That week stretched and grew me as a player and a person. All of us face trials and pressures in life. We sometimes encounter them and define them as problems and not regard them as opportunities to grow. I never understood at the time what the necessity and real value of academic tests and examinations (in school) were for, and why or how they were actually for my benefit.
One of the first games in that 1999 season was a fixture against Michaelhouse. It was in the early years of televised schools games of Maritzburg College . This was in the early days of televised school rugby games. At that time I was not selected for the 1st XV team, but for the 2nd XV. Playing for the second side was still a worthy achievement, but not the chief prize.
I must just state for the record that these events were traumatising at the time, not only because I was so embarrassed but also because when I came home to rectify my situation, told me, wife, what happened and produced the evidence…and she was almost ROTFL.