Following the defeat of the Springboks by Japan in the Rugby World Cup on Saturday, I wrote the following letter to the Brighton Argus. It was published today (22nd September 2015)
I cannot disagree more strongly with your Comment ‘Rugby joy for us all’ (21/09/15). Yes, it was an amazing weekend of rugby as the World Cup arrived in Brighton. Yes, the city was awash with green and gold, red and white, and the Stars and Stripes. And yes, the atmosphere was exceptional.
But for some of us, a minority, the weekend was not “a time for celebration for all”.
Saturday was supposed to be the day when everything came together for us South African rugby fans who have made Brighton our home – the Rugby World Cup, at The Amex, featuring the Springboks. It was a once in a lifetime moment. The Boks were 500 to 1 on to win. What could possibly go wrong? No one predicted a winning try for Japan in the 4th minute of extra time and the biggest shock in rugby history.
I will get over it …… eventually.
But rugby is not football, and we can applaud the amazing achievement and deserved victory by Japan. Later that evening, when the Brighton train arrived at London Victoria, Bokke fans formed a guard of honour and applauded the Japanese fans off the train before allowing them through the barriers first.
On reflection, yes I can all see this as a time for celebration, although it does still hurt.