New kid Moodie relishing season two

29 Sep, 2022 - 00:09 0 Views
New kid Moodie relishing season two Moodie in action against Australia.

H-Metro

The 19-year old, second youngest debutant for the Springboks and scorer of a sensational try in Sydney against the Wallabies, admits he felt a bit overwhelmed when he arrived back in Pretoria to rejoin the Vodacom Bulls for their Vodacom United Rugby Championship season.

“It’s strange,” he laughs, “Suddenly people know who I am, and I freaked out the other day when I walked in the shops and there I was on the cover of a magazine.”

Moodie grabs his phone and eagerly shows the video he took with the cover of the magazine, beaming a smile as enormous as the exceptional season he has had.

But now he knows, the second season of URC will be much more difficult for him. He will be a marked man. He is no longer the unknown factor that burst onto the scene in URC season one.

“This year has been quite the year for me. I didn’t expect this last year when I was still at the juniors. I didn’t think half of this would happen, to go from making my Currie Cup debut, to the following week playing URC and now a few months later getting a call-up to the Bok squad. It’s been an amazing journey for me and it’s just the beginning,” he smiles.

It’s been an incredible journey for the player who never went to a Craven week, who didn’t really get a first-team season in his matric year because of Covid and who was signed to the Bulls on a hunch by former coach Nollis Marais, who now handles the breakdowns for Jake White’s side.

Moodie never even had many offers, most of them from Varsity Cup sides that were looking for him, so when the Bulls came knocking it was an easy decision to make.

From playing junior rugby and getting a chance, being backed by White on the Currie Cup and then URC stage, he has grabbed his opportunities well. And when the Boks took him along as an extra squad member to Australia, never in his wildest dreams did Moodie think he would be getting a chance to start a test.

But injuries and fate had different designs for him, and he ended up having a dream debut as the second youngest player ever to don the green and gold.

“I thought I’d just be another squad member holding bags, but fortunately things went my way and I got an opportunity to play. And what an opportunity it was for me to show what I can do on the international stage,” he laughs.

“It was a massive opportunity and privilege to put that green and gold jersey over my head. I was grateful for the opportunity.

“Now I’m back at the Bulls, trying to bring all the lessons I’ve learnt there back to the URC.”

“The Boks are dependent on the kicking game, and it is my job as a winger to get into that contest and contest every ball in the air as well as I could. The kick was a tad too far, or that’s what I thought initially but I just went up for it. I saw Koroibete wouldn’t get to the ball, so I got up over him and then I saw a clear line to tryline.

“It was very special when all the players came to celebrate with me.”

He adds though that the more special moment for him was in Durban when his family finally got the chance to watch a game live. Talking rugby is something that makes him smile, and his family multiply that smile so much that the pride shines through.

Moodie recalls that it was some sage advice from veteran midfielder Lionel Mapoe, his roommate at the Bulls before his Currie Cup debut, that he carried through with him to keep him calm ahead of the big occasions.-SuperSport.

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