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By the Balls

Television (Excerpts) – 2019

When the All Blacks walked onto Eden Park for the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup final, the squad was far from united. The aftermath of the blighted Springbok Tour of 1981 had split New Zealand's top rugby players into two camps; those who supported continued sporting contact with South Africa, and those who didn't. Grant Fox and Wayne Shelford joined a 1986 rebel rugby tour of South Africa, but David Kirk and John Kirwan stayed home. In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary, Kirk talks about his anger on the verge of the historic World Cup final, while Kirwan battled intense feelings of pressure. 

By The Balls broke the cone of silence surrounding those tumultuous days and months. As well as being a compelling docu-drama, it unveiled the politics of buck-passing ... Winning the World Cup laid issues to rest. Something had to be healed and the World Cup was that healing balm.
– Writer Malcolm Hopwood in The Manawatu Standard, 20 September 2019


Made with funding from NZ On Air


'There is No Depression in New Zealand' written by Don McGlashan and Richard von Sturmer, and performed by Blam Blam Blam