Thursday, August 16, 2012

The languages of the Rugby Championship

The Rugby Championship is the new name for the Tri Nations, now that Argentina have been added to Australia, New Zealand  and South Africa. It’s home to more than 15 different languages, and it’s even argued  (not convincingly) that English is spoken in some of these regions. Here they are in all their glory:

Afrikaans, New Ziln , Ndebele, Strine, Northern Sotho, Serf Effrican, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu  Walmajarri, Te reo Māori, Spanish, Kaiwá. This week, as Australia hosts the first match, we’re going to take a quick look at Strine, or Australian English as the posh people say. The rule is – add a y or an ‘ie’ thus tinny, barbie, bikey, bickie etc etc. Keep an eye on the ute’s and the bogans. And here’s a real insider tip, if you’re trying to impress an Aussie, tell them you catch a fat every time you think about the Wallabies chances this year. They’ll never think about you in the same way again, promise. It’s a great place to visit, where I’m hoping to go on holiday again next year.

So, there’s the small matter of rugby to think about. Conventional wisdom would be for a New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Argentina finish. Hard to see past that. Ireland showed in one match that the All Blacks can be vulnerable if you put them under pressure, but apart from that, they are, as always the number one team in the world to beat. The Springboks are unlikely to throw too many surprises – new coach Heyneke Meyer is pretty conservative so no expansive game plans on the horizon, but they have seriously talented, and seriously large new players coming through, so they’ll be competitive. Australia to me have never really clicked under Robbie Dean, two steps forward, one step back all the time. They have the talent if you take out all the good players from their franchises, but often the whole seems to less than the sum of their parts. The Pumas – I have no idea, they’ll probably start well, and then run out of steam later as their lack of depth starts to tell.

This weekend I’m going for New Zealand and SouthAfrica. Enjoy the rugby!

Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 18
Australia vs New Zealand 20:05
South Africa vs Argentina 17:00

1 comment:

  1. Great read. proof, if it were needed, that Rugby really is inclusive. @rugbyfan1980