Past struggles resolved on field

What is it about rugby that drives South Africans crazy? If you want to experience national hysteria about race, manhood and wars fought more than a century ago, you do not look to netball, tennis, hockey or even the beautiful game, as the great Pele once dubbed soccer; you find it in a sport played with an oval ball reputedly made of pig’s bladder, squashed between 15 brutish men on each side.

Squeal! It’s odd, this political madness around rugby, for its roots lie in colonial Britain, but it is the Boers who since the early 20th century rallied patriotic sentiment and ethnic passions “to beat them at their own game”...

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