The England rugby team is currently touring New Zealand competing in a three test match series with the current world champions, the All Blacks.

Dave Rodgers is following the English Rugby team and Hannah Peters is following the All Blacks. Both Hannah and Dave were on the pitch on Saturday, shooting the match with a focus on their respective sides.

 

Dave Rogers: the English perspective

Something's don't change in life. The sun rises in the East and sets in the West, and the All Blacks win a series against England in New Zealand.

I have been lucky enough to have toured New Zealand with various rugby teams since 1983. In that thirty one years I have only ever been on one winning trip to New Zealand. That was in 2003 when England won a one off test match in Wellington.

The England team came here with very high hopes and expectations, and rightly so. They have a very young team but with the odd number of internationals with loads of experience. They thought they had a real chance of winning the series. England were forced to field an under powered team in the First Test last weekend in Auckland but this week our big guns were back in action.

England had never lost in the new Dunedin Stadium (having played three World Cup games) in 2011, but neither had the All Blacks. Something had to give and it was England who lost the hundred percent record.

England had a superb start to the match when left wing Marland Yarde powered through to score the opening try of the match. Could England keep the pressure on and seal the win that had eluded them last week in a very close encounter.

They could and should have won last week but victory had slipped from their grasp in the final few minutes. The team were devastated to have lost. I had witnessed their determination, in training in the week, to put things right and when Yarde dived over for the try, I though maybe, just maybe that England could pull off a famous victory.

For me the match defining and changing incident was when the England wing Manu Tuilagi broke clear, with what seemed would be a certain try. Ben Smith the All Black fullback, and my Man of the Match, ran the perfect angle to catch him and tackled Tuilagi just short of the try line. It was just before half time and if Tuilagi had been able to score,  the momentum would have been with England.

The All Blacks came out for the second half and seemed as if they had a thousand volts put through them in the break. They were magnificent. They turned a deficit into a winning margin by scoring three tries in quick succession. The game seemed over but not quite. England brought on their replacements and the game ebbed back towards England. They scored two late tries, but to no avail.

The All Blacks had won the match and the series with a one point winning margin. Yet again England had failed. They can, of course, hold their heads up high. They had taken the World Champions all the way.

At the end of the match it was terrible for me to have to do, yet again, dejection photos. Having spent a lot of time, behind the scenes with this set of players, you build a certain bond. Many if not all of the players I can could as friends, and to see them lose by the narrowest of margins is cruel. This team are a friendly group and they deserved better.

Oh well there's always next week, when England play the final test in Hamilton, but more importantly, England are hosts of the Rugby World Cup next year and who knows, victory on the big occasion could still be theirs.

About Dave Rogers

Dave has covered sport since 1975 and has covered rugby union since 1978. He has covered every rugby union World Cup since the inurgural tournament in 1987 and nine British and Irish Lions tours since 1980.

Dave has worked for Allsport/Getty Images since 1993 and is the only photographer to be Chairman of the Rugby Union Writers' Club in the UK.


Hannah Peters: the New Zealand perspective

Finally all the talk and build up was over, match day had arrived!

Flying into Dunedin on a crisp but sunny Saturday morning, I had arrived into a city full of excitement ready for the second rugby test between the All Blacks and England.

The match had been sold out for weeks, and a passionate crowd was expected inside the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Sausage sizzles were blazing down the main street towards the octagon, with the crowd slowing walking into what was to be a great game of rugby.

The expectation from the whole country was of course very high on the All Blacks. The All Blacks were heading into the game on a 15 game winning streak. They have been nicknamed the “Unbeatables” and tonight was perhaps going to be one of their biggest tests. England had a lot to prove. They had played very well the week before in Auckland, and were hoping to rattle the All Blacks again.

Mexican waves and chanting bouncing off the roof of the stadium, created a deafening noise down on the pitch once the teams ran out.

With Liam Messam leading the Kapa O Pango haka, the crowd erupted and the flash bulbs began to pop. The Kapa O Pango haka is often saved for the big moments. This was clearly going to be a good game.

Preparation is not only key for players, but also photographers. The pressure of getting pictures out quickly is critical for online media and tight newspaper deadlines.

We had four photographers covering this match, allowing us not to miss any key moments, filing as we shot.

I was running the far touchline for this game, meaning I had to avoid a TV cameraman on a segway, sound technicians, cable runners, touch judges and ball kids. Space at this stadium is extremely tight, with the crowd feeling like they’re almost on top of you. A streaker popped on for a cameo appearance before a Ma’a Nonu like tackle from security took him down, resulting in a few beer bottles to fly over my head onto the pitch.

There are some stadiums around the world you know you might get a little crowd attention throughout the game. Dunedin is one of those. Having a bib with number 24 on my back, a running commentary of my actions from one man in the crowd behind me, was fairly entertaining for most of the first half. “Here she goes, number 24, picking up her camera again. Did she get that shot, did she get that shot?”

England started very well, and created more chances than the All Blacks in the first half. If it wasn’t for a blistering 15 minutes in the second half with two quick tries by the All Blacks, England could have pulled off an upset win.

Following a quick presentation for the series win, All Blacks manager Darren Shand took me into the dressing room for some post game reaction of the team.

Walking into the dressing room, the mood was one of relief and pure exhaustion. Ice packs were in abundance, a true sign this was a tough battle. The room was quiet and calm. Nothing over the top, just bruised bodies everywhere reflecting on what was a great test match.

Recovery, training sessions and press conferences await us now.  Losing by just one point will be tough on England, making the third test in Hamilton next week another big game to be involved in.

About Hannah Peters

Based in Auckland, NZ, Hannah Peters is a staff photographer for Getty Images specialising in sport. She first realised her passion for photography while at St. Cuthbert’s College in Auckland, where she studied photography. Since discovering that she could combine her two favorite hobbies – sports and photography – together as a career, Hannah has never looked back. Following her graduation in 2001, Hannah began working as a sports photographer for Photosport Ltd until 2007, when she became a freelance photographer for Getty Images. In 2010, Hannah joined the Getty Images team as a full-time photographer.

During her career, Hannah has covered sporting events worldwide including the London Olympic Games, Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, World Rowing Championships, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games in Guangzhou and the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Her work has garnered her several awards including honors from PANPA, NZ Soccer Association and TP McLean National Sports Journalism Awards.

Hannah’s imagery has been featured in leading media publications and outlets such as The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, NZ Herald, BBC, TIME Magazine, Fairfax Magazines and Newspapers, among others.  In addition, she has worked on several editorial and commercial assignments for Grazia Magazine, Fairfax Media, APN, NZ Rugby Union, Australian Netball, NZ Winter Games and Tourism NZ.

comments powered by Disqus