Raiders champion Josh Papalii revealed he was reduced to tears all week in the lead-up to his milestone 250th NRL game with Canberra helping him celebrate in style in a 32-12 victory over Souths.
The 30-year-old has played his entire career at Canberra since debuting in 2011 and is still at the top of his game notching 132 metres, four tackle busts, a linebreak and a try in the Raiders’ third straight win.
“Yeah that was a tough one bro,” Papalii said post match.
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“We are finally stringing it together and it is very pleasing to see.
“I love this club with all my heart and it is just a good way to bring up 250.”
Papalii revealed the emotional toll the build-up to his 250th NRL game had taken on him as he looked back on his career.
“Yeah I cried all week,” Papalii said.
“Just reminiscing on what got me here. My parents’ sacrifice. My wife, my kids.
“It has been an emotional week bro.”
The always humble Canberra star was quick to deflect from his try-scoring feats after he crossed the stripe for the second week in a row.
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“It has just been an emotional week and now I get to sit back and enjoy it with the boys and have a few cold ones.”
The Raiders are now one win outside the top eight heading into the Origin period after they found themselves second last earlier in the season and Papalii never doubted they could turn things around.
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“We showed the last three weeks what we are capable of doing and it is just good to finally see all the hard work pay off.
“Still a long road to go though. We still have more losses than wins and we need to fix that up quick.”
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Papalii revealed he would celebrate with his family when he gets back to Canberra to thank them for their support over a brilliant career that has plenty more to come.
“My wife and kids are waiting at home,” Papalii said.
“This is my time with my family and I can’t wait to get back home and spend it with my loved ones.”