Rugby star takes page out of Rob Gronkowski's book as NRL dazzles in Las Vegas


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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles star Reuben Garrick took a page out of New England Patriots legend Rob Gronkowski’s book on Saturday night as the National Rugby League took center stage in Las Vegas.

Garrick ended his try in the team’s 36-24 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs with a spike and he told reporters after the match he was trying to get the American crowd hyped up.

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Reuben Garrick's spike

Sea Eagles Reuben Garrick celebrates after scoring a try during the opening match of the NRL against the Rabbitohs at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Saturday, March 2, 2024. (AP Photo/David Becker)

“I said to some of the boys during the week that if I’m lucky enough to get over for a try I’ll do a ‘Gronk Spike,’” he said, via the NRL’s website. “I loved watching him play a few years back and yeah, it was pretty cool.

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“I just hope I get a shoutout from Gronk,” he added. “I guess we had to try and hype it up as well and for a lot of us it isn’t natural to do that unless it’s the try celebration month, but I guess when in the U.S.”

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The Sea Eagles became the first NRL squad to win a regular-season premiership match in the U.S. Manly had a narrow halftime lead before Daly Cherry-Evans and Luke Brooks broke it open. Manly’s scoring attack featured four consecutive tries in the win.

Reuben Garrick's try

Reuben Garrick of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles celebrates with teammate Jason Saab after scoring a try during the round one NRL match against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Allegiant Stadium, on March 2, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

In the second matchup of the night, the Sydney Roosters topped the Brisbane Broncos 20-10.

Victor Radley’s late try helped the Roosters seal the match. Joseph Manu and Fetalaiga Pauga also scored for the Roosters.

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Spencer Leniu points to the sky

Sydney Roosters Spencer Leniu reacts during the NRL match against the Brisbane Broncos in Las Vegas, Saturday, March 2, 2024. (AP Photo/David Becker)

The two matches were played in front of more than 40,000 fans. It’s the first in a five-year deal to bring NRL squads to Las Vegas, with new clubs from the Australia-New Zealand competition rotating in over the coming years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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