Had he not played, it would have been the talking point after the game – but that was very nearly not the case for Dragons retiring skipper Ben Hornby, who was suffering from a severe stomach bug. He came out and played however, and led his side to a comprehensive victory over the Warriors in Wollongong.
“Yesterday, I thought I wasn’t even going to get to the game,” said Hornby, who fell victim to the bug along with teammates Mitch Rein and Daniel Vidot.
“I thought there’d be all this celebration going on and I won’t even be here.
“I woke up at about 2.30 this morning and felt a bit better and just hoped that I was going to get better throughout the day and I did.
“In the end, fate played its part.”
It was just not the Warriors night, and whilst it was not the start he would have wanted, Warriors interim coach Tony Iro was not overly critical of his side.
“The boys tried hard, fought right till the end,” Iro said.
“We’re not playing with a lot of confidence or a lot of luck at the moment.”
With Iro a candidate to take over the role full-time next year, with pressure for results, Iro is just focused on his side coming out and playing well at home in the final round.
“I’m just keen on getting this side to perform next week in front of our home crowd.
“It’s been a tough year for our members. We certainly owe them a good performance.”