Ahead of Manly Sea Eagles’ NRL season game against the New Zealand Warriors this Saturday July 1 at Nib Stadium at 3.30pm, BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up star player Darcy Lussick to chat about the best and worst things about heading to the west coast, local music, big sharks, Ben Cousins and what fans can look forward to in the clash on the weekend.
So you’re heading out west to play in Perth at nib Stadium this Saturday. I’m guessing it’s not a trip you’ve done all that often in your line of work?
I’ve been to Perth a few times. This will be my third time I’ve played over there since 2012 I think. I was over there last year and played in torrential weather but hopefully it’s a bit better this time.
Well we’re not known for torrential weather so you must have been a bit unlucky there. I’m interested to know what are we known for here, from a NSW perspective? How do you think our state is perceived generally by Sydneysiders?
It’s almost like it’s overseas for us. We wouldn’t know whether to go to the domestic or international terminal to get there (laughs). We picture it as a whole different world away. I’m into surfing so I follow a lot of that over there…the beaches, the big sharks and the like. I can’t wait to get over there away from all the hustle and bustle of Sydney.
You had the chance to catch some waves over here?
I haven’t but we come over on Thursday so I’m hoping there’s a chance to hit the beach.
It’s not a bad to come over here with the whole State of Origin series going on, the coverage and interest in NRL is hard to miss with so many people from NSW and Queensland wearing their uniforms and showing their support. But there’s still a lot of people who probably haven’t been to a live NRL game before because they don’t happen that often here. What can people encounter watching NRL that they don’t usually ever get the chance to see?
I know AFL is pretty big over there but our game’s a little different. There’s a bit more contact and I believe it’s a better spectacle and quite brutal at times too. It would be great for people who want to get out and experience something different. I know there’s a lot of NRL supporters over there and I’m sure the Warriors will have plenty of the Kiwi supporters on their side too. I’d definitely encourage people to come down and check it out.
You’re right there’s plenty of Kiwis here that are rugby fanatics so I’m sure there will be plenty of them at the game. In WA we roll our eyes a little at east coast teams complaining about having to travel over here when our teams in basically every sport have to do the same size trip every second week. But do you think in this case, with the Sea Eagles and the Warriors coming over to Perth, it’s neutral territory for both teams or is there still an advantage for one or the other?
The Warriors do have an extra three hours travel but I guess you’re right it’s a fairly neutral ground for both of us. We don’t mind it though, we love getting away and we’ll have a few days together to check out the city and hang out together. We’ve got a pretty good record in Perth so hopefully we can keep that going this time too.
What are you looking forward to most about coming to Perth?
I can’t wait to check out the beaches, maybe a few cafes and a bit of shopping. But mostly hoping to win the game of footy and maybe enjoy it with a few beers after.
What about the worst thing about coming to Perth?
It’s probably just the flight over, travelling economy (laughs). I heard all the AFL players fly business class but us poor NRL players are stuck in economy. But I love the food over there, there’s a few nice places so I look forward to finally landing.
We’re also known for our music over here in Perth. Are there any bands you or the other guys in the band get into?
Jebediah all the way! Just a rad Australian band!
I suppose we don’t know just how much our WA sports stars are covered in New South Wales and I know we’re pretty AFL crazy too but I’m sure you probably don’t hear that much about it. Just as an example who do you think are the biggest AFL stars in WA? Are you aware of any at all?
Hometown legend! (laughs)
I’ve only really got into AFL in the last couple of years but if there’s a game on while I’m there I might try and make it down and educate myself a little more (laughs).
Alright then we’ll bring it back to your field of expertise. Who are the big stars we can catch at your game? Who are the stars we can catch in action on Saturday? I’m sure you’re going to spruik your own team but I’m sure the Warriors have got a few guns in their line-up as well?
There’s lot of New Zealand internationals playing like Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. But we’ve got a few of our own; there’s the Trbojevic brothers and Daly Cherry-Evans so it should be really good game. I think last year we went to extra time so it’ll be a tough one but hopefully we’ll get the win this week.
So what’s on the line with this game in terms of the season? You’re fourth on the ladder at the moment so I’m sure there’s a lot to play for?
Yeah we’re fourth so finishing the year in the top four is pretty important coming into semi-finals. If we drop out of there it’s going to be hard to get back in so we just have to keep winning. The Warriors are just outside the top eight and are fighting to get back in there so we know they’re going to be really fired-up. It’s a really crucial game for both teams and I think the weather’s looking alright too which will make the contest even better.