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My heart leapt up when I beheld


19 May

Henry Sieberhagen
All was quiet and still, nothing could be heard except for the beating of my heart
and the dull sound of cheering fans. I looked around at my team mates the
heroes of my childhood. It was only at this moment that the realisation set in, I
was about to fulfil the dream of every young South African boy. I was about to
play a rugby match for the country I hold so dear. I looked down at the symbol
that covered my heart, the springbok. By now a lump had formed in my throat
and tears were rolling down my cheeks.
The line started moving toward the entrance of the battle that is Dunedin,
correctly given the nickname, The House of Pain. Only one South African team
has been successful in winning there. All of a sudden the stadium opened up,
and the dull sound turned into a deafening roar. My heart leapt up when I beheld
the sea of South African flags, swaying to Noksi Sikele iAfrika, whilst singing the
national anthem I could hardly breathe. I don t think I even got a word out. I
was in a daze, until one of the older, more experienced, players told me to get
into position. We lined up to watch the traditional Maori war-cry, which is the
The first half just went by in a flash and I looked up at the score board, 13-5. I
was devastated, we were trailing by 8 points. I did not even listen to what the
coach said at half time. I was too focused on what i had to do in the next half.
We were told to go back to the field for the next half. We were receiving the kick
off. The kick off was a bit to deep. Dan Carter put it to deep into our half. The
ball landed in the safe hand of Brian Habana, who sped off in the oppositions
direction. We played with a new kind of vigour. It only took a couple more
phases before Willie Le Roux dotted the ball behind the poles, after a brilliant
chip and chase. The score was now 13-12. We received the kick off again but
this time Dan carter placed it perfectly. Although it was a perfect kick, Victor
Mattfield was taken out in the air, which gave us the penalty. Then an argument
broke out, but the argument was broken up by the captain. He said we are
going to go for the line out. Handr Pollard performed a beautiful kick, which put
a in their 22, 10 metres from their try line. We then proceed to maul the ball
over and score in the corner. Unfortunately Handr Pollard missed the kick.
We were now only leading by 4 points. After a terrible start, The All Blacks
received a breath of new life. They played with a new energy and sense of
urgency. We then proceed to defend for the remainder of the game, but the
score still remained 17-13. We did everything in our power; there was nothing
that they could do to break our line. They battered at the walls of our defence,
with their forwards and sniped us with their backline, but they could not break
through. The time ticked by slowly, if the game was never ending. The horn
sounded for the end of the game. In one last ditch effort, they tried out a new

backline effort. We had to keep our composure. The ball was then passed to the
wing, the man I was marking. He sprinted towards the line, I sprinted to cross
cover defend. I dove for the tackle, but he slipped from my grasp and scored in
the corner.
I lay on the ground, paralysed with disappointment. The greatest day of my life
had turned into the worst. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I heard the
comforting words It will be okay...