The Wallabies should party like it’s 2013

Andrew Roar Pro

By Andrew, Andrew is a Roar Pro

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    After the Wallabies vomit-inducing display during the first Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney, it looked like only one Tom Petty song would sum up their 2017 – Free Fallin’.

    With the great man of Gainesville now sadly departed, another tune is providing the soundtrack to their long, slow crawl back to respectability – Learning to Fly.

    We will be able to draw our own conclusions on how successful this crawl has been on November the 25th, at the full-time whistle of the Scotland Test at Murrayfield, but if they’re looking for inspiration for this end of year run they can do worse than reflect and gain insight from the last multi-game stretch where it seemed like they were flying, the 2013 Spring tour.

    The catalyst for this enjoyable stretch was a high-scoring, free-flowing Bledisloe encounter under the roof in Dunedin (sound familiar?) which put some belief back in the team after the horror show of a Lions series, assassination of Dingo, idiocy of O’Connor and the annual pummeling in Sydney.

    Enter Ewen ‘Link’ McKenzie, last spotted on October 18th 2014 at Suncorp Stadium before his shameful, disgraceful and deceitful casting off to rugby Siberia, the memories of the Reds 2011 Super Rugby title seeming like something from the black and white television era, not something that had occurred just three years earlier.

    The tour got off to an inauspicious start with a close loss to England at Twickenham, where the two blokes with the most punchable faces in world rugby, Owen Farrell and Mike Brown, ran the show.

    The Wallaby scrum predictably put up as much resistance as a marshmallow (an annual occurrence at red trousers HQ), but the backline play between Genia, Cooper and Toomua teased glimpses of excitement, a flick-pass here and a side-step there raising the pulses and forcing the classification of the game to go MA15+ in the TV Guide (do TV guides still exist?).

    A Test against Italy in Turin was the perfect tonic for the team to get things back on track, with the little resistance offered by the Italians a great opportunity for the Aussies to cut loose and experiment. This did not extend to the national anthems, where the Wallabies hilariously performed their best bored primary school assembly rendition, followed by half the Italian team crying and morphing in to Pavarotti while belting out theirs. To be honest four years later it’s all I specifically remember from the match apart from Honey Badger bagging two.

    Nic Cummins dives over in the Wallabies' 32-15 win against Ireland. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    The following three Tests, against Ireland, Scotland and Wales respectively were where Australia truly hit the heights, with the Genia-Cooper-Toomua/Lealiifano (replacing Toomua for Scotland and Wales Tests) axis playing out of their skins, possibly the best those four have ever played. With Israel Folau bossing his first year in rugby, an entertaining tour ended with a roller-coaster victory at the Millennium Stadium.

    If the England Test was MA15+ that Wales Test was positively X-rated, and warnings were hastily dispatched to those with high blood pressure or a predisposition towards defensive rugby.

    There was even time for a good old session out in Dublin the week of the Ireland Test, although the fallout and suspensions meted out as a result could arguably have sowed the first seeds of rebellion against Link. I can however understand how it happened considering myself or anyone who has ever been to Dublin has rarely escaped with their liver intact.

    The uninhibited joy expressed on the field that tour extended to fans watching at home every Sunday morning, and it was certainly one of the most care-free and fun periods I can remember watching the Wallabies, which itself is a damning indictment on the past ten years of stasis.

    There was plenty of flying time between Bloemfontein and Buenos Aires, so let’s hope the Heartbreakers were playing loud and the spirit of 2013 manifests itself this Saturday onward.

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • Roar Guru

      October 5th 2017 @ 7:06am
      Kia Kaha said | October 5th 2017 @ 7:06am | ! Report

      You hooked me in with Tom Petty. A sad loss and he’s been getting plenty of play time on my phone.

      Here’s hoping they click on tour this year. A confident Wallabies side is a dangerous beast but the Super sides this year and the Force debacle wasn’t pretty.

      Is the Honey Badger still in Japan? Miss his antics.

    • Roar Guru

      October 5th 2017 @ 8:58am
      Ralph said | October 5th 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      There is a lot to be said for the players enjoying their rugby, which might be what was happening in 2013.

    • October 5th 2017 @ 9:58am
      bluffboy said | October 5th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

      There is a lot to be said about enjoying your rugby.
      1 – The Ammeter – Your enjoying your rugby because your mind says win, loose or draw I’m going to have fun.
      2 – The Professional – Your enjoying your rugby because you will not except anything but a win with excellence and achieving the wins with consistency.
      Which category do the current squad fall into that are enjoying there rugby and partying like it 2013.
      My guess is that any Wallaby playing at present will not be enjoying there rugby until the best and inform players are playing in there correct positions and with a coach that can recognize the team abilities that he has and implements and game plan and strategy to suit that team.
      Although I sound negative, I do believe the players are here in Australia hiding in NRC/SR all I waiting on is the revolution to out Mr Cheika and Co and perhaps Mr Ella to be appointed.

    • October 5th 2017 @ 10:39am
      Adsa said | October 5th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

      All I ever wish from Clown and his cronies is ‘Don’t come around here no more ‘ my favourite Tom Petty song.

    • October 5th 2017 @ 11:07am
      Old Bugger said | October 5th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report


      “The WBs should party like its 2013….” Nah mate – they should party like its 1999… that’s a song, that’s an artist and that, was a year for the WBs, don’t you think?? Btw, cheers for the read.

    • October 6th 2017 @ 12:10am
      wardad1 said | October 6th 2017 @ 12:10am | ! Report

      I hope they “wont back down” myself …

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