Those of you who tuned in might remember a show called The Code. It followed the Waratahs through their season in 2011, showcasing the behind the scenes happenings that go into trotting out a Super rugby team week in and week out.
The Waratahs season to forget aside, it was a fascinating view into the inner workings of the team. Sure, it may have been the brunt of plenty of twitter jokes about the montages that featured in most episodes, but it was a great insight into the inner sanctum, and let’s face it, any time I make an appearance in a television program, you know it’s good1. There is some good news though, It’s back. This time the subject is the Reds, and the producers have tried to do a show less week to week footy team and more of a look at the rise of the Reds from laughing stock to a Super Champion team and how it happened.
Here’s the official trailer:
I have been been given special access to the episodes and will be reviewing them (or previewing I guess…) one episode at a time, one week at a time, one segment at a time, one frame at a… Ok, I am clearly getting far to into the production vibe of the show, so lets just look at what’s in store.
The show starts with some stats as to how far the Reds have come, and it is amazing when you see it how far that actually is. Their increase in membership is mind boggling. I remember having a coffee with Ewen during the world cup and he told me that they were aiming for 30,000 members this year and I asked him if he was serious. I remember thinking he seemed so confident of getting there, seems he had every reason to be.
The focus of the show is about what has turned the province around, and it is clear that there is no one ingredient, more a combination of a lot of factors. One of the main factors is how the playing group get along. This is explored with interviews from many of the front line and behind-the-scenes people around the team. One interesting point was made, and it echoes a discussion we had on this week’s podslam.We talked about what had made the Wallabies so successful since professionalism — the idea was discussed that it was probably a perfect storm of the right personalities coming together at the right time. Daniel Herbert, the QRU Chief Commercial Officer makes the point that the organisation was fortunate to have Ewen McKenzie, Jim Carmichael and Rod McCall come together to provided a group similar to the O’Neill, McQueen and Eales trio that pushed the Wallabies to new levels in the early 90s.
The stark reminders of the lows come as they look back at the rock bottom that had built the conditions for the resurrection. It is interesting hearing, from the people in the middle of it, what the thought process was, and what made people want to take a gamble on working there. The vision they had and opportunity they seized with that hollow shell and were able to build something special.
The episode ends with the team starting the 2012 season with the match against the Waratahs. It is clear though, this season the Reds weren’t basking in last year’s glory. They are clearly making hay while the sun shines, and the examination into the ingredients that go into making the Reds, and indeed the QRU as a whole, such a success and the things they are doing now to ensure it isn’t just a flash in the pan. This season looks to be a great story.
Oh, and see if you can spot the G&GR correspondent who makes an appearance.
Make sure you tune into Fox Sports three for Episode One of Code Red: Life with the St.George Queensland Reds, this Thursday 18 October at 7:00pm AEST.
1I make a brief appearance in the episode shot at Suncorp. What? it’s quality not quantity…