|All Blacks v England in a game before this World Cup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|New Zealand national rugby union team (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Joost van der Westhuizen
It is often said that Rugby Union is the greatest game in the world, something I believe, although I don’t often say it myself. Here are three incidents from the first three days of the Rugby World Cup being played in England:
1. The Samoan team stood in their practice jerseys and sang a beautiful hymn to Joost Van der Westhuizen, former great halfback for the South African Springboks, who has been diagnosed with motor neuron disease, as he listened from his wheelchair. At last sight, the video of this has been seen by 125,000 people.
2. A reporter has recorded how, as the crowds poured back from Brighton to London, the fans of the Springboks, who were amazingly beaten by 43-to-1 underdog Japan in a thrilling game, formed a guard through which they welcomed the Japanese fans as they got off the train. No signs in Rugby of the hooliganism so common to English fans in the world of soccer, the so-called beautiful game.
3. A reporter has noted that after the All Blacks of New Zealand defeated a gallant challenge from Argentina, in an absorbing and hard-fought game before 90,000 people at Wembley stadium, the home of British soccer, the All Black players formed a double line through which they applauded the Argentine players as they left the field.
If it isn’t the world’s greatest game, how come its players and its fans seem to know the difference between playing a game, something done for enjoyment, and real life?
A great start towards a peaceful world.