Watch: Issac Luke's whānau and friends deliver moving haka from the stands to celebrate 250th NRL game

Warriors hooker Issac Luke brought up an impressive milestone during last night's win over the Knights and friends and whānau in attendance made sure to acknowledge it afterward with an emotional haka from the stands.

Luke made his 250th NRL appearance in last night's 20-4 victory at Mt Smart Stadium. 

Before the match, the Warriors and Kiwis hooker was given the honour of leading his team out alongside his children, giving daughter Avarni a kiss on the forehead after they'd made it onto the pitch.

But Luke's family made sure to make the end of the night just as special, showing their respect to the 31-year-old with a haka after fans had left the stands and made their way to the exit.

Luke joined in the haka and waved thank you to his support crew afterward before he was embraced by captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on the field.

The Warriors star and the South Sydney owner formed a close bond during Luke’s time at the Rabbitohs. Source: 1 NEWS

Luke played 190 games for the South Sydney Rabbitohs since making his NRL debut in 2007 before joining the Warriors in 2016 where he has played his most recent 60 matches.


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'The club's growing nicely' - Ivan Cleary rejects Penrith to stay with Tigers

Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has ended speculation about a move to Penrith by confirming he would see out the remainder of his contract at the NRL club.

In a prepared two-minute statement, Cleary said he was not aware that Penrith would discuss their coaching future at a recent meeting with Panthers chairman Dave O'Neill.

He said no offer had been made to come back to his former club, and that he immediately informed Tigers bosses about the Panthers' approach.

"I advised the Panthers of my ongoing contract status with the Wests Tigers," Cleary said ahead of his team's crucial NRL clash with Canberra.

"I subsequently advised the chair and CEO of the Wests Tigers of the discussions I'd had with the Panthers."

Cleary, who refused to take further questions on the matter, said he was surprised by Penrith's decision to fire Anthony Griffin earlier this week.

Then he allayed any concerns about serving the final two years of his current deal.

"I am enjoying my contribution at this club. The club's growing nicely. Everyone associated with this club should be proud of the direction it's heading in," he said.

"I respect all the people and supporters involved with this club and I intend to honour this contract."

Cleary's comments means the Panthers will be forced to look elsewhere to fill their coaching vacancy next season.

Penrith chief executive Brian Fletcher this week said the club would be willing to wait two years before asking Cleary to return and unite with son Nathan.

The NSW playmaker has one more year to serve on his deal at the Panthers but is able to field offers at the end of this season, including a possible move to the Tigers.

Cleary reiterated his desire to work with Nathan at some stage during their careers.

"It is common knowledge that my son Nathan and I have acknowledged our desire to work together at some time. That remains the case," he said.

"Today I'm absolutely focused on our match with the Canberra Raiders and I'm happy to take questions around that game."

Ivan Cleary.
Waest Tigers coach Ivan Cleary. Source: AAP


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'Respect over everything' - Warriors pay tribute to retiring Matt Cecchin

The Warriors have paid tribute to outgoing NRL referee Matt Cecchin, following last night's 20-4 victory over the Newcastle Knights.

Cecchin, 44, is walking away from the NRL at the end of the season having been the victim of death threats following last year's World Cup.

The referee was targeted by Tongan fans after strip claim from prop Andrew Fifita in the final moments of the World Cup semi-final loss to England, which the Pacific nation would go on to lose.

In a post on Twitter, the Warriors thanked Cecchin along with two photos of the team huddled around the whistle-blower.

"Respect over everything. Congratulations on a fantastic career Matt," the club posted.

Cecchin has been offered a role with the English Super League, however has made no official announcement over his future.

The referee is the latest retiree to be given a farewell by the Warriors, who have also paid tribute to Johnathan Thurston, Sam Thaiday and Ryan Hoffman.

Matt Cecchin and Blake Green
Matt Cecchin and Blake Green Source: Twitter/Warriors


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