English Baiting: A Proud Aussie Writes

13 04 2010

Guest contributor, Dingo, writes:

“I dunno. Maybe it’s that tally-ho lads attitude. You know, there’ll always be an England, all that Empire crap they dish out. But I never could cop Poms.” – Jeff Thomson, Australian fast bowler, 1987.

May 1787, eleven large ships left ‘Ol Blighty’ on a voyage to the other side of the world. This first fleet was a rabble of the worst sorts England had ever produced. Thieves, scallywags, rogues and general ne’er do wells, or in other words, the first Australians. The vessels were also weighed down by tons of unique equipment; rugby balls, cricket bats, hockey sticks and the like. Eight months later the fleet anchors in what will later become Sydney Harbor, the sun is shining, the water is blue, the grass is green…… time to start practicing.

Growing up in Australia, sport is never far away. Everyone is playing, watching or talking about it almost 24/7 and we like to think it is sport that defines us as a nation. Forget the arts, forget politics, forget fashion, sport is our culture.

And our biggest cultural achievement? Regularly beating England in most given sports. Football, cricket, rugby, swimming, running – doesn’t matter, if we beat the poms, all is well. And as history tells us, usually we don‘t need to wait too long.

Australians like to have a friendly banter with the Kiwi’s, we despise watching American success, but what hurts most is contemplating being beaten by the motherland. I guess it’s being the little brother, constantly trying to prove ourselves. After all, being a country of less than a third of the population, surely we are punching above our weight?

The pinnacle of this rivalry would have to be the Ashes. Since 1882, Australia hold the overall advantage of 31 series to England’s 28, unfortunately though, the most important one (always the last one) went in favour of England. Since then, Australia’s rebuilt bowling stocks are maturing, Johnson is regaining his arrogant confidence, Bollinger, Mckay and Harris all look genuine threats and even the much maligned Hauritz, looks like he can be trusted with taking a load of the work. The batting, although not a patch on years gone by, still holds enough Aussie grit to make sure runs will come. Ponting’s still there, Watson is as good an all rounder as exists in the game today, and with Katich, Hussey and Clarke, more than enough runs are on offer. On Aussie soil, after the hammering of all opponents over a lackluster summer season (including whipping the wet sack which is NZ cricket) I think we can feel confident. 5-0? Why not.

June also means a visit by some more friends, England rugby. Enjoy the six nations? Unless your of a Gallic persuasion, I guess not, as few positives came out for the home nations, dour and unenergetic. Hope you know what you’re doing up there fellas, as for the first time in a while, I’m feeling really confident about the direction of Australian rugby.

The Australian team is unusually young and during the 2009 Autumn tours the average age was under 24, compared to around 27 for the All blacks and the Boks. By the time the next World Cup comes around, our combinations should be in sync. Genia is getting better and better, Quade Cooper is amazing (just watch some Reds games), and Giteau is Giteau. Our forward pack is actually being applauded instead of laughed at, and with Pocock, Elsom and Palu, we have what we refer to as ‘some real mongrel’.

The sun shines in Australia, the pitches are hard, you’ll need to run with the ball and above all you’ll need to score tries. And don’t think because of the number of tries being scored in the Super 14 we have forgotten how to tackle; when the pom’s arrive, we’ll remember!

So yes, we hate losing to the English, with their scones and jam, wearing hankies on their heads and listening to Cheryl Cole, but it looks like we’ll be smiling for a while longer. You decided to send your prisoners to a harsh, sun burnt little island for punishment hey? Well all I can say is, YOU BEWDY!

Note from the CH: A much more typical Aussie view emerges from our regular guest contributor, Dingo. For the English amongst you, worried and confused as to why we have published this….. fear not! We will be writing a riposte over the next day or so explaining why they will always be the ‘little brother’!

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One response

15 04 2010
Aussie baiting: A Proud Englishman Writes « The Compulsive Hooker

[…] 15 04 2010 Bradders writes: This article is in response to Dingo’s original ‘English Baiting: A proud Aussie Writes’ post. I suggest you read it first if you haven’t […]

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