The Drop Goal

The score was 33-31. The hooter had gone; the game was only waiting for the ball to go dead.

He was 37 in a young man’s game. He hadn’t had a start in years. Every joint in his body creaked. His pace was gone. Every tackle felt like a car crash. But, he still had a cannon for a boot, and the score was 33-31.

25 meters out The prop picked up the ball and crashed ahead.

22 meters out The ball popped up to a loose forward, who tried to squeeze into half a gap.

21 meters out He settled into the pocket as the hooker crashed ahead again.

20 meters out The ball came out to the lock, who ran the ball a few meters to the middle.

19 meters out “Now!” He cried. The scrum half went in for the ball. It was a bullet straight into the pocket, straight to his chest. He caught it, he dropped it to the turf, just like a thousand times before. One last time he swung his foot. One last time he hit the sweet spot of the ball. One last time, it sailed toward the posts.

And the score was 34-33.

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