He was good as well. Fifita was huge. Koro was also one of the Storm’s best. We let two really high quality players go in Fifita and Koro. Heigno isn’t at that level but he contributes.
I am glad that they went onto better things, they were both goers who had the required kilos. Farah was definitely a better grubber kicker than Ennis plus good for a field goal and now he has gone with our subsiding. A bit depressing.
Saw this in the paper last week.
HARD work brings the reward and, come Sunday, rugby league’s two most self-made men, Cooper Cronk and Chris Heighington, bring the kind of story you tape to your mirror for a daily dose of inspiration.
Cronk remains the sentimental favourite because his story is well told.
Heighington came to the NRL the hard way, less celebrated.
He was an uncomplicated junior footballer with few frills, as tough as a Sunday morning hangover but lacking the skill and some believed the size. They might have been right.
Heighington came to the Wests Tigers through open trials. They rarely exist anymore, and barely did then, given the kids with even a whiff of talent were already snapped up by astute managers pitching them to clubs while they were still learning to shave.
Heighington had none of that. What he had was heart.
He turned up and played hard at the trials and coach Tim Sheens, looking to put some toughness in the Tigers’ 2003 squad, rolled the dice. He got an early indication of just how much it meant to Heighington.
He was living at Umina, where he had all his life, and all through pre-season he made the long drive to training until one day, in the heat of summer, fires burned through the Hawkesbury.
The freeway was closed. No hope of driving to Sydney this day.
The Wests Tigers got to training aware Heighington and several other Central Coast kids were not going to make it. Then Heighington walked in.
He got up early and caught a ferry from Ettalong to Palm Beach. It’s a short trip, as the crow goes.
At Palm Beach he was still barely any closer to Concord. So he caught a bus to Manly and from Manly he caught another bus to the city. Then he got a train to Burwood. He walked out of Burwood station and caught a cab to Concord Oval.
How does anyone get in the way of a guy like this, Sheens thought when Heighington walked in. Heighington got a contract. Soon, the Tigers found a whole lot more in Heighington than they anticipated.
“The heart and soul of the club,” says Benji Marshall.
He had heart and a sense of humour. He found a way with the senior players and when he became a senior player himself he was still able to connect with the young kids coming in.
“He’d always get player’s player because everyone wanted to play with him,” Marshall says.
He had hands of stone and a passing game not much better but through hard work Heighington became a regular in the top grade at the Tigers and was there the day they won their first and only premiership.
Now he gets another chance……
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