PICTURE: Once lush Newlands stadium in a state of neglect

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Anyone who actually knows for sure what’s going on with the historic Newlands rugby stadium would certainly be in the minority.

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All we know is that the once lush, green grass of the oldest rugby stadium in the country is no more.

No rugby is currently being played at the venue with both Western Province and the Stormers having made the move to the Cape Town Stadium which was built to host matches during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

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It’s clear no one has bothered watering the Newlands turf as a recent picture suggests it’s now as brown as the fields in Kimberley and Bloemfontein in winter that we’ve become accustomed to – on a bad day!

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And we’re willing to bet that ‘big screen’ still doesn’t work as it should!

The images remind one of the fate suffered by the Boet Erasmus Stadium in Gqeberha.

The former home of Eastern Province rugby, which had a capacity of just under 34 000, was officially closed in July 2010.

The last match to be played at the stadium was a friendly between EP and the Blue Bulls on 3 July, 2010.

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The stadium was most famous – or infamous – for the ‘Battle of Boet Erasmus’ Test during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, in which the Springboks beat Canada 20-0.

The match saw not only a power failure, but the issuing of no fewer than three red cards – to Springbok hooker James Dalton and Canadian duo Gareth Rees and Rod Snow. Springbok wing Pieter Hendriks was cited post-Test, and along with Dalton, was banned for the remainder of the tournament.

The stadium was mercifully demolished 2018, but not before leaving us with the lasting memories below of it in a state of rack and ruin.

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