Thursday, September 08, 2011

Rugby World Cup Winners - New Zealand 1987

On the eve of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, we take a nostalgic look back to the last time the All Blacks won the tournament, which is incidentally also the last time they hosted it, nearly 25 years ago in 1987.

This brilliant documentary takes us through the build up and various rounds of the tournament from the players' and fans perspective. It was the amateur era back then, so things were very different but the passion and belief, as well as the pressure of a nation, was very much the same as it is today.

Stars were born as the likes of John Kirwan and Sean Fitzpatrick established themselves and match winners, while halfback David Kirk stepped up so manfully to take over the captaincy after Andy Dalton had been injured. When Dalton returned, Fitzpatrick kept him out the side with good form, so Kirk stayed on to become an intergral part of New Zealand's success.

It was the inaugral tournament and as you will see, was very much a shock to the system for some of the players. While it was nothing like New Zealand 2011 will be like, it was far larger than anyone had imagined at the time. Having said that, there was a brilliant amateur factor to it all, with Zinzan Brooke talking about how he went to watch some kids playing rugby before the final, and then the monday after winning, most of them were ready to go back to their jobs bright and early.

Current World Champions South Africa weren't at the tournament due to politcal unrest and sanctions, but Australia, New Zealand, France, England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland were joined by nine invited nations. The qualifying process as we know it today was not in place. That resulted in five of the current Rugby World Cup records for highest scores taking place in that tournament, in 1987.

Against Italy, the All Blacks racked up a 70-6 win and those on hand witnessed one of the greatest ever solo tries seen on a rugby field, scored by John Kirwan as he glided through the defence from a restart. That was just one of many great moments from back then.

They then beat Fiji 74-13, Argentina 46-15, Scotland 30-3, Wales 49-6 in the semi final, and then France 29-9 in the final.

It's a brilliant show that I'd highly recommend watching, so if you have an hour to spare, make sure you kick back to catch up on the last time the best team in the world won the Rugby World Cup.

Posted by Rugbydump at 4:20 pm | View Comments (15)

Posted in Rugby World Cup

Viewing 15 comments

moddeur September 08, 2011 6:10 pm

This documentary looks really great, but I just don't have the time to watch 50mn of it! If I were an AB fan I would though, as it's always great to see your home players from the 90s.
On a side note, anyone ever notice how it's always 2 of the same 5 teams which find a berth in the final of a world cup? Which coincidentally happens to match the IRB top 5. Should we call it the World Top 5 Cup?

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TehLittlePea September 10, 2011 9:57 pm

Ten Years time it will be different..

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RamRugby10 September 08, 2011 6:30 pm

" the last time the best team in the world won the Rugby World Cup " ...

Cute comment RD... Let's not jump the gun though ;)


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Guy September 08, 2011 6:44 pm

God, I am actually starting to get nervous, watching this. And I am not even from a country that is competing in the World Cup. Can't even imagine what you must be feeling right now when you are from NZ or SA or Oz. Anybody care to share that with the rest of us??

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Henk September 08, 2011 7:57 pm

It would have been a true World Cup if South Africa had been at that tournament, they had some killer players at that time.

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Neilson September 08, 2011 8:51 pm

They dot deserve the 1987 WC. The Sprinboks do, why you might ask, statistics.
In 1986, the year before the WC the Boks beat the NZ Cavaliers 3 test out of four. And in 1989 the next time the Boks played internationally, they won the World Invitation team twice with no losses. So, everyone should know, if the Boks Were allowed to play in that WC, they would have won it. And the NZ should still be without any WC.

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Juggernauter September 08, 2011 9:04 pm

11 hours to go... just can't wait 'til it starts! I'll cheer for the best centre combination in the world come World Cup time... Silala Mapusua and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu for Samoa!!!

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SpencaH September 08, 2011 9:21 pm

I'm a bok fan and I made the time to watch all of that and they were a class outfit there is no doubt about it.

John kirwan dodging trees in a forest - not sure about that as a training aid hahaha!

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Greg September 08, 2011 9:26 pm

Being from the States and all, it's fucking marvelous to get a chance to get such a genuine, classy, and informative rugby expose in its totality. It's hard to imagine, but Rugbydump's actually figured out a way to do what, prior to today, I thought was impossible, and that is outdo itself. Cheers Rugbydump

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paimoe September 08, 2011 10:05 pm

lol @ Shelford's punch
additional lol @ the Fijian fumbling it... two hands!

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D-dub September 08, 2011 10:14 pm

@Neilson, you just need to look at new zealands record to see how untrue that statement is, every year new zealand thrashes pretty much eveyrone but fail to take the world cup.

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BB September 09, 2011 5:30 pm

Fitzpatrick "The All Blacks were the best rugby playing nation in '87"

erm...No The Sprinboks were.

Lucky for you guys we wernt playing, or that 1 WC you do have would be a big fat 0

NZ to Choke again in '11

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c-mart September 10, 2011 3:20 pm

It would have been a true World Cup if South Africa had been at that tournament"...delusional racism is the reason why you weren't, so deal with it!!!

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Bobby Nations September 16, 2011 6:37 pm

Oh, how lovely the rucks were in those games before the current trend of toddler wrestling on the ground came into effect. It's remarkable how effective studs were at keeping folks on the right side of the pill when laying about. Even the All Blacks stayed on their own side! Don't believe me, take a look at 43:20 in the video.

Bring back rucking!

Oh, and the line outs looked fun as well :-)

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