The 1987 World Cup final is an 80s treat that fully deserves a rerun.
My trip down memory lane came thanks to the Rugby World Cup pop-up channel on Sky. The 1987 Rugby World Cup Final.
Commentator Keith Quinn runs though the team lists informing us that the French forward pack is the same as the one that literally tore the All Blacks apart in Nantes the previous year. Quinn professionally avoids any reference to lock Jean Condom's last name while I still snigger as I did 28 years ago.
Michael Jones is back for the All Blacks after missing the semifinal versus Wales in Brisbane. Buck Shelford is there because it's 1987 and you can punch a man and not get binned or banned like he did in the semi.
The All Blacks run out and instantly notice the freshness of John Kirwan's face, the popped collar of Joe Stanley and the eyes of Buck Shelford. Good lord, those eyes.
A packed Eden Park welcomes them. No one is holding a cellphone up, or worse - a tablet. Dignitaries, anthems and then the haka with no flying wedge to greet it but there is a rooster on the field because it's 1987.
TVNZ is really utilising the fact it has a helicopter with its seventh aerial shot before kick-off.
Four men in polyester suits cautiously approach the rooster and shoo it off the field.
Kickoff and Grant Fox bangs it deep and the French have to kick it. A lineout then scrum and we're back playing within 30 seconds. Ahh, 80s rugby.
Serge Blanco has been busy already with three clearing kicks within 10 minutes with the All Blacks dominating. New Zealand can't clear their ball from a scrum but it's okay as Murray Pierce, from an offside position, picks it clean out of a ruck (imagine how McCaw would go in the 80s). John Gallagher clears and with the World Cup being the first time a synthetic ball has been used, the white Mitre skips into touch.
Another scrum, then a Joe Stanley crash ball. No one ran straighter back then than him.
A penalty and Fox nails a drop goal off the tap and New Zealand lead 3-0. This is 1980s rugby at its best. Quinn tells us Fox averages almost 22 points a game on Eden Park.
A backline move a few minutes later breaks down into touch but the All Blacks secure the ball off the French lineout, Fox drives a drop-goal attempt into his opposite's arm and on the ricochet "the seven Black shirt's there" and Michael Jones scores the first try while staring down Philippe Berbizier. That's why he's the Iceman.
Nine-nil they lead with the conversion and at a lineout 10 minutes later Australian referee Kerry Fitzgerald tells them "500 centimetres!" because that's the gap the rule book says. It's 1980s rugby. Continuing the theme Gary Whetton is penalised for stamping, sorry rucking, and Quinn mentions he looks pretty relaxed about it.
It's halftime and no interview as they walk off.
Second half and France have a chance for points. Right wing Didier Camberabero lines it up as Quinn informs us he had a hair transplant recently and this has given him confidence which correlates to his kicking. He kicks it as he runs back with someone else's hair flowing.
Fox answers with another three as rain drifts across Eden Park. Minutes later Sean Fitzpatrick is bundled into touch a couple of metres out from the try line and his opposite, Daniel Dubroca, gives him a kick. He's busted as Quinn chides him for being stupid. We'll learn in years to come he probably deserved it. Fox kicks the three as the rooster returns.
Five minutes later David Kirk scores in the corner off two great inside passes after Jones wins the lineout and Stanley crashes it up. Kirk punches the ground realising the lead is too great to overcome and they've won the Cup. Kirwan scores a minute later after Kirk ducks and weaves to create a break off the kick off and history is confirmed. After the try the camera cuts to Grizz Wylie in the stands and he's smiling.
Some things in the 1980s have to be seen again to be believed.