This November/December, Rugby Union saw the England International XVI invite four opponents to Twickenham for a series of matches that were guaranteed to thrill fans worldwide, and they certainly didn’t pick themselves the easiest fixture list.
New Zealand, Australia and South Africa are officially ranked as the best three International Rugby Union teams worldwide, and although England are ranked fifth behind France, their Fourth opponent Fiji are certainly not one to be disregarded.
Broadcast RF have become familiar with the 82,000 capacity home of English rugby in recent years, using SD and HD systems regularly for International matches, and even 3D Systems for events of a larger scale such as the Heineken Cup Final this year. We sent 2 HD Wireless Radio Camera System’s for the QBE International which worked inside Twickenham for coverage of the fixture, as well as an ENG Camera System which worked in super-slow-motion to capture the team arrivals outside the stadium.
The QBE International Fixtures were announced over a year ago, and as anticipated, the competition was set to get more and more difficult across the course of four weeks. England tore Fiji apart in their first fixture on Saturday 10th November, turning them over by 54-12, getting off to the perfect start. Their second match saw Australia return to Twickenham for a repeat fixture of the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final where England were victorious, but unfortunately they were not the winning side this time around. The final score was 14-20, and the result highlighted why Australia have earned the right to call themselves the third best team in the world.
The Radio Camera Systems which worked inside the stadium were received on the commentator’s panel and send back to the external OB Compound through Twickenham’s existing Fibre infrastructure. Also, in order to ensure that perfect coverage of team arrivals was captured, we rigged directional receive antennas at Lions Gate, which aimed straight towards the double doors where the team coaches parked. By doing this we were able to avoid the chances of any break up caused by using receive antennas inside the stadium for the outside proceedings.
With two matches down and two to go, England had one win and one loss to their name. Although the two teams left to play are considered world number one and two, some argue that England play better against more difficult opponents, and this was highlighted on Saturday 21st November against South Africa. Although the final score was 15-16, England played a much better game, and proved that the test of ahead of them against the best team in the world should not be an absolute whitewash…
As much as many England supporters were not expectant of an almighty triumph, the successful result against South Africa gave high hopes. The wishful thinking around Twickenham seemed to work, with England turning over their first victory over New Zealand in almost a decade, giving the All Black’s their first taste of defeat in Europe since 2003 against France in the Rugby World Cup.
Although England did not achieve all of the results that they may have hoped for, they were able to highlight their strong points as well as their weak points, and should be able to look to the future and improve vastly in the next 3 years before the next World Cup. Broadcast RF supplied the RF facilities and engineers on four consecutive Saturdays in order to ensure that none of the action was missed, and with no mishaps or problems, regardless of the traditional British weather, everything went just as it was planned to.
Broadcast RF provided flawless coverage of all four of the QBE International matches, and we all look forward to further rugby fixtures, including the Rugby World Cup 2015, where we can certainly expect the same prestigious results, if not more.