Living the dream – Part Two
Second grand final win leaves Chris Heighington awestruck
DREAMS DO COME TRUE even when they seem wild beyond all belief. Just ask veteran Sharks forward Chris Heighington. Four years ago Heighington was forced to cut ties with his beloved Wests Tigers, the club he’d won a premiership with in 2005 and played 201 NRL games for. It was a gutwrenching decision. “But anyone reading this in Rugby
League Week, I just want to say don’t let anyone ever tell you dreams don’t come true because I’m living mine for a second time,” the 34-year-old says.
“I’ll be honest, leaving the Tigers was tough and I was very disappointed. But I came to the Sharks and I’ve been a part of building a winning culture and a great club off the field. You wouldn’t believe the change from the day I first dropped my bag off to now.
“I was here for four weeks and that whole [ASADA] thing came unstuck. But they are tough people here at the Sharks. A few of the boys were involved and here they are now, living their dreams.”
Heighington knew the weight of history bearing down on the Shire, so he stayed clear of getting too caught up in it.
“I didn’t want to go into Cronulla too much during the week,” he says.
“I could feel how excited the fans were and I wanted to go into the game without that added pressure.
“I knew how much it meant to them, so my mindset was to bunker down.
“But I believed we could win this six games into our 15-game winning streak. That’s when I knew we had the squad.
“With Mick Ennis retiring and going out a winner, it just shows fairytales do come true.
“We spoke about what was needed and we said no-one could afford to have a six out of 10. Everyone had to perform and have 8.5 or nine out of 10s, and we did that.”
THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON Leaving the Wests Tigers in 2012 has turned out to be the best move Chris Heighington has ever made.