Liv­ing the dream – Part Two

Sec­ond grand fi­nal win leaves Chris Heigh­ing­ton awestruck

Rugby League Week - - The Mole - BY JOEL GOULD

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.

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