The NRL Auckland Nines wasn’t quite the fairytale comeback Shaun Johnson was hoping for, but it served up a reminder of how much I’ve missed the great game of rugby league, and how much excitement can come from one special player. At times he looked rusty, but then he did this:
and Eden Park exploded, erupted — KA BOOM!
Some people have that magic touch — they can make mistakes, frustrate you, even let you down sometimes — but then they do one thing and it’s all forgotten because the joy of that moment so far outweighs everything else.
It’s a special quality, and one worth witnessing at every opportunity you get.
Which explains how I found myself huddled over a laptop late on a Tuesday night, lost down a Shaun Johnson rabbit hole of memories. And, as I sat there trying to recreate the highs of my first rugby league filled weekend for many months, I thought to myself that I might not be the only one. That there may be others out there who feel the same, who could watch that moment and others like it over and over and over again, and that it was only fair and decent of me to share.
Below is just a sampler, a few of my favourites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
The one in which some fancy footwork puts Lewis Brown over, sends the Warriors to the Grand Final in 2011 and sends the NRL Warrior running down the main street of Tauranga swinging his Warriors jersey over his head:
The one that woke the neighbours:
The one where we went from the depths of despair to walking on air before the tears hit the carpet:
And just because everyone loves a good compilation:
Hopefully that helps you make it through the week!