Doc Craven once said “Once rugby turned professional the game would never be the same again because it would have become a job.”
Maybe in more than one way those words come true in recent years especially if one look at the declining numbers at our stadiums and even television ratings.
If you did not buy a season ticket, your chances of getting into the stadium was zero and it was the highlight of your week to get on the train with thousands of other supporters going to Newlands were I lived.
Not even mentioning test rugby in the early nineties, when even a season ticket sometimes did not get you into the stadium to see the Springboks play.
With rugby at that time a true winter sport any supporter worth his jersey, would not have missed any match either going to the stadiums or watching it with the family or friends on television.
It was bundles of emotions that ran high when your team did not win and the pure joy when your team have won which gave you the bragging rights for the next week.
It was a pure love for the game for every little boy felt privileged to be able to play the game from the little boy at under 9 age level group all the way to the one’s that played first team.
It was driven by more passion than most people can imagen.
The game was simple also simple then, every player had his job on the field to do and they gave it their all until that final whistle.
In those days we had rugby people running the game of rugby, because they loved the game and it feel like now we have business people running a business who have forgotten why we play the sport in the first place.
Why did we play the game? ………We did it out of love for the game because there was no questions of money but there was always a great spirit in the game on the field and off it.
I can understand that those amateur days are long gone and the game have come a long way from those days but the game is still played by fifteen players on each side having to do what is needed to get more points than the other team.
There are so many things wrong with the game today and the only way we will be able to save our game is to do the things that is good for rugby.
It starts from the top administrators in the game through our coaches ending with the little boy running around with that oval ball in the back yard.
The game have grown for the better through the years not just for the sport itself but also for the players.
But we need to ask the question do we as supporters, administrators, players and coaches still do it just because we love the game?