Joey Lussick ends former club Salford’s Grand Final dream as St Helens go for four

JOEY Lussick insists Salford should know what’s in store for him as he tries to deny his old club a fairytale second Grand Final – he’s pretty much the same player.

The St Helens hooker helped the Red Devils to Old Trafford in 2019, where he was ironically beaten by his current employers.

Joey Lussick is looking to dashed old club Salford's Grand Final hopes

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Joey Lussick is looking to dashed old club Salford’s Grand Final hopesPhoto credit: SWPIX.COM

Now that the sides meet in the Super League semi-finals on Saturday, the Australian’s irony is not lost, but while the kit may be different, the quality and attitude are not.

However, when the victors of the League Leaders’ Shield triumph, it may result in an awkward message or two between friends.

Lussick said: “I suppose it has to be Salford, doesn’t it?

“But I’d like to think that I’m pretty much the same player, just a little bit more mature, a little bit smarter and that I’ve developed my game a little bit more.

“Anything can happen in the final but the performance they put on in Huddersfield was no surprise – they built and built.

“And every team in this finals series will claim to be the best. Everyone thinks they have the best team and the best odds of winning.

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“When I first came to the Super League, I didn’t really know much about all the teams. However, what struck me is how passionate the Salford club are and how passionate their fans are.

“They’ve come out in huge numbers over the past few months, which is good for the game.

“A lot of people stopped me on the street at this time of year and wished me good luck.

“It was a great time to be there. Now the script is reversed and I’m on the other side. I’m still in touch with a couple of the guys there – Ken Sio and Greg Burke are the two main ones and I’m talking to Chris Atkin a bit.

“But this week the news will be turned off, we’ll keep that until after the game.”

Lussick helped Salford to Old Trafford in 2019

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Lussick helped Salford to Old Trafford in 2019Photo credit: SWPIX.COM

Salford v St Helens sets up the fascinating battle of starting hookers James Roby and Andy Ackers but the man who usually comes off the bench has his own impact.

That hasn’t stopped him from admiring the legendary number nine, who has delayed his retirement to play an amazing 20th season at his home club.

However, Lussick knows the Salford man can get the job done, having seen him as his days at AJ Bell Stadium came to an end.

The 26-year-old added: “Words cannot describe the player who is James Roby. He did everything possible in the game and it was great to work under him.

“He gave me a lot of advice, but he also allowed me to be myself while playing my game.

Lussick admits he still sometimes wonders how James Roby does it — despite working with him every day

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Lussick admits he still sometimes wonders how James Roby does it — despite working with him every dayPhoto credit: SWPIX.COM

“Now I’m working with him, I can see how good he was, but he still makes me scratch my head because he does it so often.

“It puts a lot of hard work into it, but at the same time it’s just a freak of nature. Sometimes there are these guys in the world and you can’t have too many explanations for them.

“But Andy has always been a good player. I was lucky enough to play with him at Salford for a few months before leaving.

“He’s always been a star player but in the last few months he’s really come out of his skin. With the form they’re in, a lot of players are stepping up and he’s done a lot.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6225956/joey-lussick-salford-st-helens-old-trafford/ Joey Lussick ends former club Salford’s Grand Final dream as St Helens go for four

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