What makes a ‘Great All Black’?
That’s the question that documentary filmmakers Justin Pemberton and Michelle Walshe seek to answer while following former All Black captain, and the world’s greatest openside flanker, Richie McCaw, as he prepares for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and the defence of the coveted Web Ellis Trophy in Richie McCaw: Chasing Great.
Thanks to unprecedented access to family footage and news archives, the filmmakers allow audiences an inside look into a Kiwi farm boy who fell in love with the game of rugby following the All Blacks victory at the 1987 Rugby World Cup, and made it his life’s purpose to follow in their footsteps. From the very beginning, McCaw was gripped with a natural desire to push himself to be the best. This hunger and competitiveness would instil in him a never quit will that led him to be selected as an All Black when he was only twenty in 2001.
What followed was a staggering ascent to the top of international rugby, and the forging of a new sports hero. But no legend is ever without his failures and a dramatic quarter-final loss at the 2007 Rugby World Cup to France left a scar on McCaw’s career. But never one to fall to despair, McCaw used this as his own personal turning point and worked harder than ever to bring his squad back into the light. With hard worn grit and strategic planning, McCaw would lead his squad to avenge their loss to France in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, before they then defended their title in 2015.
McCaw’s story is inspirational to the core, but beyond the story lies the man, and McCaw is brutally honest about what drives him in his pursuit to be the best. Throughout this film audiences are also offered a rear look into the personal life of this New Zealand rugby hero, including his relationship with his fiancee Gemma Flynn, and the family ties that supported his efforts to become the king of international rugby.
Richie McCaw: Chasing Great is a phenomenal story of one man who through sheer grit and determination was destined to become one of rugby’s greatest stars. It is definitely required viewing for any sports fan out there, and is sure to inspire anyone who watches it to strive for greatness in their own life.
Image: Transmission Films