Will the jolly swagmen lift the trophy? Don’t ask me, I’m no expert

Andrew Jardine Roar Guru

By Andrew Jardine, Andrew Jardine is a Roar Guru

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    Will Australia’s jolly swagmen waltz with off the Webb Ellis Trophy or will they come to a sticky end like the swagman who did after stealing a sheep?

    Saturday’s World Cup will not be played at an Australian bush camp and the winners will not celebrate at a nearby watering hole or billabong.

    The celebrations will be held at Twickenham and if the New Zealanders become the first team to ever successfully defend the trophy, I won’t be surprised if they throw in a few lamb chops along with the beers to the Wallabies.

    Before the final, the Wallabies will sing Advance Australia Fair and the All Blacks God Defend New Zealand and the celebrations will be at Twickenham, far from the Outback, under a coolibah tree, from where the song and story of Waltzing Matilda came.

    I am sure that New Zealanders don’t care a hoot whether the Australians steal a sheep or two from their flocks. However, the gleaming gold trophy is another matter. Pride and honour are at stake and I expect a tough fight.

    If predictions and the past mean anything, the World Cup organisers could hold the presentation ceremony first, give the trophy to the All Blacks and hold the match afterwards. However, they would have looked silly if they had done that before Japan shocked South Africa in a pool match.

    The New Zealanders have won the World Cup twice (1987 and 2011), were runner-up once (1995) have reached the semi-finals three times (1991, 1999, 2003), the quarter-finals once (2007) in the seven tournaments so far.

    Australia have not made a final in 12 years and last carried off the trophy in 1999 when John Eales captained them. Along with New Zealand and South Africa, they are the only other team to have won the tournament twice (they won in in 1991, too).

    However, their current coach Michael Cheika has turned the Wallabies into a formidable force. They may have a wonky scrum, but they have powerful forwards and an inventive backline.

    In David Pocock, they have a man who can match or even shade New Zealand’s arch thief, Richie McCaw, at pilfering the ball at the breakdown. And their back three of Pocock, Michael Hooper and Scott Fardy are a dangerous combination.

    They have an excellent defence. England, Wales and Argentina managed only one try between them against them. They also have a potent attack. They have scored 26 tries at an average of 4.33 per game in the tournament.

    Their pivot Bernard Foley can thread the posts as well as All Blacks ace Dan Carter and as always the boot will play a crucial role. The one weakness is their scrum. They were out-scrummed by Argentina and they will have to up their game.

    On record and on paper, Steve Hansen’s charges are going to be difficult to thwart in their quest for glory. They have a good scrum, fleet-footed forwards and backs, a tight defence and, above all, a game plan they can vary at the drop of a few points.

    They have won 48 of their past Test 52 matches and that is a statistic that even Mark Twain, who once called statistics damn lies, would have been hard-pressed to ignore.

    I can’t think of one facet of the game in which New Zealand are weak. One of their main strengths is looking at the way their opponents are playing and working out a way to win.

    Confidence is always key. The All Blacks have won so often, they believe they will win no matter what. The Wallabies on the other hand know that they have to play in the belief that victory is possible.

    That jolly swagman obviously believed that he could have got away with stealing that sheep. There is no point in doing something like that if you don’t believe you will succeed.

    Who’s going to win? Will the Aussies put the trophy in a swag bag slung over their backs or will the New Zealanders shear them as expertly as they do their sheep? Don’t ask me. I am not an expert.

    Going back more than a few years, I remember the days when as a 10-year-old schoolboy, I predicted that Basil Kenyon’s Springboks would beat Fred Allen’s 1949 New Zealand tourists.

    A schoolmate responded: “You think you’re an expert. I think an expert is a drip under pressure.”

    I had the last laugh though, but have realised over the years the expert business is fraught with problems, so count me out.

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • Roar Guru

      October 27th 2015 @ 8:08am
      moaman said | October 27th 2015 @ 8:08am | ! Report

      Andrew–I have often wondered if the story of the presumeably merry swagman wasn’t really cloaking a more sinister crime—rather in the way that many fairy tales do—-and if that ‘stealing’ a sheep wasn’t actually a euphemism?
      For the record-who do you ‘predict’ will win the final?

      • October 27th 2015 @ 9:58am
        Steve Prendergrast said | October 27th 2015 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        Well Andee -who asked you? In your own words” Don’t ask me. I am not an expert.” so keep your rubbish article to yourself. The whole site is choked with junk like this. The organisers who allowed its appearance need a firm size 12 up the posterior.

        • October 27th 2015 @ 10:40am
          Dave_S said | October 27th 2015 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          Oh Steve, RUok? Get some help. The article was a light-hearted bit of fun.

          Thanks Andrew.

          • October 28th 2015 @ 6:53am
            Andy said | October 28th 2015 @ 6:53am | ! Report

            Actually Dave, it is rubbish. Andrew, you can do better, I have read and enjoyed your articles previously. Maybe, if you had contributed this one to a New Zealand site, it would have found more of a following, but for me, it’s well…

    • October 27th 2015 @ 11:48am
      Cros said | October 27th 2015 @ 11:48am | ! Report

      Yeah, I’d aim that size 12 right at yourself Steve. Lighten up mate. Song has special significance for many Australians. It was sung by the Diggers coming home from the Great War. “His ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong, “you’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me!” Indicating the indefatigable and untamed spirit. Wallabies primed to steal ‘Bill’?

      • October 28th 2015 @ 8:56am
        lassitude said | October 28th 2015 @ 8:56am | ! Report

        So the “fact” that the Wallabies are primed to ‘steal’ Bill would indicate they don’t have right to it – wouldn’t it ? Sounds a serious flaw in confidence 🙂

    • October 27th 2015 @ 12:14pm
      Hertryk said | October 27th 2015 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

      I think it’s time to show our support for our boys in GOLD!! Where ever we might be…. Wear your Wallaby Wear to work on Friday..wear your scarves to display we are behind our team.. Lets show some PASSION and commitment…

      GO WALLABIES… !!

      Are you listening Australian media.. you should be ashamed for the lack of coverage… !!! This is the Rugby WORLD Cup…
      Come on!!!!

      • October 27th 2015 @ 6:33pm
        Sandy said | October 27th 2015 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

        Hear hear, Hertryk.

      • October 27th 2015 @ 9:29pm
        Cliff (Bishkek) said | October 27th 2015 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

        Well spoken – Cheers

      • October 28th 2015 @ 4:54am
        pete and paul said | October 28th 2015 @ 4:54am | ! Report

        I think the AFL and NRL are gearing up for next year…no chance the media want to watch the 4th rated game in Aus…

    • October 27th 2015 @ 10:03pm
      strupper2003 said | October 27th 2015 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

      Carn the Wallabies

    • October 28th 2015 @ 9:43am
      Colin said | October 28th 2015 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      Sorry I agree crap article even when he tries to be insightful its way off the mark yawn!

    • Roar Pro

      October 28th 2015 @ 10:30pm
      CA3ZAR said | October 28th 2015 @ 10:30pm | ! Report

      I don’t get it

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