'Tahs title as good as NRL win: Tuqiri - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

'Tahs title as good as NRL win: Tuqiri

By Darren Walton 29/05/2008 04:07:41 PM Comments (0)

History-chasing Lote Tuqiri says winning the Super 14 title with the NSW Waratahs would rate alongside his 2000 premiership triumph with the Brisbane Broncos.

Having achieved virtually every honour in rugby league, Lote Tuqiri admits it's high time he finally accrued some meaningful silverware in rugby union.

With no World Cup, no Bledisloe Cup and no Super titles to his credit, the superstar winger rues having not won any major trophies in rugby despite switching codes five years ago.

Tuqiri, though, enters Saturday night's showdown with the Crusaders in Christchurch with the rare chance to etch his name in the record books as the first player to complete the NRL-Super double.

And he says taking out the Super 14 "would be the same as winning the comp in 2000 with Brisbane".

"This is obviously not your club team, but it's your provincial team and you spend half your year with these guys and train and live out of each others' pockets for a good six months," Tuqiri told AAP.

"The boys started training in October last year. You do a lot of the hard stuff with all the boys and you collectively form a bond and a hardness to you that you don't want to let each other down.

"That's really come across this year at the `Tahs and Saturday night hopefully we can stay together as a unit and as a team and bring back the Super 14 trophy.

"It's a sprint compared to a full season in the NRL, but you can only play the competition you're in and, to be in the position now to win this one is really special and would be up right there.

"I'm not going to lie about it."

Apart from his premiership ring, 28-year-old Tuqiri helped Queensland win the 2001 State of Origin series and retain the trophy the following year.

He was also a three-times leading tryscorer for the Broncos, played four Tests for Australia and captained Fiji at the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

Yet despite having played 58 Tests for the Wallabies and 75 Super matches for the Waratahs, Tuqiri still aches for a major trophy in rugby.

He lost the 2003 World Cup final in extra time to England and was a member of the Waratahs side which succumbed 35-25 to the Crusaders in the 2005 Super 12 decider.

"I've got into a few finals but haven't jumped the final hurdle," Tuqiri laments.

"So it would be nice to get over one and start gathering a collection.

"It would be a good start on Saturday night. But talk's cheap and we've got to go out there and do it."

If Tuqiri doesn't complete the NRL-Super double on Saturday night, then his former Broncos teammate and now Crusaders lock Brad Thorn will.

Thorn was also in Brisbane's 2000 grand final-winning team but came up short with the Crusaders in the 2001 and 2003 Super 12 finals.

Tuqiri rates 33-year-old Thorn as the best player to have crossed codes and said his fellow dual international deserved everything he achieved.

"He's been phenomenal in both codes," Tuqiri said.

"It's obviously harder for a forward coming from league to union and getting used to lifting and jumping and everything else and even knowing the rules.

"Brad Thorne has led the way, I think, with converts ... he's been great for the Crusaders over here."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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