Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: The Sad News Springboks

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  • Aidan,

    Well according to Damon himself, he is 5'10". Francois Pienaar is 6'3".

    Did they scale all the players down to match the diminutive Damon?

    From the shorts I have seen the impacts on the rugby field don't look hard enough.

    And what is with Morgan's teeth!?

    I was bummed enough the first time, not keen to have that repeated.

    Bad news about Reuben Kruger. His try shouldn't have been denied, but then that was never a forward pass to Lomu ....

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Did I mention the uniforms were perfect except for the numbers on the ABs, which looked like the modern Adidas font.</unigeek>

    We watched American Flyers...

    Is that the one with Kevin Costner? If so, I remember thinking it was very cool at the time

    @Kyle: what about The Miracle? or Slap Shot?

    And thinking of Paul Newman, there's been a few motor racing movies too. but not many good ones.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Except that I saw the film with the Wellington Richter City roller girls and there was much derision afterwards of the skill of certain actors and depictions of the sport.

    Stupid film-makers, making roller derby look all fun and cool and stuff.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    My favourite is Breaking Away.

    "Refund? REFUND?"

    (That will never not be funny to me.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Bad news about Reuben Kruger. His try shouldn't have been denied, but then that was never a forward pass to Lomu ....

    No. It wasn't. And I can't help thinking what might have happened if he had not been halted by the whistle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    My favourite is Breaking Away. Even the series (made about 10 years later) wasn't as bad as you'd expect.

    Never saw the series, but I won a free pass to the film when it first came out, and was blown away by it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates,

    Breaking Away was the film that caused me to save up my pocket money and buy my first 10-speed "racing" bike. I tried to draft a big truck and get up to 60mph like Dave did... but all we had up North were cattle trucks and I just got a mouth full of flying cowshit spraying off the wheels when I got too close. No effluent tanks in those days...
    ...plus I was a tubby kid and couldn't sustain the pace anyway.

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 197 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I was trying to think of Breaking Away's name when I scrolled down and you had it already. My addled memory recalled the team was "The Cutters" and I love the scene when they jump into the quarry off the cliffs. When it came out my friends all had 10-speeds and I had a one-speed but we'd ride 30 to 40km to the beach and back together - I was working my butt off to get up the hills in the same time as my friends though. We lived in Warkworth and went to the Old Wilson Cement Works to swim all through summer and jumping off the cliffs on the far side in the 90 metre deep quarry was the best fun. It's funny - I always thought I was almost the only person who had seen it. I watched it again a couple of years back and it's still fantastic.
    On a completely different topic, I think Ali Williams needs orthotics if he hasn't got them already. I did my achilles and hamstrings almost monthly until getting a pair - they work. It's not like he can't afford it - but then who knows now his furniture business went under and his prospects of earning lots playing rugby just took a plunge. When you think how much less the NZRU will make if we miss out on winning the RWC, then $500 on a podiatrist seems small change.
    I still go to type NZRFU - apparently it changed in 2006... that word football is almost a misnomer in NZ. I'm waiting for hacky-sackers to adopt it too for example.
    The fact that the '95 AB's were poisoned was almost as bad as Wayne Barnes blatant bias and cheating last time around. WTF are they going to do this time? Togo at the African Cup of Nations might have been a test run. You do get the feeling they'll stop at nothing to win and that's made me very negative towards rugby. Wayne Barnes (and the official reaction to his display) made following the AB's seem a bit stupid. Why bother at that point? Does Invictus show half our team vomiting in 1995? Jeff Wilson could hardly walk. Scum.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    From the linked to interview with Freeman, Damon:

    Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.

    My memory may be faulty, but were they REALLY that much of an underdog? I can't find the pre-tournament bookie odds for SA to win (surely as good an indicator as any.) From what I can recall, they'd re-entered the rugby scene, and acquitted themselves rather well in the years leading up to the 1995 tournament. So perhaps not favourites to win, but not exactly Romania, or Portugal, or Canada-style "underdogs" either.

    But would Invictus be so much of a story if they were expected to get all the way to the semis, or even the final? Hmmm...

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    The fact that the '95 AB's were poisoned was almost as bad as Wayne Barnes blatant bias and cheating last time around. WTF are they going to do this time?

    This nation needs to get over the fact that it's not always someone else's fault when we lose a game. Wayne Barnes had a shocker in the '07 game we lost, but we could have/should have won had we played smarter. You can't alway rely on the ref.

    As for the poisoning allegation, it's clear that a number of ABs were sick, and that it could have affected the outcome of the match. But "Suzie", and the conspiracy to poison the ABs, probably never existed. No reliable evidence of a conspiracy has ever been uncovered.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    My memory may be faulty, but were they REALLY that much of an underdog? I can't find the pre-tournament bookie odds for SA to win (surely as good an indicator as any.) From what I can recall, they'd re-entered the rugby scene, and acquitted themselves rather well in the years leading up to the 1995 tournament.

    They'd toured here the previous year and were fairly comprehensively outplayed by a rather patchy AB side (two wins to the ABs and a draw - and the ABs should have won the drawn match at Eden Park, even though it was a very messy game.) The ABs had just been beaten twice in a row at home by France - a first, I think - so the Boks weren't rated that highly.

    Against that, of course, they were on home turf. At least the refs were neutral, this time. [Mutter mutter 1976 mutter mutter Bruce Robertson penalty try mutter mutter crook refs....]

    My memory is the two teams rated high going into the tournament were England and Australia. Aussie seemed to be missing a gear when the tournament started - there were rumours of internal problems.

    England were beaten by South Africa in the first pool game of the tournament, and of course we all know what happened when England met NZ. [LOMU!! Oh!! Ohh!! ]

    As for the fillum itself...haven't seen it yet, but when I heard the casting I had an 'of course' response to Freeman as Mandela - hell, Freeman has been channelling Mandela since at least the Shawshank Redemption.

    But Matt Damon as a Springbok captain? Some things just feel wrong, and this is one of them.

    On a completely different note: my favourite sports fillum of all time.

    Dodgeball.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Galvani,

    No reliable evidence of a conspiracy has ever been uncovered.

    Are you kidding me? It's a pretty well accepted fact that in the lead up to the final a betting syndicate and SA rugby officials conspired to diminish the ABs chance of winning. Not only through 'Suzie' but a raft of dirty tactics, as reported in the Observer and many other reputable media agencies. Sean Fitzpatrick, who has the most honest face in sport, even spoke publicly about the SA RFU president telling him he'd rig the tournament to favor a SA vs AB final. A SA security guard assigned to the ABs at the time confirmed Laurie Mains' assertions about the poisoning. Dude, the truth is out there.

    Also, best sports film = a league of their own.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Okay, I'll go for Horse Feathers (1932).

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Wayne Barnes was either paid or he is blind. 37 possible penalties in the game against the French and only 2 awarded (both in the first half). Proof?

    The AB's were poisoned deliberately in the hotel. Only they were affected out of all the guests.

    Members of the Togo soccer team were murdered recently.

    We invest a lot in following a sport that seems corrupt when bigger forces are involved - and our small country is pretty easy to screw over.

    1991 was a shocker. Nothing went right and we deserved to lose. The Fench beat us fair and square in 2003.

    In 1995 and 2007 we had the best team in the world. By miles. Unbeatable except for the ref and the waitress...

    The French were dogged in 2007 but then if I'd infringed ten times without penalty then I suppose I also would think I had nothing to lose by smothering everything and standing offside for 80 minutes. We can blame Henry for not playing a better team but the NZRU chiefs had the inside word on what really happened and have kept him on. Go figure!

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Amy:

    It's a pretty well accepted fact that in the lead up to the final a betting syndicate and SA rugby officials conspired to diminish the ABs chance of winning.

    I must have missed the news. All I've ever read and heard is a lot of rumour and innuendo.

    Sean Fitzpatrick, who has the most honest face in sport

    Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. Ask anyone who opposed him on the field.

    Dude, the truth is out there

    Sure, but before I hitch my wagon to this particular conspiracy theory I'd like to see some actual evidence.

    Andre, I've no idea what the attack on the Togo soccer team has to do with the alleged poisoning of the ABs. Are you suggesting the same people were behind these events?

    We lost in '95 for a number of reasons. One of them may have been food poisoning. Or perhaps we cracked under pressure. And in '07 we just played dumb rugby and left our fate in the hands of an incompetent ref.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    @Andre,

    Go back and look at the All Blacks in 2007. Not unbeatable at all, especially when remembering we played South Africa "B".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    Andre, not France in 2003. The correct list is:
    1987 - won easily, one of the few to take it seriously at the time though.
    1991 - past their best, struggled through pool, well beaten.
    1995 - Poisoned (whether accidentally, or deliberately. If deliberately, then instigator was one or more of Louis Luyt (known to be evil); Mandela (known to believe there are more important things than sport); or sports betting syndicates (known to have considerable leverage in SA and elsewhere). Or just a random punter. An unholy alliance between Luyt and Mandela would have made a great movie.
    1999 - According to Anton Oliver, the AB forwards were absolutely smashed and only individual brilliance from Lomu had kept them in the game. Unfortunately, being so far behind on points only encouraged France to take a few chances, and they won by two lucky bounces. C'est la vie.
    2003 - ABs remembered putting 50 points on Australia in the 3N and Wales in the 1/4 final - but forgot about all the points they conceded in the process. The home team was never going to lose the semi.
    2007 - Hopeless ref - France had at least two break-out tries stopped by ABs illegally killing the ball, and should have won more comfortably. AB's had bad luck with injuries to two first-fives, but effectively the AB captain lost the game. And he knows it. Shame though - that was a great team.

    Nobody whinges about 1991, 1999, or 2003. 2007 was tragic because of the gulf between ability and outcome, but again nothing really to whinge about - hosts are even money against the ABs in RWCs. Unless the final is in SA...

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • Shay Lambert,

    I'd like to nominate Any Given Sunday for best sports movie.

    Over-the-top over-acting histrionics from Al Pacino. Over-hyped coke-induced movie histrionics from Oliver Stone. More swaggering machismo than the first Predator movie. More homoerotic subtext than Top Gun. More training montages than Rocky 4. More everything, all the time.

    Just like real American football.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    The AB's were poisoned deliberately in the hotel. Only they were affected out of all the guests.

    I was too young to know anything about that RWC, but I've always thought that they just got on the chop in their hotel room and used that as an excuse. Wasn't it only the three Brooke boys that got it?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    and this is the piece Amy is talking about I think
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/osm/story/0,,1251765,00.html

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Slevin,

    My memory of the AB's 1995 final failure is that they were undone by too much reliance on Lomu and by internal divisions over the impending professional rugby circus.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 95 posts Report Reply

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