" Kamate! Kamate! Kaora... Kaora......... nana itiki maifaka fiti tera !!!!!"
A boring Sunday evening granted me to enlighten myself by taking a walk. My final days as a "Budak Koleq" seemed so queer and dull as though there was nothing else to ponder upon. Maybe this was what they call the sadness of a Form 5.
As I strolled along the pavement outside the college gate, I could catch a glimpse of a few guys playing soccer at the college field. Their joy and laughter really yearned my desire to join them but my path were too resilient that I couldn't possibly change my path..... as though I was settled for a meaningful encounter. I decided to continue my ambiguous walk alone, without the presence of my other acquaintances.
It was a hot but yet lonely evening. At times, the cool 'angin kuala' would swept away the sweat from my face, leaving a great surging gratitude in myself. I felt so pleasant, as if I was free from the stress that was fettering my mind. I didn't know where I was heading nor I knew what I was seeking. The moment I realize, I was already facing the Clifford field. The gate was set ajar as if inviting me to enter. My steps were leasure but my pulsewas speeding. I could my adrenaline rose as I lingered around the rugby field. At one corner, a bunch of kids were enjoying their game of soccer but my attention focused to the rugby field.
As I was observing the pitch, my eyes spotted an old wooden bench outside the half way line. Coincidently, the hot burning sun seemed to have left myself fatigue and my weary legs desired me to lay my back on the bench. As I was releasing all my exhaustion, my mind contemplated at the pitch. Yes, this was where it all happen.
Of all the sudden, it started to drizzle. The bright sunny weather deteriorated as the light rain poured gently to the ground, producing a cold tempting atmosphere. It was the weather which occured during that same evening. Now, I was sure that I was about to venture back into time. As I endured myself, the quiet evening converted into...........
23 April 1995..... 5.00 p.m. ........
"Priitt !!!!!......." The whistle was blown. A fine kick by Biol activated our gigantic front row to lurch for the secure. "Bang !!" there goes Syahrul with his bull charge followed by Meon's inexorable head slammer. Out astonishing start didn't allow our opponents to hold and in matter of seconds, we were already in their 22 line. Keeping control of the ball, we gave them a hard impact which left them tumbling over in every maul and ruck. With a fine set-piece, Apex made it into the touch line giving us the lead 5-0. A well paced conversion from Che Wah perfected our first try.
It was too early to celebrate. And our lack of conscience gave our opponents the chance to make a fortuitous penetration from a scrum in our 22 line. Being too certain, we lacked our defence. Expecting the ref to call for a foul, the touch was allowed and the Tigers came back trailing 7-7.
The first 15 minutes of the game saw both sides being tied up and the struggle continued. Our cheering became raucous. The follow-ups by the drums motivated ourselves to act sharper and deadlier. Putting more effort in our attacks, the remaining minutes of the first half saw us striving for the lead and after strenous struggle in their 22 line, a penalty was awarded to us. The chance couldn't be wasted and the decision had to be wise. The minute Syahrul tapped the ball, I just knew it was gonna work and my instincts didn't fail me. As soon as the flowed gently into Apex's hand, a fine burst perplexed the opponents attention and the ball landed safely on the touch line. A cry of joy heard from everyone as we again took the lead. 12-7....... and the first half ended with a sullen relief in everyone.
"The team that will last in the last 10 minutes of the game, shall win !", Mark Howell's reminder was well spoken and by this expression, he was still calm as usual. In fact, he always has that looks ! ....... The second half of the game saw us kept in our game pattern which believed had more advantages especially in conserving energy. Fouls were well avoided and secure was maintained. Che Wah proved himself as the one and only kicker by converting three successful penalties which enabled us to widen the gap to 21-7. It looked as though the victory was yet to be achieved.
But the game was very unpredictable. An expected decision from the linesman which gave our opponents a short line-up in our 22 line and just inches from the touch line caused a devastating grief to us. I could only watch in anguish as the ball landed swiftly on the touch line. A perfect conversion made us realize it wasn't time to end the battle. Trailing 14-21, our opponents became more aggresive, as though they were just generated with power. An eerie feeling haunted everyone as time was crucial. It was everyone wish to hear the final whistle but fate didn't reveal yet.
The 22 line seemed like a battlezone for two ferocious monsters trying to keep up the fight. One was in dire straits for a try and the other wasn't yet to give up. Netither both sides wanted to end the struggle. Everyone has been performing great. Apex, Penew and Dollah's fine accurate tackles allowed us to stop each and every move they made. Biol's clearance was neat and with the help of Boyanz and Mud's tight man to man mark, neither of the opponents' centers could breakthrough. Both our wingers were like hungry hounds, hunting its prey, unabling it to escape. Syul's undying spirit was vital eventhough his injury during the last minutes aroused fear in everyone of us.
"Final Thoroughbred !! Final Thoroughbred !!", voices lingered in the air, boosting our confidence back as our opponents came closer and closer. We held them back and forth, forcing ourselves to overcome the fear that was haunting our minds. "Come on guys, tahan lagi........ we can do it!!!" I repeated again and again. Dollah was out of breath and Syul was already limping by then.... For godsake, where is the final whistle !!!!!!
"Prit ! Prit ! Priiiiittttt !!!!........." Nothing could made us even happier than listening to the final call. Everyone exalted with joy as victory was achieved. Tears fell down my cheek as I realized the struggle ended with triumph and happiness. I couldn't imagine how grateful it was for us to clinch victory. The screams of joy which celebrated our victory made it clear that victory persists a great value in every way it may be achieved. Nothing could be more beautiful than to see everyone from the younger breeds of the juniors till the highly matured seniors holding hands tightly together, singing the Vinac song proudly.
The rain has stopped, leaving potholes scattered on the ground. The sunshine started to come back as if awakened from a long-hours sleep. My jean was already damped together with Crow t-shirt.
As I was about to merry the meeting, I took a final glance at the field again. Somehow I wondered, would that same Sunday evening occur again to shine the College colours?....... Only time will tell.........
Finally, I smiled for I know I had something special which not everyone would have. With a heavy sigh, I made my way back.................
"................ a special thanks to Mr. Husin who guided the team throughout the year, to Mr. Mark, you're the greatest and last but not least......... to all members of the ALL BLACKS 95' , we proved to them that we could........"
# 13, Outsider.