RWC 2003

Joe scoresThe Rugby World Cup came to Australia in October and November of 2003, and I was invited by friend and client Phil Gray to help photograph the tournament for a series of metre-wide panoramic prints. A sample, of All Black Joe Rokocoko about to score the first of New Zealand's tries in their Pool D match against Wales, is below.

At right is a shot taken by a photographer from Getty Images, seconds later – with me in the background. We didn't have the luxury of 600mm lenses and motor drives; we were using slow and cumbersome 6x17cm panoramic cameras. But with a team of us covering all sides of the pitch at each match, we were still able to pull off some great action shots.You can see the full range of prints on the Phil Gray Photography site.

After six weeks of competition, and an increasingly gruelling schedule – the team from PGP covered matches in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – the finalists were decided. Australia pulled off the upset of the tournament, beating the All Blacks in the first semi final, while England beat France in the other to maintain their position as favourites.

So on a drizzly Saturday night in Sydney, the Old Enemies prepared to do battle once more. It was a great night, a great match – and a fitting climax to the whole competition. The result, of course, is already in the history books. While most of my attention was on shooting the action and post-match celebrations for Phil, I managed to come away with this series of photographs as a souvenir of the evening.


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