A game to 'remember' for Burt

Grand Final victory means many different things. Endorsements, Clive Churchill Medals, rings, new contracts and perhaps one big party. <br><br>But to Eels flyer Luke Burt it will be a way to assuage the pain he felt in 2001, from a game he can’t even remember. It will take away the pain of crippling injuries and cap off what might be one of the most underrated one-club careers in NRL history.<br><br>After all, the only man who has scored more points for the blue and gold is legendary centre Mick Cronin. <br><br>In his illustrious career, Cronin scored 75 tries, kicked two field goals and booted a remarkable 865 goals. Burt has scored 100 tries and is level for field goals, but lags a long way behind on two pointers with 466. <br><br>To put it into perspective, only Andrew Johns and Hazem El Masri have kicked more career goals than Cronin.<br><br>So what would victory this Sunday mean to Burt after so many near misses?<br><br>“Winning this would erase a lot of hard football memories like injuries and near misses,” Burt explained.<br><br>“It would be something to cap off my career, I think. Not that I want to finish on it, I think I’ve got three or four good years left, but to win a Grand Final would feel like a complete NRL career. It would mean the world to me.” <br><br>A Premiership would have meant a lot back in 2001, but talking to Burt you get the feeling that in the twilight of a remarkable career it will mean so much more, especially when he can’t remember the horrible 2001 decider (which was practically over at halftime as the Knights led 24-0). And he certainly won’t watch the tape.<br><br>“I’ve never watched it. I never will watch it either, don’t worry about that. Actually, I might consider it if I win Sunday night.<br><br>“To be honest I can’t remember much of it, I don’t know if I blocked it out of my memory or if it’s something I didn’t take in, but this week is going to be different I am going to enjoy everything and take it in.”<br><br>As well he should. The Eels are flying and with an entire state behind them this weekend - as they take on those from the deep, dark south - you sense the season fairytale might just come true.<br><br>After all, halfway through the season they had been written off and even Burt confessed he didn’t believe they would be here now. <br><br>“Halfway through the year I didn’t think we would be here, but in a way that would make a premiership on Sunday even more special.”<br><br>So what happened? Parramatta flicked the switch. The Hayne train accelerated out of the station and the whole team started to believe as they began playing an expansive and thrilling brand of footy. <br><br>Both of which have surpassed Burt’s expectations of where he thought they could go.<br><br>“The way we’re playing it’s structured in a way. We’re throwing the ball around and offloading, but we know what areas of the field we want to get to against each team, but I am surprised at how we’ve turned it around. <br><br>“To win 10 out of 11 or 11 out of 12 is pretty good in the NRL these days, it’s quite a feat, but not something we can rest on this week.<br><br>“We have to be careful. If we make a mistake in the wrong part of the field Melbourne will punish us straight away, even if it takes a couple of tackles they are going to get you. You have got to play field position against them and not give them ball in the attacking area because they will hurt you.”<br><br>Then there is Hayne, the freak of nature who has taken the NRL by storm.<br><br>“We all knew Haynesy was that talented, but the way it has come out in him so early, at such a young age is amazing. He has picked his moments and he is smart on the footy field. He’s come out and surpassed everyone’s thoughts on how good he is. Even the weeks when he falls down a little he has been pretty brilliant.”<br><br>Whilst all the talk has been about the Eels attack, their defence has been sublime and the best in the NRL over the last three months. It will have to be once again as the Eels prepare for a team who can hurt you anywhere. A fact Burt is all too aware of.<br><br>“Personally I think our defence been the best part of our game over the last couple of weeks. To be honest our attack has been a little down with mistakes, but our defence has held teams to one or less tries in the last few games and to be honest in the NRL that will win us most games, because we have the likes of Haynesy who have that attacking ability.<br><br>“Melbourne are not a side we will take lightly. Will Chambers scored the first try running that line off Finchy and Steve Turner has played Origin football. They are strong across the paddock, not just on one edge with Greg Inglis.”<br><br>Despite the threats Melbourne possess out wide, Burt and the Eels are feeling confident about their chances and Burt is hoping the old adage you have to lose on before you win one comes true. Even with eight years between them.<br><br>“I just hope that’s true, I’ll be quiet happy to lose one then and win one this Sunday.”<br>