Dawie ran his personal gauntlet during the period when he suffered from a serious injury and a specialist actually predicted that he would never play rugby again.
After an intervarsity match, when he watched from the stand, he came to my office on the Monday morning and said: "Doc - I can't take this: when the Stellenbosch team lined up on the field I nearly cried. I wanted to be there with them. I have to play."
I replied: "You know, Dawie, there are two types of people: the squealers and the genuine ones. The squealer will squeal whatever happens, but the genuine type will often disregard the advice of people, even doctors, because there's a little voice inside which says "Carry on". Let's see which category you fall into. The first team is having a practice today. Bring along your togs and we'll see whether you're going to play again."
I watched him that day and he was here, there and everywhere. You could see how delighted he was to be playing again.
Dawie then went back to the doctor who had given him the thumbs down, but who this time agreed that he would take him to a specialist in Cape Town for a second opinion.
The specialist tested the knee and then pointed to the doctor who had performed the operation and said: "This man has done a much better job than he realises - you may play again."
It took some time to establish himself as Piet Uys was still around. But the match at Loftus in 1965 where he stamped his authority on the game proved that he was the No. 1 scrumhalf in the country.
There were many critics at the time when he was selected as a Springbok but he persevered and went on to captain South Africa more often than anyone else.
At the end of his career he had silenced all the critics and had become one of the most generally admired of all the Springboks. Above all he enjoyed his rugby and that's how I remember Dawie, a man who loved the sheer thrill of competition.