Sure Signs the Waratahs are Becoming Popular With Kids

Back in the bad old days of Waratah Rugby (essentially every year up till this one) one of the sure signs that the team was failing its fan base was the lack of kids running around in Waratahs jerseys or naming their favourite player as Barry Hall or Harry Kewell or, god forbid, Jarryd Hayne. But something odd is happening this year. The kids are back, Sky Blue is fashionable on Sydney's North Shore and the Tahs are even the subject of occasional water cooler talk.

Who would've thought that all it would take was to win a lot of matches, score a lot of tries, and stop kicking?

The Rolling Maul has personal experience of this transformation.

My kids (the Maulettes?) are really into the Waratahs though they’ve only ever watched four of their games, two in person at the SFS and two on TV (every other match has happened when they're in bed). 

After the great victory on Sunday afternoon, the 7 year old boy declared that he wanted to be a Waratah. Mind you, two days later he was recalling how much fun he had at the circus and decided he wanted to be a lion tamer instead. 

Meanwhile, the 5 year old boy, the night after the Highlanders match and after brushing his teeth, decided that he wanted to brush his hair to make it look like Kurtley Beale’s. I didn’t have the heart to tell him he comes from a long line of prematurely balding Jewish men who struggle to maintain a part, let alone a combo ‘fro faux-hawk crew cut thing that really can’t be described but probably took hours in front of the mirror shaping and clipping to the perfect millimetre lengths before application of product and a steady work plan of daily re-teasing and hair workouts. 

Beale gives the hair a good talking to
Finally he settled on what essentially was a small boys hair cut but with a bit of a spiky brush up thing happening at the front. I told him he just needed a hair cut to make him look more like Kurtley. I didn’t know how to tell him he wasn’t black enough without sounding racist.

So anyway, the kids may have only watched four matches but they already know about half the players and clearly have their favourites. Dave Dennis was the first to sign their caps back in week 1 so he’s a fave and Will Skelton signed them too that week, so now they can brag that they knew him before he was big! 

Kurtley and Cliffy Palu signed the caps a few weeks back later too and they’re big on Michael Hooper and Israel Folau so class is detectable even to small children. 

On Sunday they discovered Alofa Alofa, if only because they like the name. It’s just coincidental that the night before we were watching Madagascar 2 where Moto Moto, king of the Hippos says to Gloria, “The name so nice when you say it twice”. I really hope Alofa uses that line. Or they put it on the ‘Welcome to’ boards as you enter Wagga Wagga or Woy Woy.