Family values the key for Lui
September 9, 2010 - 5:29PM
Robert Lui has revealed his extra motivation for helping the Wests Tigers beat Sydney Roosters in Saturday’s NRL semi-final.
The 20-year-old halfback, who is playing in his first finals series, will have his whole family in the stands at the Sydney Football Stadium to watch him play, the first time they’ve done so.
Lui, who graduated from the famed rugby league nursery at Keebra Park High on the Gold Coast, which produced teammate Benji Marshall, has enjoyed a solid first full season for the Tigers.
After putting the injuries that restricted his appearances earlier in the season behind him, Lui said he is desperate to put on a good show for his parents and seven siblings against the Roosters.
“Seven of my brothers and sisters are coming down from Mount Isa and will stay in a hotel and my mum and dad, fly in on Friday and will stay with me,” Lui told AAP.
“It will be the first time they have seen me play live so I can’t wait and I hope I can do them proud,” he said.
Lui credits his father Philip, who represented Queensland A in the 1980s, as one of the biggest influences on his career, and said playing in the finals means as much to his family as it does to him.
“Dad got me into the sport and he has been a big part of me getting to where I am now,” he said.
“I left them at a young age to go to school at Keebra Park on a scholarship and then came down here to follow my dreams and I am doing that playing finals footy.”
Lui will be one of four young guns in the Tigers side to make his finals debut on Saturday, alongside 21-year-olds Andrew Fifita and Simon Dwyer and Blake Ayshford, 22.
And the young playmaker said the roles of the club’s senior players has been vital to the quartet’s development this year.
“People like Robbie (Farah), Benji and Chris Heighington have all been there and done that,” he said.
“Gareth Ellis has played grand finals overseas and lots of internationals for England, and they all tell us all we have to prepare well and do the right things and we have taken on board what they say and so far it is paying off.”
In addition to the pressure of finals for the first time, Lui will become a father for the first time in the new year too.
“We don’t know what it is yet, my girlfriend is going for scans soon but I am pumped for that and with the finals series starting as well, it is a very exciting time for me and the family,” he said.