Wednesday, 19 December 2012


I sat down to watch ‘Weight Of A Nation’ last night – Sky Sport NZ’s retrospective doco on the All Blacks’ ultimately victorious Rugby World Cup 2011 campaign.

It was a great 80 minutes or so, not just because it relived the glory of last year, but because it started long before RWC2011, with the epic failure of our RW2007 loss to France in the now infamous Cardiff debacle.

I’ll embed the link here though I am not sure how long it will stay available. 

It framed our entire rapture in winning 2011 nicely, by putting that loss front and centre as the starting point for not just the coaching triumvirate of Graham Henry, Steve Hansen & Wayne Smith to redeem themselves, but also the players that were there too ... most notably that core of senior players including McCaw, Conrad Smith, Dan Carter, Mils Muliaina and Kevan Mealamu.

The interviews with the coaches were subtly revealing: doubts as to whether they could do it, and insight into how they practically set about exorcising those demons from 2007, and how to deal with unexpected blows.

Screenshots of PiriGate
The film is also at its simplest, a great way to relive just how amazing it was to host this tournament in New Zealand, what a privilege it was to have the whole rugby world come to our place. I hope we can do it again in my lifetime. I hope England get that ‘community’ feel going in 2015 by involving the games’ grass roots ... it worked a treat.

One small grumble: at about 1:14:50 in there is a segment on the Cult of Piri Weepu as we headed into the semi-final against Australia, and as I watch I thought something looked familiar.

My ‘Keep Calm and Piri On’ graphic (given away for free via this blog and Twitter) appears front and centre for two seconds or so, dancing and colour changing.

I get memes; it wasn’t 100% original I know, and frankly I was absolutely thrilled it is in that legacy doco about RWC2011 ... but when Sky, the monopoly in NZ pay-TV, used it without any permission being sought from or given by me, it would be nice to think they could have just tracked me down via Ruggerblogger.

Just something to think about for the future: As Facebook, Twitter and Instagram constantly move to alter privacy settings, lock up content created by users and seek to generate advertising revenue from those users, we, as the generators of that content, have to careful not to be taken advantage of.

Social media in rugby terms came of age in RWC2011. Its not just blogs now, but Twitter, Facebook and full websites, all produced by fans, for fans ... and most of it is done for free. On the small scale its simple blogs like ours, and our accompanying Twitter feed, rambling, giving away stat sheet graphics or iPhone wallpapers. At the top end of the scale, someone like makes a selection mind-boggling game statistics available on his site for free after every match, and constantly seems to be preparing bespoke numbers for Sky TV, print journos and even blogs from totally other countries like Green and Gold.

I am not going to get all pissy about ‘intellectual property’, scream that they alter the end credits or even they take it out. Monique would say that’s dumb – I gave the bloody thing away for free. I’ll continue to make things available on here for free ... but at least give Ruggerblogger a nod, Sky Sports New Zealand. You already get a huge HD subscription fee from me every month, now you’re using my shit!

Fitzy gave ‘Full credit’, why can’t you? How about a copy on DVD for posterity?

What do you reckon?

No comments: