Matt Williams: So-called red and blue armies don’t drive rivalry, hatred does
We’d a ringside seat into the raw and loud realities of the grunts, bangs and sledging
The high quality match that Munster and Leinster produced last week was the product of a much deeper motivation than fans cheering. Photograph: Inpho
Empty rugby stadiums are cold and melancholic structures. Without people, arenas such as Eden Park, Twickenham, Ellis Park and Lansdowne Road are just lifeless exoskeletons. Dormant until match day, when the flow of human energy trickles into the veins and arteries of the beast. Then, as if by some form of alchemy, phoenixlike, each great stadium resurrects itself into its own unique individual being.
When rugby cathedrals are full, the people create an exhilarating, tangible energy that impacts all who encounter the arena. It is impossible not to be motivated when playing in front of 60,000 at one of these historic venues.