The Sound Of Silence

23 Aug



I thought I had heard it all but this week I was proven wrong. On one hand I was saddened and on the other I wasn’t surprised.

This week the Wallaby captain James Horwill and flanker Michael Hooper pleaded to the New Zealand Rugby fans to stop booing Quade Cooper.

“I think it’s quite unreasonable what the All Black supporters are doing to him,” Hooper said.
“He’s a great player and a great guy so I think everyone who enjoys footy wants to see him do well.
“I think the booing’s a bit below-the-belt sort of stuff. He deserves more than that as a player.

Effectively, Mum and Dad (Horwill can assume the role of dad) have come by his school and asked the other kids to stop picking on Quade.  Poor old Quadie needs to be shown more respect. The players will soon be requesting that all the security hold up ‘Quiet Please’ signs like in the US PGA. Or even better get an umpire to sit on a raised platform and command ‘Quiet Please’ before the start of each set piece.

Once again the Wallabies have shown the world how soft their underbellies are and why they represent no real threat to New Zealand.  Where do these players ‘get off’ trying to tell the crowd who not to boo and jeer. It shows how mentally fragile these bunch of children are. If you are real competitors then you use the boos and the insults to fuel the desire to win. The harder they boo the more you should want to win. What would have happened if Craig McLaughlin or Rove McManus cried foul every time they were booed? Well a bloody lot of tears, but, Rove and Craig pressed on and forged careers  amidst the insults. Their living proof that with perseverance, desire and thick skin you will eventually succeed. Even without any talent.

Do you think the French Rugby side would complain if they were booed? For all their pomp and the ceremony the French are fiercely proud and refuse to be dominated, except for maybe World War I and for that matter World War II. BUT in the World Cup final in New Zealand when the Haka was being performed they didn’t just sit back and let  the New Zealand crowd and players intimidate them.

NO! They advanced on the Haka.

Vive La Résistance.

Even though this was against the IRB rules they still did it. They dealt with the fine after the match but for that moment in time they drew a line in the sand (a far more effective and definitive line than the Maginot) and said enough. Fact of the matter is, is that the Haka is a sign of aggression and the players use it to intimidate. I couldn’t care less whether the New Zealanders think the Haka should be respected. The players can pay tribute to the culture of the original inhabitants of Aotearoa during the week not 2 minutes before kick off. I love the Haka but with no right of reply the theatre is lost. Watching the French advance I felt like grabbing a beret, a baguette and a ban the burka sticker because the Frenchman inside me had awoken.

Allez Les Blue!

But instead, how do the Wallabies act when threatened? They politely ask the crowd if they could hold their boos.

‘As players we deserve more respect’ said Hooper

No fellas you don’t deserve respect, you have to earn respect. Pulling on the Wallaby jumper is an honour and a privilege but it doesn’t immediately entitle you to respect, especially from the opposition. Who cares if someone is getting insulted by the crowd? If you are paying attention to the crowd then your head isn’t in the game. The wallabies should love to be hated by the Kiwi fans, they should feed off it. It makes beating them even sweeter. We should be driven by a will to win and fueled by pure hatred. The wallabies have lost their focus and in turn lost their mongrel. Have I missed something or has the Bledisloe lost its meaning? Are we playing to win or are we just having a friendly?

The Bledisloe should have the intensity of an origin and for 80 minutes take no prisoners, both on and off the field. By asking fans to stop booing just encourages them to boo louder and more often. Could you imagine NSW asking Queenslanders to stop booing Paul Gallen. Or Queensland supporters asking NSW to lay off Wally Lewis. What next? Are we not going to boo when the Prime Minister is introduced at the next Test match? Perish the thought.

Quade has an abundance of talent but has a hide as thick as a ‘Durex Super thin Extra Sensitive Condom’. Do you think Sean Fitzpatrick showed any concern when he was booed by the Australian crowd? Every insult that was thrown his way would be absorbed and redirected as rage towards the Wallaby players. The more he was booed the better he got. He reveled in being public enemy number 1 in Australia and the favourite son in New Zealand.

Quade Cooper has put New Zealand fans offside because of a couple of on field incidents with Richie Macaw and the fact that he was born in New Zealand doesn’t help his case either.  But if they boo Quade then they are booing Australia and on the field action should be taken by the players.  The wallabies should rally around him, protect him and belt anyone that tries to intimidate him. Respect for Quade Cooper from the New Zealand fans may not eventuate until he retires. That is the nature of the game. Sean Fitzpatrick was hated until the day he retired and following this the wallaby fans finally let down their guard and admitted that he was one of the best.

I say welcome the Boos, encourage it and with every insult, bank it. Hate has no place in society but in Rugby it is a great motivator. Build it, then unleash it on the field and leave it there.

The Wallabies will always attract a lot of attention, some positive and some negative. The only way to control it, is by winning.


Rant On


2 Responses to “The Sound Of Silence”

  1. Tonky August 23, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    Wallabies definitely are lacking in the “c$@t” required to beat the blacks but the booing I believe is a separate issue. Booing and trying to put the opposing team off kicks is unsportsmanlike and not in the spirit of rugby union. Cheer your own team, boo a shit decision and yeah boo a player that does something on the day but continued booing belongs at a one eyed uneducated rugby league game, not the game played in heaven.

    • jmcgirr August 23, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      You make a very good point. I don’t condone continual booing and it’s unsportsmanlike. But a boo or insult from the mouths of fools should count for very little.

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