Ali Lauitiiti - Playing Career - Leeds


Lauitiiti joined Leeds in May 2004 on a two-and-a-half-year contract. He made his debut for Leeds against Salford and took little time to settle in, scoring his first try in the subsequent game against Bradford. His incredible ball-handling skills earned him a place in the Tetley's Super League Dream Team in 2004. He also featured in the 2004 Super League Grand Final-winning team.

Lauitiiti was part of the Leeds side for the 2005 World Club Challenge who picked up honours after defeating Canterbury Bulldogs. In 2005 Ali scored 14 tries in 32 appearances including 17 as a replacement. His 14 tries includes an incredible five tries against Wakefield when he came off the bench to become the first forward in the summer era to score five tries. He also appeared in the Challenge Cup Final. He was subsequently named in 2005's Super League Dream Team. He helped Leeds to their second successive Super League Grand Final appearance when he scored the winning try against St Helens with an 80 metre run in the Grand Final Qualifier, then played in the 2005 Super League Grand Final which ended in defeat for Leeds. In the 2005 Tri Nations tournament Lauitiiti once again joined the New Zealand squad and scored a try against Great Britain after coming on from the bench, and was then part of the successful squad who defeated Australia in the historic final victory.

Lauitiiti played in Leeds' three Grand Final wins in a row between 2007 and 2009. He was also selected to represent the All Golds side in the match against The Northern Union at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington in October 2007, scoring two tries in the match. Lauitiiti was named in the Samoa squad for their 2008 Rugby League World Cup campaign.

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