This story originally published on CODE Sport.
Jim Dymock had just lost a grand final when another rejection sprinkled salt in the wound. But looking back, this was the day he truly started to embrace his Tongan culture.
In 1994, Dymock had just helped Canterbury to the NSWRL grand final alongside Terry Lamb and Dean Pay, only to be beaten by an insatiable Canberra side that remains responsible for the Raiders most recent title.
To make matters worse, this was Dymock’s best season in the league so far, and he was in line for a Kangaroos jersey, but didn’t get it. He was offered a Tongan one instead. So he took it.
“There was so much passion there in the Tongan team because of the war dance before games. Normally with the Australian sides you’re sitting around in the sheds and there’s some music on, but with the Tonga team the boys were singing hymns, so I had to learn the hymns. We all went to church together and did all these things together," Dymock said.
“The camps were more about the culture and spirituality than rugby league, so it made you want to die for the badge."
A special message for Tonga
The Titans will announce more in terms of fundraising and relief plans to help support Tonga in coming weeks in conjunction with the start of the NRL season.