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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Matildas Triumph

There's not an awful lot to feel good about in Australia right now. Indeed, in the political arena, we are being led by a man who is claiming that it's both legal and morally right to bribe criminals. Talk show hosts in the US sense our acute embarrassment with this calamitous Prime Minister, in what must surely be one of the shameful periods in our 115-year political history. 
So, as always, we look to the sporting fields for some uplifting events. And no national team is raising our spirits quite like the Australian Matildas* at the women's World Cup soccer** finals in Canada.
Indigenous Australian, super sub Kyah Simon, scores for the Matildas against Nigeria. Her cousins include rugby stars Kurtley Beale, Jamal Idris and John Simon.
Already the first senior Australian team to win a knock-out match at a World Cup soccer tournament (they beat Brazil this week), tomorrow morning the Matildas face defending world champions Japan in Edmonton for a place in the semi-finals. 
Australia lost its opening round match to the US but went on to qualify by beating Nigeria and holding Sweden to a draw. The US, which has eliminated China, now faces Germany in one semi-final, in Montreal on Tuesday. If the Matildas can get past Japan they will take on either England or host nation Canada in the other, in Edmonton on Wednesday. The Japanese Nadeshiko*** beat the US on penalties in the 2011 final in Frankfurt, with Sweden finishing third, so Australians can already feel proud that the Matildas got though from the "group of death".
To mark this achievement, and to give the team a kick along before tomorrow's quarter-final, I have created a new portable typewriter, the Triumph Matilda, in Australia's national sporting colours of green and gold.

*The Matildas take their name from the bush ballad Waltzing Matilda, Australia's unofficial national anthem. The lyrics were written by Banjo Patterson.  A matilda is a swag. The title is Australian slang for travelling on foot (waltzing, derived from the German auf der Walz) with one's belongings slung over one's back.
**Soccer is a late 19th century Oxbridge abbreviation of "association", as in "association football". It arose as a response to the word "rugger" for rugby union football. It is the more accurate name for the code, regardless of worldwide claims that soccer has an historic right to be referred to as "football". Soccer was not codified until 1863, more than four years after Australian football. Rugby School football was codified in 1843. This school codification was in large part based on the oral tradition of "mob" or "folk traditional" football, played in Britain from the time of the Norman Conquest, and generally a handling and running game.
***Japan’s women's soccer team is known as the Nadeshiko, a reference to the hardy plant whose pink flowers bloom despite the arid riverbed conditions in Kyoto. Here endeth the lesson for today.

3 comments:

Taylor Harbin said...

That's amazing! I guess you're really waltzing it now ;)

michaeliany said...

way to root on your national team. i love the additional touch of changing the typewriter name decal as well. And Triumph, no doubt intentionally chosen by you, is very fitting. AussieAussieAussie!

Richard P said...

Waltz on to triumph, Matildas!