England's Story (DVD)
Release date: 23rd February, 2004
Publisher: Lace International
Our Price: £13.99
You Save: £6 (30%)
The full story of how England won the World Cup
Remember this? In England, it's a cold Saturday morning towards the end of November, yet nearly 14 million people are glued to television screens watching England do battle with Australia in front of a capacity crowd at the Telstra Stadium for the right to be crowned Rugby World Champions.
In Sydney, the rain beats down relentlessly, there are 100 minutes on the clock, extra time has all but expired and the score remains level; players are physically exhausted.
England mount one last attack. Martin Johnson drives the ball forward for the umpteenth time. Then Matt Dawson plucks the ball from the ruck and delivers it to Jonny Wilkinson.
Momentarily, time stands still. Rugby's left footed wonder boy clutches the ball and draws back his right foot - a nation holds its collective breath, perched on the edge of its collective seat - as Jonny drops the ball groundwards and cracks it towards the Australian posts. It's not the cleanest of strikes. The ball wavers in the night air. It's going in the right direction, only slowly. English jaws drop in anticipation and eyes widen before a roar is heard throughout the land.
The ball sails through the posts and the most memorable result in English rugby history is sealed. England are world champions.
If reading this passage nearly four months later makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge, you will enjoy this dvd.
Taunted by the Aussie press on the run up to the final - who will forget the headline in The Australian which asked, "Is that all you've got?" - England's Story is over four hours of how the national team ultimately climbed to the top of world rugby's ladder. Each of England's seven World Cup games are featured while the final match is supplemented by 15 minutes of previously unseen and occasionally remarkable camera angles.
The fifth Rugby World Cup has already been described as the best ever; coming as it did in the wake of the Sydney Olympics makes some of us feel that perhaps Australia should be permanently charged with hosting all of the world's sporting events. The vibrancy, noise and colour of last autumn's Antipodean adventure are captured here as the voice of Sean Bean takes us through the tension of the battle with South Africa, the wonderful match against Wales (shown here in full) and the semi final clash with France. Thankfully, as a result of this dvd being produced on behalf of the IRB, it ensures that a considerable chunk of time is also devoted to the final itself.
In addition to the flowing rugby, England's Story features interviews with Sir Clive Woodward, team captain and Leicester hero, Martin Johnson, as well as other prominent players including the occasionally amusing and often outspoken Rob Greenwood. In short, here is a comprehensive and unashamedly patriotic story of a successful six week campaign; it's one which England supporters, who waited 37 years to have a team of world champions in one of our highest profile team sports, should celebrate with gusto.
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