Stars of Australian Rugby: Heroes of the Modern Game (2003)

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Released 1-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Audio
Notes-Player profiles
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 73:31 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Stars of Australian Rugby - Heroes of the Modern Game is a disc of highlights of the Wallabies from the years 1996 to 2002 and features many of the stars of that era. It advertises itself as profiling 15 great players, however, to be truthful it is really only an extended highlights reel of a number of games. The games involved are generally of very high quality including the great Bledisloe Cup games of 2000, featuring the great All Blacks victory at Stadium Australia and 'that kick' by John Eales to retain the trophy in Wellington.

    Other games include Australia's drubbings of Canada and England in 1996 and 1998, respectively, the British & Irish Lions tour in 2001 and the 1998, 2001 & 2002 Bledisloe Cup games. No World Cup footage is included from 1999 which must be an issue of rights.

    There is some excellent play and tries on offer here, however, it is really nothing more than a highlights reel with voice-over by ABC commentator, Toby Lawson, in addition to the original commentary. At the beginning of the show he talks about it being a 90 minute presentation, however it is only 73:31.

    All in all, this is not a spectacular program even for a keen Rugby fan like me.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is of an unacceptable standard considering that this is recent television footage.

    The feature is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was not very clear and sharp with constant blurriness and pixelization especially on wide shots or fast moving action. I believe that something has gone wrong during the MPEG compression - maybe it was compressed too much. The quality of this vision was better when originally shown on analogue television. To compare, I watched an analogue television rugby match shortly after watching this disc and the difference is clearly visible.

    The colour was fine.

    There was significant aliasing throughout this production probably related to the issue mentioned above. This was especially true of the first match shown but was also visible in most other matches. Examples can be seen at 5:48 on the goal posts, 9:24 on the grandstand lights, 41:42 on the Bledisloe cup, 67:05 on the goal posts and 71:30 on the grandstand. There were also tape tracking artefacts at 23:17 & 64:47. During the first match, Australia vs Canada, it almost seemed like the players were aliasing they were so shimmery.

    There were no subtitles.

    This is a single layered disc so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is reasonable but very front and centre focused.

    This DVD contains one audio option, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.    

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand. There was, however, some crackling between 26:18 & 26:21.    

    There were no problems with audio sync because the people speaking were not on-screen.    

    There was only minimal music used.    

    The surround speakers & subwoofer were not used.


Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menus were presented in 1.33:1 and included crowd noise.

Player Features

    Fifteen players are given short profiles here including stats, footage from the feature and voice-over by Toby Lawson. The players are Matthew Burke (0:50), David Campese (0:44), John Eales (0:50), Owen Finegan (0:43), George Gregan (0:52), Dan Herbert (0:42), Tim Horan (0:43), Phil Kearns (0:36), Toutai Kefu (0:45), Steve Larkham (0:50), Jason Little (0:46), Joe Roff (0:53), George Smith (0:46), Ben Tune (0:54), and David Wilson (0:36). These are on a separate sub-menu which is quite annoying to use - each one must be selected individually, and each time you finish one the cursor returns to the first one instead of going to the next selection. Hitting the down arrow causes the cursor to move sideways.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc seems to be only available in Region 4, however it is coded for all regions.


    This disc contains an extended highlights reel of Wallabies matches from 1996 to 2002 with little or no analysis.

    The video quality is unacceptable considering the quality of the source material.

    The audio quality is reasonable.

    The disc has 15 extra snippets, one for each of fifteen players.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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