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Forum Home > Requests > The Union Game: A Rugby History (1999? ) TV Series

All Blacks 1996
Member
Posts: 160

I am looking for a copy of a BBC Wales Television  Documentary series titled 

"The Union Game: A Rugby History"??  Narrator , Jonathan PRYCE

This was screened in the UK in August and September 1999 in the UK on BBC2 in four episodes;

If anybody out there has a copy I would love to get hold of it. It has lots of coverage of the NZ v SA rivalry. 

Episode 1) A CLASS GAME (22/08/1999)

 

A study of how the growth and development of rugby in Britain mirrored wider social tensions and national aspirations, with the middle and upper classes fighting to prevent the sport being taken up by the working classes. Both the Scottish and English game showed this elitist approach, while that in Ireland spanned the religious divide, and the Welsh took the sport for themselves with rugby becoming the national game of the principality.

Episode 2) The EMPIRE GAME (29/08/1999)

 

Throughout the century New Zealand and South Africa have been powerful rugby nations. This programme examines how the relations between tham were affected by the racism that became institutionalised within South Africa.

Episode 3) The ADOPTED GAME (05/09/1999)

 

The success of rugby union in France.

Episode 4) The NEW GAME (12/09/1999)

Examination of the 1974 England v France game confirmed that rugby was not an amateur game even then - all 15 England players wore the same make of boots. Mike Burton (former England prop forward) speaks of how he was approached by rugby boot representatives. The sham of amateurism could not last and it was in Australia that the pressure to turn the game professional was the strongest, resulting in the `rugby war' between Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer.






 





--

Philip


July 21, 2013 at 7:02 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Flourbomber
Member
Posts: 104

Philip,

May I recommend "We Beat the All Blacks" - BBC Wales tv doc about the Llanelli 1972 game - Murdoch really puts himself about a bit.

Its on youtube

Mike

ps there is a similar programme about Muster 1978 too

August 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Kimbo
Member
Posts: 219

Flourbomber at August 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Philip,

May I recommend "We Beat the All Blacks" - BBC Wales tv doc about the Llanelli 1972 game - Murdoch really puts himself about a bit.

Its on youtube

Mike

ps there is a similar programme about Muster 1978 too

Yep.

Watched it a few months ago. Brilliant. Keith Murdoch's physique is just incredible - in the amateur era where (compared to today), tight forwards have obvious pot bellies, and spindly arms, Murdoch wouldn't go amiss in a modern team.

How did Max Boyce's poem go:

"...and grown men were seen to cry,

not because Llanelli beat the All Blacks,

but because the pubs ran dry!"


August 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Kimbo
Member
Posts: 219

Flourbomber at August 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Philip,

May I recommend "We Beat the All Blacks" - BBC Wales tv doc about the Llanelli 1972 game - Murdoch really puts himself about a bit.

Its on youtube

Mike

ps there is a similar programme about Muster 1978 too

Twas on a dark and dismal day in a week that had seen rain,

When all roads led to Stradey Park with the All Blacks here again,

they poured down from the valleys, they came from far and wide,

There were 50,000 in the ground and me and Dai outside.

The shops were closed like Sunday and the streets were silent still,

And those who chose to stay away were either dead or ill,But those who went to Stradey park will remember till they die,

How New Zealand were defeated and how the pubs ran dry.

Oh the beer flowed at Stradey, piped down from Felinfoel,

And the hands that held the glasses high were strong from steel and coal,

the air was filled with singing and I heard a grown man cry,

Not because we'd won but because the pubs ran dry.

Then dawned the morning after, on empty factories,

But we were still at Stradey, bloodshot absentees,

But we all had doctors papers and they all said just the same,

that we all had Scarlet fever and we caught it at the game.

Now all the little babies in Llanelli from now on,

Will be Christened Roy or Carwyn, Derek, Delme Phil or John,

And in a hundred years from now they'll sing a song for me,

About that day the scoreboard read Llanelli 9- Seland Newydd 3.

And when i grow old, my hair turns grey and they put me in a chair,

I'll tell my great grandchildren that their Datcu was there.

And they'll ask to hear the story of that dark October day,

When I went down to Stradey Park and I saw the Scarlets play.

(with obvious reference to Shakespeare's Henry V battle of Agincourt/St Crispens Day speech at the very end:

Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.

    This story shall the good man teach his son;

    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,

    From this day to the ending of the world,

    But we in it shall be remembered-

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,

    This day shall gentle his condition;

    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed

    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,

    And hold their manhoods cheap (don't laugh! That's not what Billy Shakespeare meant!) whiles any speaks

    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.


August 18, 2013 at 6:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Kimbo
Member
Posts: 219

Although I always thought the following from Billy Shakespeare (flanker for Warwickshire c1595) was always a more effective pre-match speech (taken from England vs Harfleur on their undefeated tour of France in 1415): 

 Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;

Or close the wall up with our English dead.

In peace there's nothing so becomes a man

As modest stillness and humility:

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

Then imitate the action of the tiger;

Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,

Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;

Then lend the eye a terrible aspect...

On, on, you noblest English.

Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!

Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,

Have in these parts from morn till even fought

And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:

Dishonour not your mothers; now attest

That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.

Be copy now to men of grosser blood,

And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,

Whose limbs were made in England, show us here

The mettle of your pasture; let us swear

That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;

For there is none of you so mean and base,

That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,

Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:

Follow your spirit, and upon this charge

Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

However, you have to use it judiciously. I've tried snippets of it  once or twice with NZ and Australian teams, and you usually get a bemused look of 'WTF?!". Translation for the modern Southern Hemisphere rugby team: "Let's get stuck into these Froggie bastards!".

 

 

August 18, 2013 at 9:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

All Blacks 1996
Member
Posts: 160

Michael, 

Thanks for that, I had not seen it before. What a perfect illustration of how rugby can focus communities. Fantastic for Llanelli.

I worry that these fixtures have been discarded, as they are the soul of rugby.

August 19, 2013 at 6:23 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Flourbomber
Member
Posts: 104

Philip,

Those fixtures are the heart, soul and backbone of our game. They resonate for decades. They are what rugby is all about - an international game played in little towns and big cities everywhere - vid Murray Kidd tackling David Duckham out of the Taranaki game in the 71 Lions game, the All Blacks/Randwick game in 88

http://www.theroar.com.au/2008/06/20/randwick-v-new-zealand-22-june-1988-australias-most-memorable-rugby-game/

I could go on and on.

These meaningless and continuous internationals debase the currency of international rugby.

I know Kimbo has a good grasp on the commercial realities of sport - but do we want to become just anothe r franchise driven media sport like ice hockey and basketball? And that is meant with the greatest respect to those sports  - they are successful and popular and good luck to them. But they ae not rugby.

One final question - how many TriNations games do you remember ? and will you remember them in 30 years time as much as you and I still can remember Hika's try in Ballymore in 1980 ?

Mike

August 23, 2013 at 6:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Flourbomber
Member
Posts: 104

All Blacks 1996 at August 19, 2013 at 6:23 AM

Michael, 

Thanks for that, I had not seen it before. What a perfect illustration of how rugby can focus communities. Fantastic for Llanelli.

I worry that these fixtures have been discarded, as they are the soul of rugby.

There is a youtube documentary on the Munster game too.

August 23, 2013 at 6:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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