He didn’t cross for one of the team’s two Grand Final tries, though in the minds of many, Ricky Leutele may long be remembered as the man who sealed the Sharks Premiership fate.
With the 80 minutes expired, the Melbourne Storm attack had the Sharks defensive line looking a mess – spreading right to left, before returning to the right – in the pursuit of late points.
The final siren having sounded, centre Ricky Leutele made the final save that ultimately ended 49-years of Sharks heartache.
Recalling the final moments of the Grand Final, Sharks Captain Paul Gallen said he had every faith in Leutele to make the game-winning tackle on Storm flyer, Marika Koroibete.
“It was unreal … Vunuvalu half went through, they spread it out to their left hand side of the field and I thought they had plenty of numbers,” Gallen said.
“To our credit, Val (Holmes) and our right edge just scrambled, and we all scrambled from the inside.
“When (Koroibete) went one-on-one with Ricky … Ricky doesn’t get beaten one-on-one too often and he made the tackle and we got the win.”
And how did the once-shy, quietly spoken Ricky Leutele respond to his Captain’s words? See in the video above!