As a mother of three sons I have spent a large portion of my life standing beside a rugby field: in torrential rain, searing heat and gale force winds. My rugby handbag contains all necessary essentials – sunscreen , spare mouthguards, a book for the hours waiting while they warm up, Panadol for head knocks, sprains and strains of any kind, and Deep Heat for sore muscles.
This weekend will be no different; there’s club rugby during the day and in the evening the Wallabies versus England game at Suncorp Stadium.
The jerseys, scarves and caps are ready to go and the eight of us—yes, eight, for the girlfriends have joined our team now too—will catch the bus to the best rugby stadium in the world ( in my opinion ), Suncorp Stadium, to watch the mighty men in green and gold.
What the Wallabies have taught my sons
The Wallabies have taught my sons many lessons and here’s a snapshot of them:
- They work as a team and never give up. This was never more obvious than last year’s World Cup in the Australia versus Wales Game. Two men were in the bin and yet the Herculean efforts of the team would not allow Wales to score, even though the Welsh were camped on their try line for fifteen minutes. We were sitting at that end amidst a sea of Welsh supporters and hoping upon hope that our lads could hold on. Thanks Ben Mc Calman!
- They remain calm under pressure and do what they have to do. One of the greatest moments was John Eales stepping up to kick a match winning goal to win the Bledisloe Cup in 2000 when their regular kicker was off the field. Then, at last year’s World Cup, I was in the front row for the England vs. Scotland match – it was the last minute, the rain was falling and Bernard Foley stepped up to slot the match winning goal, cool as a cucumber. Thanks Ice Man!
- They run their own race. They keep to themselves and do their own thing. At last year’s World Cup they didn’t boast, they didn’t respond to the sledging of other teams and they removed themselves from the glitz and hype of London to Bath where they could train in peace and bond as a team. They’ve done the same this week despite the baiting from England’s new Australian coach, Eddie Jones. Thanks Michael Cheika!
- They remind us of the value of family togetherness. They’ve given me and my family some great times together and some great holidays. Every four years our family holiday revolves around rugby. We’ve been to the South of France, Paris, Wellington, and Auckland and our favourite trip was to London last year. Next, we’ll be off to Japan – a country I’m sure we wouldn’t have gone to as a family without the rugby being on. Thanks to my husband (pictured below) for making this happen!
- They give us the opportunity to wear green and gold and celebrate Australia. Let’s face it, who wears these colours together in real life? Yet wearing them makes you proud to be an Aussie and it makes you feel happy, a part of something bigger than you are. When they stand together and sing our national anthem, you feel the goosebumps with those first notes and yes, I’m allowed to sing along at the top of my voice … and cry.
So whatever happens on Saturday night, we as a nation can be proud of these young men who work hard, know humility, do their best under pressure, work together, and inspire the young men of the future. That’s why I love the Wallabies and thanks guys, for the good lessons.