If you’re like some of my 'less sporty' colleagues (whose names I daren't mention), then there’s a good chance you’ve been dreading Rugby World Cup 2015.
The fear of being asked a question about a sport you’ve never followed, or the humiliation of having nothing to contribute to a post-match conversation is enough to make you want to punt kick yourself into oblivion.
But fear not! Because help is at hand.
These seven, easy-to-remember rugby phrases, complete with cues for when to say them, will keep you clued up and sounding smart in front of your friends, family and co-workers. Jot them down in the notes section of your smartphone and start using them now!
What to say: “He hasn’t wrapped around there!”
When to say it: When a player is tackling an opponent, they must wrap their arms round them. But sometimes a player will shoulder charge or body check a player without using their arms, which is deemed dangerous. So be a good sport and stick up for your team.
What to say: “Drive” (actually pronounced “DRIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!”)
When to say it: This can be said when the team you are supporting can be seen charging towards the other team’s try line with the ball hidden somewhere in the middle. This is called a ‘rolling maul’. As they do this, you can encourage them by growling “driiive”.
What to say: “Oooh, that’s a hospital pass”
When to say it: When a player passes to their team mate and puts them in a vulnerable position, so they don’t have time to brace being tackled. As the phrase suggests, there’s a good chance it’s gonna hurt.
What to say: “Good hands!”
When to say it: When a player does a particularly good pass or catch.
What to say: “He was in the air!”
When to say it: Whenever you see a player tackling an opponent while he’s jumping to catch the ball. Given the intensity and speed of international rugby, players occasionally mistime their tackles. It’s a serious infringement of the rules and often results in a yellow card. Add a little aggression when you shout this one, and the crowd will be right behind you.
What to say: “Great hit!”
When to say it: A tackle in rugby is also known as a ‘hit’. A great tackle can knock a player backwards or dislodge the ball. It’s all about timing and power. The more dramatic the tackle, the more emphatically you say it.
What to say: “I think they could go deep into the Tournament”
When to say it: This means you think a team will do well in the Tournament. It can only be said during the pool stages, before the semi-finals. Be careful though, as you might get asked why!