As an avid rugby fan I was very excited when All Or Nothing: New Zealand All Blacks got released by Amazon. I wasn't disappointed. This six part documentary chronicles a year in the All Blacks camp. It follows them through the 2017 Lions Tour as well as the the Rugby Championship before their season comes to a close. It mixes behind the scenes training footage, team meetings and interviews with players and coaching staff. It uses footage from their games and analysis of those games. It is an up close and personal look at the team dynamic. Players have to fight for one of the most coveted positions in sport – a place on the world's number one rugby team.
I've been watching rugby for a long time and I've always admired the All Blacks. No matter who comes and goes from the squad – Dan Carter, Richie McCaw etc…they always manage to step up and do the business when it counts. Honestly, I always assumed that the level of competitiveness needed to maintain that standard must come with an equally high level of arrogance or belief that other players just don't have. This is where the documentary was very enlightening. My assumptions were turned on their head as one by one the player interviews captured incredibly nice, well rounded and frankly very humble men who for the most part couldn't actually believe that they were playing in the black jersey.
From all backgrounds, including quite a few who grew up very poor, these are guys who have managed to harness a god given talent that with years of hard work and perseverance was rewarded with a call up. Along with coach Steve Hanson, who is very soft spoken, they bond as a family, refer to themselves as brothers and are overwhelmingly more concerned with letting people down than they are with winning.
This documentary is an all access pass to the world they inhabit, at home and on the pitch and is so good that I watched the first four episodes on the bounce. It is engaging, insightful and even at times quite emotional and is a must see for any rugby or sports fan but also for any of you who want to know what it takes to be the best in the world and stay there!