When the All Blacks beat France to win the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, it eased New Zealand's angst of more than 20 years without a title. It also created an unlikely hero in Stephen 'Beaver' Donald. A run of injuries led to a call-up for the fourth choice first five (he was whitebaiting when contacted). When Aaron Cruden was injured, Beaver came off the reserves bench and kicked a decisive penalty. Danny Mulheron's Moa award-nominated TV movie relives the reject-to-redemption fairytale. David de Lautour (Westside) plays Donald. This excerpt includes the kick itself.
My preparation probably hasn't been ideal. When you go whitebaiting you take a few beers with you, so the fitness probably wasn't what it could be. Luckily I only had to survive 50 minutes.– Stephen Donald to Stuff's Marc Hinton, 25 October 2011
Available to watch in full here on TVNZ OnDemand for a limited time (New Zealand only)
Made with funding from NZ On Air's Platinum Fund
Closing credits track: cast singing 'Why Does Love Do this to Me?' composed by Jordan Luck and originally performed by the Exponents