What we’ve lost in rugby in Wales, if not the whole UK, is the old romance of the sport. The tradition of having big crowds out to support local teams in cup competitions, minnows taking on big teams, the clubhouse always being packed after a huge amount of build-up in the weeks before the game itself.

Football is lucky, it still has that with the FA Cup. Of course, in professional rugby it is just not possible anymore due to the safety issues that it would bring, with the physicality of a contact sport.

But If you look back at old footage of those old games in the Schweppes Cup and competitions like that, you’ll see they were played quite often on heavy grounds - which was sometimes a great leveller for the local clubs at the time.

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I was reminded of those sort of games when I watched Ospreys v Cardiff at Brewery Field on New Year’s Day. I wasn’t in Bridgend myself, I was up in Mynyddcerrig Working Men’s Club - and I must say that everybody in the club was thoroughly enjoying what they were watching.

I thought it was great. An old-fashioned game of rugby in those wet, muddy conditions. I don’t think anybody could have watched that game and not enjoyed it, because it was a quality game of rugby first and foremost. It was exciting, with the Ospreys coming back to win, the players showing tremendous skill in difficult conditions and the referee and his team performing well in what was a pretty difficult game and set of conditions to officiate in!

In my mind, if you watched that game and didn't enjoy it, I wonder really what does make you enjoy a game of rugby? Is it when the sun is shining and the score is 65 points to 60? Is that what makes you enjoy it? Because that’s not what a game of rugby is about.

The conditions at Brewery Field have divided some but I just can’t understand why anyone would complain about it. I can understand why the players might not want to play in those kind of conditions and none of us would want those conditions week in and week out, but the rain can create those kinds of mud baths quite easily and you can’t do much about the weather.

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I’ve seen plenty of games on 4G pitches that haven’t had even half the quality that we saw in that New Year’s Day derby, and the stadium was packed with a brilliant atmosphere.

In fact, I think everybody involved in Bridgend that day to get that game up and running and get the pitch as well as it could be in those conditions, the players, the teams, the officials, everybody should be really proud of themselves. To be honest, it probably was the best game of all the Christmas derbies.

So I really don’t understand why people would complain so much about the conditions. I wish they would stop complaining and just appreciate the effort everybody's gone into and, of course, enjoy the quality of rugby that we witnessed.

You don’t need to look at social media for very long before you find someone moaning about something or other. My message to those complaining about this game? Stop being so negative and just enjoy the occasion.

It wasn’t a game that we would want to be played in those conditions every Saturday, but we will look back on it as one of the most memorable matches in the recent Welsh rugby calendar, if not well beyond that.

As a referee, I would much rather officiate a game in a stadium like Brewery Field with an 8,000 capacity and a great atmosphere than a game in a 22,000 stadium with only 5,000-odd people there, just as I’d rather do my after-dinner speaking in a small but packed clubhouse rather than a huge room with hardly anyone in there. I’m sure the players feel exactly the same.

Games don’t draw the crowds that they used to. The Ospreys v Scarlets derby drew 11,000 in a 20,000 seater stadium, for example. So I think there are a lot of benefits to playing in these smaller stadiums and I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to seeing more games held there.

Of course, with all this talk about Brewery Field, I would be remiss not to pay a brief tribute to the great JPR Williams, who passed away on Monday.

Wherever I refereed in the world, people I met would always talk about their memories of the Wales team of the 1970s. There are huge fans out there, even in South Africa and New Zealand. They all spoke of their memories of watching Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Phil Bennett and of course, JPR, in action. He was always in the conversation as we discussed that magnificent era of Welsh rugby and the greats it produced.

He was probably the greatest fullback of all time. He was certainly a legend of the game and an icon of Welsh rugby. I didn’t know him well, but I spent some time in his company over the years and he was a real character and a true gentleman.

May he rest in peace and my deepest sympathy to his family and close friends.