Kennedy' tears of steel

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First Grader
Kennedy' tears of steel

Kennedy' tears of steel
Man of steel reduced to tears
By Paul Kent
April 23, 2005

BEN Kennedy is not a man known for high sentiment.

He has ice blues eyes and a stare that cuts through all types of rubbish and most kinds of bull, but rarely do they moisten in recognition of the emotion inside.

Yet Kennedy walked onto Suncorp Stadium last night and the lessons of the week remained high inside him.

And as he lined up for the Australian national anthem for what many expect to be his last Test, he thought of the week he had had and his 15 family members in the crowd and he listened to the crowd singing, singing the national anthem like he had never heard it sung before, and, well, suddenly the eyes welled up.

"I got a little bit emotional singing that national anthem," he said after the game, eating chicken in the dressing room.

"Just hearing it. Everyone singing, and I knew all my family was in the crowd.

"It was great just to experience it."

The fact that it was Kennedy's first Test in Australia was also significant.

"I've always been suspended or injured," he said.

"I've never played a Test here before."

Kennedy was his usual ruthless self last night, putting the steel in an Australian side that had too much steel already for an over matched and under-strength New Zealand side.

It had been some week for him.

With questions, or perhaps answers, about his future uncertain, this time around he had made a special effort to absorb all that was around him.

To not only enjoy the week, which he usually does, but to also understand and appreciate what it was about.

That was the big thing.

Midway through the week coach Wayne Bennett brought in two former Australian players that, to all but the few,

have long since been consigned to the history books.

Denis Flannery and Brian Davies toured with the 1952 and 1956 Kangaroos and on Bennett's invitation they stepped into camp and told stories of their experiences and the magic they hold, and somewhere along the line it dawned on the Australians the legacy they now carry and will one day pass on.

It touched Kennedy, deeply.

Now, as we said, Kennedy is not a man known for high sentiment.

Even Bennett was surprised to hear of its impact on Kennedy, of all people.

"That's great," Bennett said.

"It hit the mark."

According to Kennedy, Bennett's crusade to reinvigorate Test football was felt by all the Aussies during the week.

"I'm trying to make them appreciate their history," Bennett said.

"I know they're all aware of it, but I think they have got to not take it for granted.

"I want them to appreciate the legacy they have been given."

If so, consider the sale done with Kennedy.

"They made us aware of what came before us," he said, indicating that it had a heavy affect on the team.

"With that comes pressure, with the pressure comes the enjoyment."

Even as it appeared to strike at the heart of what drives Kennedy, it sounded like an odd connection.

"You need pressure to enjoy it, I believe.

"Because of the pressure we go through, so many emotions, you doubt yourself.

"You just battle yourself and you know everyone else is going through the same thing, there's a lot of expectations on you.

"It makes it a little bit more special.

"Everyone has to conquer what's inside.

"That's what makes us respect each other as much as we do, we all go through the same thing."

That's what happened to the warrior last night, eating his chicken in the dressing room after the game.

He fought and he played. He made his legacy.

The Daily Telegraph
Kennedy' tears of steel

I love the passion this bloke brings to Manly. To think there were some that didn't want him and claimed he was a crock signing.
Kennedy' tears of steel

He seems to have as much passion for our jersey as the aussie one - i love it

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