Watching the Colts match (Feisty Raiwaqa takes Marist out) yesterday brought so many memories flooding back of where Suva Rugby Union was in my primary school days up to by Colts years and how the standards have fallen.
Since I am a journalist and like to cover the proceedings from the best vantage point, I attempted to go to the main ground stands to watch the match.
Unfortunately the pavilion was all chained and locked up.
I thought I would get some help from the ticket booth (used to be anyway) and was surprised to find an employee of the curry shop under the pavilion going through some of their stored stuff packed there.
What a change.
That ticket booth would have provided some revenue for the SRU.
On a Thursday afternoon if the match was promoted well, a lot of workers in Suva would have ventured to come and pay $1 or $2 to watch the game and if 2-300 people came would have at least provided some gate-takings.
Now the canteen (used to be) below the pavilion would also have brought in some much needed revenue.
Even though I could have jumped over the fence or forced my way through the gap in the front gate I decided not to push it and watch from the sidelines.
Alas, Suva Rugby has changed from the prime years of the 60s and 70s when a pavilion would have been prepared for the fans, a match commissioner would have been in attendance and the St John Ambulance people available.
From observation I know without a shadow of a doubt that a serious injury would not have been taken care of adequately had the need arose.
And for a contact sport like rugby it should be enforced by our safety regulations to have them available before a kickoff.
The colours of the jerseys have changed so much too I had to ask the supporters which team was which and there has been a lot of changes.
The numbering of the jerseys for one team at least could not be read in the front or back and was a struggle trying to find out what was happening to which player.
One thing for sure if Kadavu was playing yesterday I sure missed the loud bantering of Lingilingi cheering “Wegi, Wegi, Go Kadavu Go”.
Caption: Marist halfback Joape Tiko is watched closely by Raiwaqa’s Mosese Lesu. Photo: GREG TAYLOR