Fifteen years of Heineken Cup rugby and 15 years, too, since South Africa beat a superior New Zealand side to win the third World Cup, writes Rugby World editor Alan Pearey. This two-disc DVD includes the final in full – a lost opportunity so burnished on the soul of Kiwi skipper Sean Fitzpatrick that he admits: “Not many days go by when I don’t think about it.”
Far better, for those reluctant to watch the 100 try-less minutes that concluded the tournament, is the one-hour roller-coaster round-up, which gratifyingly gives equal billing to the lesser lights: Argentina v Samoa, for example, was one of the best games in the competition, and it’s remarkable to think, in this era of ton-ups, that reigning champions Australia had to work their socks off to account for Canada by 27-11.
Of course, this was the amateur era (just), and its glowing embers were raked and refired by the sensational Jonah Lomu, who as well as scoring seven tries seemed to set up all the others by running round or through about six people. With amateurism long gone, we shall never see anything like it again when two major rugby nations collide.
The makers of this DVD haven’t shied from including the negative aspects of RWC 95, with the Canada-Boks brawl and Max Brito’s broken neck given due attention.
Happier images include points machine Gavin Hastings, French jubilation as their late try against the Scots allowed them to dodge the All Blacks, and a debut hat-trick for young Bridgend wing Gareth Thomas. Whatever happened to him?
RW RATING 4/5
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This article appeared in the August 2010 issue of Rugby World Magazine
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