State of Origin national anthem from Dylan Wright before NSW vs Queensland at Accor Stadium divides fans

Australians were deeply divided over the unusual interpretation of the Australian national anthem for the first State of Origin game.

After an impressive Welcome to Country by 21-year-old Savannah Fynn from Dubbo, 2024 Australian Idol winner Dylan Wright took to the small stage for the Advance Australia Fair.

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Instead of the usual pomp and solemn musical rhythm Australians have become accustomed to at live events, Wright donned a powder green suit and guitar and produced an acoustic version of the anthem.

The packed Accor Stadium crowd for Origin’s opener seemed to take a moment or two to familiarize themselves with the new interpretation, but they soon appeared to be enjoying it, with the noise intensifying towards the end when Wright received great acclaim.

Reaction on social media to the very different version was decidedly mixed afterwards.

SMH sports columnist Peter FitzSimons was among those interested in starting the debate, writing on X: “Ummm, that performance of the national anthem? Your thoughts?”

One wrote: “Loved it.”

Another wrote simply: “Terrible.”

Among those who took to the platform to voice their opinions, many were not happy with Wright’s interpretation.

“Devastating…we want the anthem to be sung with passion, not as a sleepy ballad!” was one post.

“Shameful, disgraceful, disgusting. It’s an anthem not a pop song,” wrote another.

“Bro why are they remixing Ed Sheeran’s national anthem??” asked a third.

Of course, there were also a lot of positive reactions to the song, which usually does not garner much enthusiasm and enthusiasm.

“And THAT is how you sing the national anthem,” wrote one.

“Probably the best rendition of the national anthem I’ve ever heard,” suggested another.

“OK, I really like this acoustic version of the anthem,” was another comment.

Fynn didn’t miss a beat in her Welcome to Country, which some social media users also noticed.

“Welcome to country beats Anthem by a margin,” was one opinion.

“What a wonderful welcome to the land from this young woman!” written by another.

It was a fairly low-key start to a game that quickly became explosive as debutant Joseph Sua’ali’i was sent off in the opening two minutes for a high shot on Reece Walsh before the Maroons galloped to a 20-6 lead.

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