Quiet achiever Liu reaches milestone
Isaac Liu isn't the biggest name in the Sydney Roosters line-up but every club needs a quiet achiever.
The Tricolours have long spoken of the value Mitchell Aubusson brings to the side on a weekly basis, only for the versatile back-rower to be denied higher representative honours, and Liu is on the path to follow suit.
He will reach the century mark of NRL matches when he runs out to Allianz Stadium on Friday night after joining the club from the Wests Tigers in 2011.
"A few months ago I checked and it was around 90 so when they announced it during the meeting earlier in the week all the boys cheered," Liu told NRL.com.
"It's a big achievement for myself and I'm definitely really proud and grateful to do it all for the one club in the Roosters."
Liu made his Telstra Premiership debut in Round 4 2013, with the Roosters heavily favoured to feature in finals football after snaring the recruitment of Sonny Bill Williams from rugby union.
When you consider the Roosters pack in 2013 boasted the likes of Williams, Frank-Paul Nu'uausala and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves on the roster, it was a credit to Liu that he continued to snare bench spot for a further 14 games.
And then the heartbreak happened.
"I was 18th man for the  grand final with Dylan Napa there as a back-up as well, we both warmed up and were on standby," he said.
"I played in the preliminary and we beat the Knights but then made way for Boyd [Cordner] and Luke O'Donnell took Dyl's spot.
"I've played in two more preliminary finals since but we got beaten both times so the hunger is definitely there to reach a grand final."
Liu admitted the road to the NRL wasn't all smooth sailing.
He will wear "Jessica" on the front of his jersey against the Knights as part of a Women in League round initiative by the Roosters and major sponsors Steggles.
Jessica has been Liu's partner for more than six years.
"She's been a huge part of my life," he said.
"Mum obviously helped me start off and get here to Australia but then I met Jess in high school and it all just kind of went from there.
"She's supported me through some of the toughest times and I couldn't be more grateful and can't wait."
Trent Robinson's side have been decimated with injury in recent weeks with co-captain Jake Friend and experienced fullback Michael Gordon out of action until late August.
NSW skipper Boyd Cordner will also miss the clash against the bottom-placed Knights to rest an ongoing calf issue.
Liu will start in the No.13 jersey for the second time this season and believes the final bye week will hold the players in good stead coming into the clash.
"I didn't get up to much personally, just stayed at home with the missus and our new dog but it came at a great time for our boys and we've all come back refreshed for the right time of the year," he said.
"That obviously wasn't us against Cronulla and we went over in camp what we needed to for the Rabbitohs and grinded out the win to bounce back.
"[Newcastle] are going to come down here tough and we have to prepare for that battle around the middle as we've got a few out ourselves."