Updated: Nov 30, 2018
(This was written 2 years ago. The team mentioned is now playing U10)
You are taught to play the right way, within the rules and spirit of sportsmanship. You expect that should bring you the right results all the time. The U8 team learnt the hard way that it’s not always the case.
At the KL Tigers International in June, in a tight game, they were on the wrong end of the calls that resulted in a heart-breaking loss. The players, coaches and parents were devastated. Things shouldn’t be this way. But inevitably it did go that way.
I recall my time with the Stingers,
“Wong, you’re offside! “ The ref calls out. It was funny because the ref wasn’t even looking at Wong. He wasn’t offside but the call made him hesitate and doubt where the line actually was.
“Play on!” It was an obvious forward pass but the ref allowed it anyway. They scored a try from it but I could have stopped if I didn’t stop playing expecting the ref to blow the whistle.
I always felt that the calls seemed to flow against us more often than not. Looking back, I think I was making excuses for myself. Whether it was true or not, it just meant we had to raise our game higher if we wanted to win. It served as motivation that you have to execute and not leave it to the officials to determine the results.
That’s what this team will do. They have a hard-nosed steward in Coach Izan and a tremendous team filled with tremendous players. They will learn from this and they will come back harder and be all the stronger for it.
In closing, I am going to imagine Coach Izan quoting good ol’ Rocky Balboa: