The Wallabies have been praised for a stirring rendition of the Australian national anthem, which they performed in the language of the Eora Nation ahead of their clash with Argentina on Saturday night.
The Eora Nation is the collective of 29 Indigenous clans that make up the Sydney metropolitan area, and the entire Wallabies squad spent time during the week learning the anthem in the language.
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They stood behind singer Olivia Fox, from the Newtown School of Performing Arts, each singing the words clearly while wearing the team’s First Nations jerseys.
It marked the first time a dual language national anthem had been performed at a major Australian sporting event, with the impressive spectacle prompting calls for it to become the standard in future.
Rugby Australia published the words to the national anthem in Eora language to their website, while many fans and commentators were blown away by the performance.
The reaction to the anthem rendition on Twitter was sizeable.
I don’t care the result. They’ll only get better moving forward together. Awesome all the lads proudly belting it out too 🤝
Well done Australia, that’s huge.
👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾🖤💛❤️#AUSvARG #Wallabies #Respect https://t.co/s7EXVND4CY
— Ben Atiga (@atiga1037) December 5, 2020
The national anthem sung in a local indigenous language for the 1st time, while the team wore shirts with an indigenous design for the 2nd time this season. A long way to go for Australia to connect with its indigenous culture in the same way as NZ but hats off to the Wallabies. https://t.co/3jLcbm4Wl9
— Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn) December 5, 2020
— Matt Giteau 🇦🇺 (@giteau_rugby) December 5, 2020
Absolutely fantastic: every Wallabies player sung the first half of the national anthem in Indigenous language. Learned the words. Paid respect. A great step forward 🔴🟡⚫️ #AUSvARG pic.twitter.com/Efy91gIRt7
— Jamie Pandaram (@JamiePandaram) December 5, 2020
— Christy Doran (@ChristypDoran) December 5, 2020
🖤💛❤️ WOW! Goosebumps!! That was a special moment - thank you Olivia Fox!! #AUSvARG
— Wallabies (@wallabies) December 5, 2020
Despite the stirring anthem performance, the Wallabies' year that started so promisingly ended with another deflating Tri Nations draw.
It was the second draw in a row played out between the Wallabies and Pumas, as New Zealand celebrating officially being crowned Tri-Nations champions.
Wallabies miss chance to win at the death
The Wallabies and Pumas finished deadlocked at 16-16 on Saturday night after fullback Reece Hodge missed with a long-range last-minute penalty goal attempt - yet again.
Hodge also had the chance to boot Australia to victory with three minutes to go in their 15-15 draw with the Pumas two weeks ago in Newcastle.
The cursed star also struck the upright with an after-the-siren shot in the Wallabies' season-opening 16-16 stalemate with the All Blacks in Wellington in October.
He could only hang his head in despair after his latest miss in driving rain at Bankwest Stadium.
Truth be known, though, it could have been much worse for the Wallabies had Hodge not slotted three earlier penalty goals plus a pressure conversion from out wide 12 minutes from fulltime to tie the scores up.
The Pumas, roundly written off after last week's 38-0 drubbing at the hands of New Zealand and then having inspirational skipper Pablo Matera and two teammates stood down for disciplinary reasons, looked like keeping the Wallabies try-less for the second game running.
But the draw still consigned Australia to the tournament's wooden spoon and an unflattering one-from-six winning record in 2020 under new coach Dave Rennie.
Had Hodge nailed all three late shots to win the three drawn Tests, Rennie and the Wallabies would have enjoyed an excellent season - a drawn Bledisloe Cup series and Tri Nations glory.
One coach left smiling was ex-Wallabies mentor Michael Cheika.
Working as an assistant for Argentina, Cheika finished the year without a loss to the Wallabies while also helping the Pumas to their historic first Test triumph over the All Blacks.
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