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Party pieces: A bluffer's guide to rugby in 2012

All you need to know if talk turns ‘rugger’ over the holiday season.

Not bluffers: Paul Keating from Tipperary with his partner Caitriona Dalton from Carlow.
Not bluffers: Paul Keating from Tipperary with his partner Caitriona Dalton from Carlow.
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

WE’VE ALL BEEN at that dinner party, Christmas gathering or trip to the in-laws when the talk turns to a subject you are less than tuned into.

This festive season, if chat in the kitchen or patio [where all the cool people hang at parties] turns to the topsy-turvy subject of Irish rugby, TheScore.ie has a few go-to sentences, reflections and declarations that should save your beautiful face.

Feel free to add your bluffer’s advice in our comments section below.

And remember, if any or these sentences fail, single out the person who looks like they have regular, human ears and say ‘sure you have to have played the game to understand’.

If I was Deccie I’d pick…

‘Ah it has to be Gilly. He’s a flyer. The Taffs won’t know what hit them.’

Calling Ulster’s Craig Gilroy ‘Gilly’ gets you bonus points. He is a shoe-in to start for Ireland against Wales in the Six Nations after his debut try against Argentina in November. Watch here:

YouTube credit: MrMerrion2

It’s the stuff you don’t see…

‘Jenno’s underrated. He’s an expert in the dark arts.’

This comment is usually reserved for second rows or flankers, who specialise in winning the ball for the team or slowing down quick ball for the opposition.

Donnacha O’Callaghan used to be the master of doing the stuff you don’t see but, with his powers fading, the comment is reserved for the likes of Shane Jennings, Donnacha Ryan and Chris Henry.

You have to say, best try of the year was…

‘I hate to say it, but when Gear stripped Ferg and monstered Earlsy.’

Hosea Gear finished off a sweeping All Black move to score the best of his side’s nine tries against Ireland. Keith Earls had to go off after receiving a fearsome Gear fend-off.

YouTube credit: dumped2012

It broke my stones when…

‘Fez was binned for a perfectly legit hit. Tip tackle my arse.’

Ireland may not have set the rugby world alight this year but they were robbed for the second time in successive Six Nations games against Wales. Stephen Ferris lifted Welsh lock Ian Evans in a hefty tackle with a minute on the clock and Ireland leading 21-20.

Referee Wayne Barnes deemed it a tip/spear tackle and penalised the Ulsterman. He compounded Irish misery by flashing a yellow card and, as Ferris trudged off, Leigh Halfpenny slotted over the winning penalty.

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YouTube credit: iammediaking

He tackled him like a Christmas dinner…

‘Did you see when The Bulldozer flattened those Wasps? (pause for reflection)… Huge hits.”

Dwayne Haare plays Top14 and Amlin Challenge Cup rugby with French side Bayonne. His nickname is The Bulldozer and he drove home the sentiment against Wasps in a December cup clash.

YouTube credit: LasGarzas11

I’ll leave you with this…

[In best Welsh voice] ‘This isn’t soccer’

Referee Nigel Owens delivered this gem to the Munster and Treviso players when the sides met in Pro12 action back in January.

‘It’s a great Christmas present for us’ – Penney reflects on Connacht’s near miss

Leinster have been bullied in their last 3 games – Keith Wood

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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