31 Aug 2019

Unwanted Warrior Luke targets NRL shift

8:34 am on 31 August 2019

Warriors hooker Issac Luke has issued a public offer of his services to any National Rugby League club, after first quashing reports he plans to retire.

A dejected looking Issac Luke.

Issac Luke. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Luke took to social media in the early hours of this morning after an erroneous media report emerged that he would hang up his boots following next week's final round match away to Canberra.

It had prompted an outpouring of public well-wishes.

"I haven't retired although I feel like I'm getting too old," Luke said.

"I just haven't got a club for next yet. But my manager wife and myself are looking for a club. Any takers?"

Soon after last night's 31-10 loss to South Sydney in Auckland, Warriors coach Stephen Kearney confirmed Luke almost certainly wouldn't extend his four-season Warriors stint.

However, he said the 270-game veteran could still be an NRL force if an Australian club could push the right buttons.

"When he is playing well and playing his best footy I think he is an asset for any footy team. But he has to be at his best," Kearney said.

"He's been a wonderful servant for the footy club and for rugby league to be honest."

One club linked informally to Luke are the Wests Tigers following the retirement of Robbie Farah and the serious knee injury suffered by the Sydney club's backup hooker, Jacob Liddle.

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire built a close relationship with Luke during his tenure in charge at South Sydney, including their 2014 premiership.

Ill disciplined Warriors effort

After a committed first half and trailing just 14-10, the Warriors fell away badly as their propensity for simple missed tackles reared its head.

Coach Stephen Kearney's night was further spoiled by a probable broken wrist suffered by Chanel Harris-Tavita, which will prematurely end the impressive rookie season of the young five-eighth.

Kearney said his team were more resilient than their heavy losses to the Roosters and Cronulla and felt the final scoreline flattered Souths.

"There was probably a bit of class difference tonight and that gets accentuated when we're not at our best in terms of confidence. I thought our group tried really hard," he said.

Souths dominated the second half, aided by an alarming Warriors error count and ill-discipline.

Meanwhile, Wayne Bennett is satisfied with the momentum South Sydney are building ahead of the NRL finals after their drubbing of the Warriors.

Outstanding lock Cameron Murray bagged two of their four tries in Auckland last night as the Rabbitohs climbed to third place provisionally, boosted by two straight wins after three losses.

A crunch showdown against the red-hot Sydney Roosters next week should determine the top-four fate of Bennett's men but, on current form, he believes they can threaten the premiers.