The Roar
The Roar


Australian crowds lack atmosphere

Roar Guru
28th November, 2010
2157 Reads

While watching the Wallabies put the French to the sword on Sunday morning, I could not help but be impressed with the atmosphere generated at the ground.

Of course the mood became sombre once the Wallabies got a roll on but the crowd exuberated a passion that you just don’t get with crowds in Australia.

I have the video of the world record 110,00 people that packed into the Olympic Stadium in Sydney to watch Australia play New Zealand in 1999, but I would say the crowd in Sunday’s match trumped the crowd in that match for atmosphere.

It all starts with the national anthem, the passion of the crowd singing it was to be admired.

The French has a very strong passionate national anthem, but other countries which don’t (such as England) also seem to generate louder and more passionate renditions than what is mustered when the Wallabies are in Australia.

In addition, the atmosphere and the noise from the crowd was stronger and more rhythmic with the various songs and chants.

Australian crowds as a rule do not sing songs, the only exception being the period when crowds would sing Waltzing Matilda after the anthem.

However at risk of being of being branded ‘Un-Australian’, this song is cringe worthy. To top it off the song has no intimidation factor unlike New Zealand’s haka.

For opposition teams it was about as intimidating as being hit in the face with a wet lettuce leaf. It just doesn’t have the intimidation of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” or “Scotland the Brave”.


But why do Australian crowds lack atmosphere? Australia is obsessed with sport, our matches should have the most atmosphere.

Is rugby not as popular in Australia compared to these European countries? Don’t think so.

Rugby isn’t the number one sport in France, England or Ireland yet they seem to generate better crowd atmospheres.

Are Australian crowds not as passionate as other nation’s crowds? Maybe. Australians are renowned for being described as “laid back” by foreign visitors. Perhaps this flows through to way we cheer.

Is it the stadiums in Australia to blame? Possibly. Many other Roarers have criticised certain stadiums for being too big and too vast, perhaps this could be the main culprit.

Despite the atmosphere I speak of, it clearly does not bother the visiting sides based on the results on the weekend. However from a viewing spectacle the atmosphere in European games trumps atmosphere in Australia games.

Fortunately I can look forward to the Barmy Army during the Ashes series.