Wallabies fans: bring back Waltzing Matilda
In the past 18 hours or so I have been pondering a lot about my beloved Wallabies and how we have gotten to where we are in 2012.
No, I’m not going to talk about the Scotland game, as I’ve already vented. Instead, I’m going to talk about what I think is missing from today’s game.
It’s a vital part of Australian rugby history. Something that stirred the spirit of not only the spectator but also the players on the field. Something that annoyed our opposition and created a challenge (albeit not as good) to the Haka.
Yes I’m talking about Australia’s unofficial anthem, Waltzing Matilda!
For a long as I can remember, Waltzing Matilda was played at every Wallabies match. For years, this was part of the Australian rugby psyche and created a great atmosphere at the game.
Whether you love or hate the song, it resonates with Australians and does affect what happens on the field.
Former captain and Wallabies legend John Eales famously remarked on how it affected a vital Bledisloe Cup match in 1998. Australian supporters in the Christchurch crowd broke out into a spontaneous rendition of Waltzing Matilda with just 20 minutes to go in the match.
“It was a special moment. The crowd just suddenly started singing Waltzing Matilda. We just identified with it,” Eales said.
Australia won the match and brought home the cup for the first time in four years.
So what happened and why aren’t we singing it anymore?
The IRB controversially banned the song from being played during the 2003 Rugby World Cup, much to the outrage of all Australians, including the Prime Minister at the time.
Sure we showed the IRB you couldn’t tell us Aussies what to do by singing the song at every opportunity during the tournament but since then it has faded away to a distant memory.
Some might say “so what?”
Well I truly believe this is something we need to rectify immediately.
Never before have our boys in Green and Gold needed our support than they do now! We have an opportunity to bring back Waltzing Matilda and what better place to do it than against Wales at Suncorp Stadium, the venue where we beat the All Blacks last year to win our first Tri-Nations in 10 years.
I’m putting the call out and asking the ARU to play Waltzing Matilda over the loud speakers after the anthems have been sung.
I’m asking that everyone who attends the game on Saturday night gets behind the team and sings Waltzing Matilda like you did when you were a kid and loved it.
I’m asking you to get behind the One Team motto and re-ignite our Wallabies tradition!
Roarers, are you with me?