June 18 2009
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS 1974 - DVD REVIEW - THE INVINCIBLES This DVD is a must for all rugby fans and not to be missed, it would also make a wonderful Father's Day Gift.
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS 1974 - THE INVINCIBLES
This DVD is a must for all rugby fans and would make a wonderful Father's Day Gift.
In May 1974 the British & Irish Lions toured South Africa against all odds, in the spirit of sport and the Union of Rugby.
The Tour was set against a backdrop of politics to isolate South Africa because of their apartheid regime at that time. However, the Lions defied political protocol and accepted the invitation to play the South Africans.
The DVD evokes memories and captures the feelings of the players during the tour. The running commentary from Captain Willie-John McBride, Gareth Edwards, JJ Williams, JPR Williams, Fran Cotton, Roger Uttley etc., brings the tour to life and throws you right back into the amateur era.
The Tour was much longer than the Tour of today, three and half months, 22 matches in all and the Lions lost none. They won 21 and drew the last test a major fete because at that time the South African Springboks were regarded as the best rugby team in the world.
However, this Tour turned into one of the most violent and the invention of the 99 Call came during the tour's third and decisive Test. When the 'Call of 99' came it was the signal for all Lions to retaliate simultaneously in a show of unity, "one in, all in", making it virtually impossible for the referee to single out any one player for punishment.
The DVD is set out in two chapters and a final part of bonus interviews with the Lions players giving their personal insights and experiences.
The first chapter deals with the pre tour events, selection, the political fall out and the pressure put on the players not to take part. It moves onto the tour party landing in South Africa and the players being amazed at their welcome especially from Welsh Ex Pats., who besieged the airport to see them land in South African. The personal reflections of the tour are described so well by the players that it transports you back in time. Good colour, black /white picture coverage of training, the games and the first test plus a smattering of Afrikaans media commentary all adds to the flavour. Once that first test was won the realisation of the South Africans that this was a team to reckon with.
The second chapter gives personal views from many South African players Peter Whipp, Ian McCallum and Captain Hannes Marais plus many more about the Second Test and how the South African management put them in isolation, they could not go out, they could not read papers a fascinating insight into their winning mentality tactics.
The lions go on winning and get the tag the INVINCIBLES. They also describe how they took time out to mingle with the Black people and at times broke curfew restrictions. You see the violence of the third test, in today's world they would be off the field. The stories of the celebrations of the players and the commentary of them letting their hair down in Kruger National Park. They also describe how the took their eye off the ball for the Fourth test and were tired after three and half months. The Fourth test footage Roger Uttley kind of admits to his try not being a try but the ref., did not give the Lions last minute try so it all worked out in the end to a draw.
Some fabulous footage of the various tries, I found myself clapping and shouting fantastic. Lots of moments I found myself thinking this is what rugby is all about. The professional era has stripped a bit of the romanticism away from our game now in my opinion.
This DVD gives a rugby fan goose bumps, describes how Flower of Scotland became the anthem, has lots of quotes one of which I like by Gareth Edwards.
" It's like Theatre, Rugby at its best is a good as it gets". Gareth Edwards.
Interviews include personal insights from the following:-
Willie-John McBride, Gareth Edwards, JJ Williams, JPR Williams, Fran Cotton, Roger Uttley, Fergus Slattery, Markhenkesi Stofile (Minister of Sport for RSA) & Peter Hain M, plus many more!
That unbeaten 1974 Lions team were rightly dubbed The INVINCIBLES.
Title: The INVINCIBLES
Catalogue No: 1013DC
Release date: 15th June 2009
Region 0 DVD
Running Time 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 FHA
Bonus 10 bonus interviews with the players