Rugby League in the snow

Rugby League in the snow
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The snow storm that hit Canberra on 28 May 2000 will live on forever in the minds of Canberra Raiders and West Tigers rugby league supporters. No NRL (National Rugby League) game had ever been played in the snow before. It’s possible some players had never even seen snow. While no one wanted to be out there in the freezing conditions, players took to the field in their shorts and short-sleeved jerseys. Just over 7,000 dedicated fans watched as the Raiders narrowly defeated the Tigers 24-22. Not surprisingly this made for a curious segment on the news that evening.

Sports news reporter John Bell provides the voice-over in this footage. The clip opens with an amusing shot of the West Tigers mascot striding out of the tunnel, leading his team onto the field. It’s a comical piece of editing that effectively highlights the paradox of this game being played in driving snow. A quick cutaway to the crowd enduring the adverse conditions is a good choice as it shows how everyone, players and fans alike, were toughing this out together.

We then get to see play-action. Rather than just showing the inevitable errors under these conditions, the coverage could almost be considered respectful of the players’ skills. It is ultimately a fairly normal summary of a rugby game despite the weather; the errors that are shown are only in the context of scoring opportunities. If you removed the snow references in this footage, this segment would be a typically concise and informative piece of sports reporting.