In any code, there are players whose value to their team goes beyond their deeds on the sporting field.
Their presence is in every movement a team makes, whether playing or not; their weight behind every positive step.
Warriors back rower Micheal Luck is one such player.
A hard-as-nails defender, and solid reliable carries man, the North Queensland born-and-bred No 13 will run out on to Mt Smart Stadium for the last time tomorrow when the Warriors meet the Raiders in the last game of the 2012 regular season.
For the Warriors, there will be no football after Sunday. A season of under-achievement capped by the axing of former coach Brian McClennan has put paid to that.
The ship will have to be righted in 2013, with rumours that co-owners Owen Glenn and Eric Watson will spare no expense in making the team a perennial premiership contender.
For Luck, there will be no more football, full stop. Eleven hard years in the NRL - including five with his home state Cowboys - come to a close.
Eleven years. More than 7000 tackles. Close to 1800 carries. Seven tries. More than 13,600 minutes played.
The praise has been gushing from all quarters this week, from Luck's teammates, to the Warriors coaching staff, to a cynical league media and public, who have endured a tough season along with a club that made last year's Grand Final.
"He's about the bravest bloke I've ever met," Warriors caretaker coach Tony Iro said.
"Every club has got one player who does all the nasty stuff, who never shirks a task. Never complains about injuries.
"Every club's got a real good one - we've got an outstanding one, so he'll be really missed over the next few years."
"[Luck's final game] is a big motivating factor to put on a good performance," benched standoff James Maloney said.
"He's bled for this club for seven years."
Luck said he has been humbled by the attention. For him, he's just been doing a job - and performing at the high standard that he expects each and every one of his team-mates to perform at as well.
"I'm really flattered with the attention I've got this week," the 30-year-old said. "It's not why I've done what I've done, but I understand that it's all part and parcel of it. Some people have said some really amazing things this week; [I'm] so very, very grateful for all the good wishes I've had."
Luck made his debut for the Warriors in round one against the Storm in 2006, and will bring up his 150th game for the club tomorrow.
The figure is the highest ever for an Australian at the Warriors, 45 more than former hooker Nathan Fien.
Upon his departure from Auckland, Luck will return to Townsville, where he will take on the director of football job with the Cowboys. Yet, typically, for Luck, he doesn't want to get sentimental. His attention is on tomorrow, and the Warriors turning in a good performance to end their horror season, and avoid creating a club record of eight straight losses on the trot.
"We've got to get back to playing the way we play well," Luck said.
"Defensively, we've been pretty brittle. Stuff like that is contagious. When confidence is low, it only takes one or two things to go against you and it's just like a snowball.
"We've spoken about that this week, we've trained really hard this week and identified where their strengths are and where we've got to be good."
You can bank on Luck giving it his all come tomorrow afternoon.
And giving their admired team-mate the send-off he deserves may inspire the Warriors to do something they haven't for nearly two months - win a game of footy.
Warriors: Carlos Tuimavave, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Feleti Mateo, Pita Godinet; Jacob Lillyman, Alehana Mara, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Simon Mannering, Micheal Luck. Interchange (from): Russell Packer, Sione Lousi, Ukuma Ta'ai, Lewis Brown, James Maloney, Sam Lousi, Sebastine Ikahihifo.
Raiders: Josh Dugan, Sandor Earl, Jarrod Croker, Blake Ferguson, Reece Robinson, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams; David Shillington, Glen Buttriss, Dane Tilse, Josh Papalii, Joel Thompson, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Shaun Berrigan, Joe Picker, Mark Nicholls, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs.
- © Fairfax NZ News