Rocky on his Leinster Experience

Discussion in 'Guinness Pro14' started by MunsterMan, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. MunsterMan

    MunsterMan Guest

    Rocky: I had an immense experience
    Now back in his native Australia, the Leinster hero reflects on his extraordinary time in Dublin

    By Rocky Elsom

    Wednesday June 10 2009

    As I was boarding the plane out of Dublin last month, the lady at the check-out said, "So, this is it, huh?" I nodded and she said, "Well, we couldn't have asked for anything more," and I thought to myself 'you think you couldn't have asked for anything more!' I felt like I've had a career worth of experience in what felt like three weeks.

    So many things that I've never experienced before were crammed into one season. I've never had a guy go through the whole team only to try and headbutt me in the middle of a match. I've never played on a field inside a dog track. I've never had my fingers numb before a match. I've never been part of a team where people would openly and genuinely laugh at our chances of winning. I've never had a crowd so openly and obviously demand something during a match. I've never been in a team that has fought out so many close wins in one season or one that saved their best for when it counted most.

    I had never been to a place where there are 1,000s of rocks all shaped like hexagons. I'd never seen snow fall. I'd never had an Argentinean Christmas, (which seems to be a lot like the traditional version but with Santa having his days mixed up). I'd never had so many chats with cab drivers. I'd never been to a place where I couldn't understand what was being said to me when the language being spoken was apparently English.

    This could go on for a while but the point is it couldn't have been more different from anything I've experienced before.

    As good as all that was, it's never what you've done that makes your time somewhere, it's how you feel doing it. People would always say "you're from Australia what the hell are you doing here?" but I don't think they took into account just how good it was for me being 'here'. I'm not exactly from an undesirable place in Australia either but I didn't get homesick once and I love Australia.

    I think that if I had asked for a couple of weeks to go back to Australia I would have got them, but I couldn't have imagined doing that.

    Sure, I would have liked to see my family and friends but I would have preferred they visit me.

    I wouldn't say winter was ideal but something I'm glad I experienced, even if I was only awake for around 12 hours in the day. Maybe it sounds like I'm not all there with comments about enjoying winter but you've got to understand that it's the people that make the experience and the experience was immense.

    The best thing about travelling in rugby is the people you meet and I've met some great ones. From the little kid next door who recites scorelines from years ago and his father who is as polite and genuine a man as you'll meet, only to turn into a swearing maniac when Ireland are playing, to the teenagers who would play American football with us in Herbert Park on Sundays.

    I'm excited to get back to Australia. I couldn't wait to get back for a lot of reasons and it would be good to shake the moon tan I've picked up, but I also think I'm lucky that I've got something so good to look forward to and take my mind off what I've left behind.

    The Barbarians game at Twickenham could not have come at a better time. Having time to dwell on the time I've had in Ireland wouldn't have been ideal for me so close to what was such a great finale. Joining another team so soon made it easier for me by taking my focus off what I'm leaving, even if it meant not being able to train all week and delaying some rest time.

    It's a bit like when you go to see a movie and people rave about how good it is, it's unlikely you're going to think it's better that expected. That's how I have felt about Dublin, only I was that one doing the initial raving.

    Sure I had the two coldest days of my life there in 2006 but I did sign with Leinster expecting something from Dublin and Ireland.

    I didn't know it was going to be this and consider myself extremely fortunate and indebted to the people for what they've given me.

    - Rocky Elsom
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  3. QLD

    QLD Guest

    Rocky is GOD. I'm still gutted he ain't joining Queensland.
  4. Jer1cho

    Jer1cho Guest

    Whoa. That's the kind of speech i expected from Bruce Willis in Armageddon before blowing himself up. Sounds like a movie is going to be made about this, especially because of so many heart-broken Irish. Still though, nice words from him, and it sure does sound like he had fun. *sniff sniff*
  5. shazbooger

    shazbooger Guest

  6. shazbooger

    shazbooger Guest

    Yep. We gave him Snow and Hexagonal stones.

    No one can take that away from us.
  7. shtove

    shtove Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Logorrhea @ Jun 11 2009, 11:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>

    Yep. What a lucky guy.
  8. dundeesmiffy

    dundeesmiffy Guest

    It's just a shame he had to go back...I'm with Shane Horgan on that matter.
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