fien and Todd Byrne story last year, which I still have.

But good to see both those guys doing well :D
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Hopefully the bond they form by living together can translate onto the field, too. :)
 

danco_old

Guest
its all about team bonding and I believe the warriors are playing as a full team for a long time.
 

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