How well do you know the rugby expressions?
What's the "third-half"? What does a hospital pass mean?...
Discover what rugby culture is with this third episode of "Do you speak rugby?"
Some rugby expressions explained
We have a rough idea of where and when post-match celebrations start: in the changing room, at the post-match meal, under a tent, in the stadium bar, at a night club or a bar in the city centre. But it's much harder to say with certainty what happens, with whom and just how late into the night. Just like the match that precedes it, the post-match celebration has its own rules, surprises and enthusiasts.
Fans of the post-match celebration don't just talk about rugby, they talk rugby. Just as rugby is played, lived and breathed, it is also spoken. It borrows its vocabulary from a wide range of fields, including food (chip, cauliflower ears, wooden spoon, feed, spear tackle (think asparagus!), etc.), numbers (second-row, Six Nations, Number 8, three-quarters, Tight Five, etc.), transport (drive, wheel, wing, truck and trailer, etc.) and the animal world (fly half, Eagles, Wallabies, Springboks, Pumas etc.).
Lovers of rugby make the language heard around the field as they make the ball "sing". Did your opponent just score yet another try, seemingly extinguishing all hope of making a comeback? The commentators will surely be saying that "It's an absolute rout". Is your team breaking up, abandoning its formation and organisation? They'll be grumbling in the stands that the team needs to "Keep its shape". There are poets in every language. You don't need to be a fluent rugby-speaker to understand that a "Hospital Pass" spells trouble for the receiver...
From "crunch", a match in which England plays France, to "ruck", a spontaneous scrum, "fair play" and "drop", French rugby terminology borrows a lot from the country that invented the sport. And finally, there's "French flair", an English expression used to refer to a style of play that can only be French. But how would you define "French flair"? Is it the innate talent of the French national team? A special gift for creativity? Or is it the excuse given by the French for ignoring their trainer's instructions? The answer may depend heavily on where you were born! Now there's something to talk about at the next post-match celebration.