VATUKOULA and South Africa are so far apart in levels of rugby that you cannot really compare one to the other.
But one thing they shared in common on the weekend.
They both lost but they played what one could call "one hell'uva game of rugby" with passion and fire, which defines what the sport of rugby is really all about.
It's about guts and team spirit, not all copybook stuff or straight from the modern coaching methods and manuals.
Big teams like South Africa modify the modern game and had hooker Bismark Du Plessis playing like an openside flanker.
He was the kingpin in defence and attack and was so fast that the French referee had to refer to the Television referee to confirm that he was not offside and his tackle against Dan Carter was illegal.
But influenced by the home crowd he panicked and made a wrong decision that was soon worsened when the Sprinbok hooker committed a real yellow card offence and he had no option but to give the red card.
Du Plessis had elbowed All Blacks flanker Liam Messam who came in to tackle but went down after a hit on the neck.
Ever since we grew up every right thinking Tomu, Rusi and Are have been taught that two wrongs don't make a right. But in this situation, it would have been an ideal opportunity to defy that and wrong the Kiwis by giving just a penalty and not a yellow card.
The crowd would have really loved the French referee, but it would have righted an earlier wrong and give the Springboks a real chance of taking the game down to the wire.
But referees don't have the time to weigh everything and make decisions and whatever decision they make in that split second stands and no court of law can change it.
And that's why I believe referees are a special breed of human beings, everywhere in the world, especially locally that they have to bear the brunt of all the fury of a rugby game.
We have had our many cases of referee attacks in Fiji's 100-year rugby history and now in our centennial year Fiji Rugby Union should not forget them because without these gutsy guys there would not have been a rugby game at all.
In the last thirty years we have had our share of referee assaults and these referees deserve a free ticket to the grandstand in October's Centennial sevens tournament.
Of the international scene Rod Jepsen was escorted off Churchill Park in 1980 with corn husks bouncing off his head from disgruntled Nadroga fans ending their clash with the All Blacks with the score at 14-6.
In 1995 Naitasiri North was banned after the assault on referee Sairusi Ravula in the Suva-Naitasiri game. He ran away but somebody hit him with the corner flag.
There have been numerous cases reported and unreported of the dark side of Fijian rugby in referee punching and chasing and hopefully they receive some form of VINAKA VAKALEVU from FRU and everyone else.
My friend, former schoolteacher Siva Toroca, once told of how he ran up the 129 steps in Levuka Public School chased by members and fans of a village team in Ovalau during a rugby game in the eighties.
Every union is guilty of this great wrong.
While secretary of Nadroga Rugby Union ten years ago a club game between Seabreeze and Lomavata was to be held at 8am at Lawaqa Park Two and the referee was absent.
We went up his place as he was renting in town and I sent Seabreeze official Semi Buakula to wake him up.
Moments later Semi was running down the steps followed by abuse from the referee's wife.
All I heard in English was, "You people can't let him at least enjoy his sleep and find another referee, as every time you take him to a rugby game you punch him," the wife hollered.
I leave the rest to your imagination as the same words we yell at referees were fired back at us but too sweet and flattering to print here.
Just good enough for two rugby officials trying to get a ref out of his bed early in the morning.
He loved to ref but we felt sorry for his family and he was a victim of a couple of assault cases in club games and the disciplinary committee had botched it up.
He was torn between two loves, we could say. After that we gave him all afternoon games.
If a sensible person was to be asked to be a rugby referee in Fiji in some of the outer islands and local club competitions then and nowadays the general answer would have been the same as an answer made by a former soldier being asked by his tauvu how it was like serving as security in Afghanstan.
"If you go there above the armor and everything else supplied to you remember to take two baskets of coconut husks (qanibulu) with you," the Rewa man answered.
In fact the guy had never been to Afghanstan.
As for Vatukoula against Suva we salute Senirusi Seruvakula and his gallant goldmining town players for their effort on Saturday.
The question on everyone's mind after the game was what would have been the outcome had they not suffered from stage fright and had been settled into the game from kick off and not give away those three tries easily to Suva in the first fifteen minutes.
The open running style of Vatukoula brings back memories of the champion Fiji side it was, whom I watched as a young Nadala District, Nadarivatu school kid, play the Maori All Blacks in Theodore Park in Vatukoula 1964.
Vatukoula was Fiji champions then and played players such as Pottai and Herewini.
Last Saturday the crowd went away satisfied, Suva retained the cup, learnt some important lessons for this week's defence and laughed all the way to the bank.