When Australia’s national rugby team lost 24-19 on Saturday afternoon in an upset to a depleted Scottish side, it unleashed more pain for long-suffering Wallabies fans.
It was Scotland’s third win in 35 years over the Wallabies – all three in the last eight years – and it left Wallabies coach Michael Cheika questioning the attitude of the players after the match.
It was also enough for Wallabies fan Jack Quigley, so he sat down to pen an open letter to Cheika and the team on Facebook late on Saturday night after the loss.
Quigley, 29, from Northern NSW, where he plays for the Southern Cross University Gold Rats, and is also a coach and referee, let loose in a post calling the Wallabies “a disgrace” that seems to have captured the national mood and has gone viral.
His late night plea to the team to show more heart has been shared nearly 4,500 times, attracted 8,500 comments and 41,000 responses.
Quigley asks that his missive be passed on to Cheika saying “My opinion on rugby counts for the square root of f-all in the grand scheme of things. But I’ve got one thing. Passion.”
He says the side has been living off getting lucky in the quarter finals of the World Cup two years ago and now they simply don’t care.
“I KNOW you don’t care, because it shows. And don’t tell me I’m wrong. Don’t say that you DO care, because my response is that you don’t care ENOUGH! CLEARLY!” he writes.
Quigley begs for 15 minutes to talk to the team before its next game in Brisbane.
Here’s his pitch:
The Wallabies attitude towards the basic skills is unacceptable. A culture of blame-avoidance has been allowed to fester.
The Wallabies attitude towards goal kicking of “hopefully he kicks it” is simply not gonna cut it. I’d suggest an attitude of “Bernard, it’s literally your full time job, perhaps you should stay back a few minutes after training and practice until you don’t miss the goals any more?”
The attitude towards the set piece of “hopefully TPN/Stephen throws it to the guy we’ve lifted” is simply not gonna cut it. I’d suggest “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.”
If the forwards aren’t in at 8am tomorrow morning working on set piece, something is wrong.
If the halves aren’t in at 8am tomorrow morning working on passing the ball to the chest of the guy they’re trying to pass it to, something is wrong.
If Bernard isn’t in at 8am tomorrow working on kicking the ball through the god damn posts, something is wrong.
And if I have to see Izzy (or any other player, for that matter, nothing against Izzy personally) collecting his Seiko “Wallabies Man of the Match” watch after losing to Italy like I did after the game tonight, I’ll lose it. You’ll lose me. Forever. Gone.
If he’s given the chance, he’ll drive two hours north to Brisbane to talk to the team about how it feels for fans right now.
“Give me 15 minutes. That’s all I want. To look these guys in the eye and tell them WHAT IT MEANS to be a rugby fan in this country. Because they don’t know. They’re not fans. They’re players and coaches. That’s different. They don’t know,” he writes.
So far, there no official response from the Wallabies to Quigley’s plea.
Read his full letter to the coach and team below.
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