Rugby in the 70s (2006)

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Released 17-Aug-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Animation
Featurette-Sportsnight International Rugby 2/9/75
Featurette-Sportsnight Rugby Union 29/4/75
Featurette-The "Up The Jumper Try" City vs Country 1975
Featurette-4 Corners 7/8/91
Featurette-25% Grand Slam Tour Of Europe
Featurette-'This Day Tonight'
Featurette-'Thou Shall Not Play Rugby League'
Featurette-Greg Davis Aust V France
Featurette-The Coach - Weekend Magazine
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 109:06
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered 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 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.75:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Rugby Union is without doubt my favourite sport to watch. Having just this afternoon watched Australia lose the final Bledisloe Cup match of the year to the All Blacks I am thankful that at least it wasn't as awfully boring as the previous game against the Springboks. It was actually a very good game with lots of great running with the ball, some controversy, a bit of blood and a spirited losing performance from the Wallabies. In some ways, that previous sentence could also be used to sum up the state of Australian Rugby in the 1970s as told in this excellent two-part documentary from the ABC. The documentary was made in 2006 and features lots of great action footage but also some fascinating interviews with the players of the time, recorded recently. I recently reviewed two other rugby discs about the Tri-nations and bemoaned the fact that those discs were just highlights rather than analysis. That is what makes this release stand out, the fact that analysis, views and opinions are included rather than just highlights.

    The program is split into two episodes, each of just under one hour. All Wallaby games and tours in the decade are covered and highlights are included for most test matches. Some of the fascinating tours and episodes covered include the 1971 South African tour which was disrupted by protests and proved to be the last Springboks tour for 22 years; the devastating loss to Tonga; Doug Brockhoff's controversial reign as Wallabies coach which coincided with an upswing in form; the infamous 'Battle of Ballymore'; Fiji walking off during a test match; the incredible 1977 schoolboys tour featuring the Ella brothers; Steve Finnane's punch which broke the jaw of Welsh prop Keith Price, and Australia's 1980 win of the Bledisloe Cup. A great range of players are covered, most of whom are also included in the interviews. Just some of these are Ray Price, Russell Fairfax, all three Ellas, Gary Pearce, Tony Melrose, Mike Hawker, Tony Shaw, Ross Turnbull, John Hipwell, Mark Loane, Arthur McGill, Greg Cornelsen, Steve Finnane and also a fair smattering of opposition players from the era.

    This is a fascinating show, really well put together including some interesting anecdotes, reminiscences, great archival footage. Highly recommended for Rugby fans.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.75:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio for the new footage. It is not the original aspect ratio for the archival footage which means that game highlights have been cropped top and bottom, which is a little annoying.

    The picture during the newly recorded interviews was very clear and sharp, with no evidence of low level noise. Archival footage varied greatly dependent on the source. None of it was terrible.

    The colour was very good in the new footage and understandably variable in the archival footage. No major issues, although there is some colour bleeding in the old footage. Some archival footage was black and white.

    Artefacts in the new footage were limited to some mild aliasing, although there was some annoying pixelization on some cuts from old footage to new. The older archival footage included the usual selection of artefacts such as reel change markers, flecks & specks, some minor tape tracking problems and a little microphony. All things considered not too much to complain about here.

    There are subtitles in English. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read.

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


    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 256 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync. This is the most critical factor for a show such as this. The audio in the archive footage was also generally quite good.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    An excellent selection of extras are included, mostly consisting of vintage television segments from the time, or what appear to be deleted segments from the show itself. They are all 16x9 enhanced.


    The menu was simple and still, including the ability to select scenes and subtitles.

Sportsnight - International Rugby 2/9/75 (5:06)

    A segment from the old ABC sports show Sportsnight which covers the 'Battle of Ballymore' and includes a scathing interview with Ken Catchpole where he complains about the level of violence shown by the Wallabies.

Sportsnight - Rugby Union 29/4/75 (6:41)

    A segment from the old ABC sports show Sportsnight which includes a substantial interview with Doug Brockhoff including discussion about losing players to league.

The 'Up-the-jumper' Try City V Country 1975 (4:50)

    This seems to be a deleted or extra segment from the main program which covers this famous (or infamous) moment in Australian rugby where a move was pulled so that the opposition could not tell who had the ball. This covers interviews with the players involved, an interview with the coach and actual footage of the resulting try. Fascinating.

This Day Tonight 31/5/71 (6:40)

    Segment from the current affairs show before the controversial South African tour including both sides of the debate over whether the tour should go ahead or not.

4 Corners 7/8/71 (18:01)

    Extended segment from Four Corners in the aftermath of the 1971 South African tour which includes interviews with the players, the protesters, police, churchmen and the rugby-going public. A very interesting slice of opinion from the time.

25% Grand Slam Tour of Europe (9:08)

    A large collection of extra game highlights including many tries from the mid to late 1970s. Includes 1975 tour of Europe, Fiji matches, Wales & Ireland tours plus more. Includes early work by Gordon Bray. Very worthwhile addition.

Greg Davis Aust V France 1971 (1:19)

    Extended segment from main program about a French player taking a cheap shot at Australian captain Greg Davis.

'The Coach' Weekend Magazine (5:12)

    An ABC TV report about Brian Palmer, the Eastwood coach in the late 1960s.

'Thou shalt not play Rugby League' (5:00)

    A report by a young Terry Willesee about the punishment of Rugby Union players caught playing league even if it was only a pick up game with no money involved. Quite amusing really.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is only available in Region 4.


    An excellent documentary about the development of Australian rugby during the 1970s.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has a large collection of  high quality extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, August 28, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Yes I would like a copy of Rigby in the 70s - Bob REPLY POSTED