Pride In The Jersey.

It was great to see every team that played over the last few days, head back, chests out, blasting their national anthems. It's a real honour to play for your country, you are not just an athlete when you pull on that shirt, you're an ambassador, a representative of your nation with the task of inspiring the next generation.


One moment in particular stood out for me. It was from the Fiji vs USA match, the moment Kevin Naqaima was so overwhelmed by passion and pride that he couldn't contain it anymore. I saw a lot of negative comments about this, "It's unprofessional" "it's not even a big game" "it's not intimidating". These kind of comments lack any thought or logical backing. So i have took the time to pick these comments apart.

"It's unprofessional" It doesn't say anywhere in the Rugby League rulebook "show no signs of emotion" Rugby is a game that is made far better by passion, i would rather watch a team play with than without passion, because the players will fight tooth and nail with every last source of energy in their body and then some, to honour their nation.

"It's not even a big game" Being recognised as the best your nation has to offer is a big deal. Regardless of whether you are playing a World Cup final a World Cup opener or even a test match, you have been honoured by being selected, so yes, it IS a big game.

"It's not intimidating" This is the comment i sat down and deconstructed the most, it's important to be tough in Rugby League that's no lie, but to hide how you feel just makes no sense to me. The definition of the word intimidate is "To frighten someone" if i am lining up against a player who is trying to play the situation off as he isn't nervous or the game doesn't mean something to him. That player has lost the mental battle already. It's nothing more than a poker face everyone out there has already read. However I line up opposite a man who is willing to cry for this game and express his passion, i fear him, because nothing will come between him and success, not me or any other player on that pitch.

I'd also like to throw out and honourable mention to James Graham, with the game already lost and 1 minute left to play, he proceeds as a front rower to chase down Josh Dugan. 80 metres Graham ran for no other reason than damage control. That is pride in the jersey.

Pom

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