A Users' Guide to Rugby Jargon

Rugby journalism is easy. Take a few well worn phrases, add a couple of cliches, scan the headlines for what other people are saying, learn the jargon and sit back and enjoy the game. Anyone can do it, even amateur bloggers have been known to get in on the act.

So to help you out with your budding sports journalism career or to let you interpret what you read about the Rugby World Cup, the Rolling Maul is taking a close look at Rugby World Cup journalism, or the gravy train as it's known in Marseilles. Below are some key words that help spruce up Rugby articles:

Depth: Most teams have bench warmers and squad members. The All Blacks have depth. This means that there is no other sport to play in New Zealand and competition for places in the starting XV has ensured that the best team is inevitably left sitting in the grandstand as the coach has no idea.

Unpredictable: Hopeless. Pacific island teams are patronisingly known as unpredictable. This means that you can predict that they will make bone crunching tackles for 15 minutes, throw the ball around a lot and often drop it and be competitive until about just after half-time when they get exhausted. Don't let Fiji vs Wales fool you. Wales were just more unpredictable than Fiji on the day.

Courageous: Hopeless. The USA are courageous. They turn up to each World Cup talking the talk make a few big hits and lose by 70. Courage is not about being out run, outmuscled and outplayed. If that is courage then Namibia are the most courageous team in France

Speedy: Hopeless. Japan are speedy. They are speedy to drop the ball, go backwards in scrums, and have 50 points scored against them by half-time. Speedy is an asset for road runners and cartoon mice.

Impact: Desperation. Bench warmers aren't replacements anymore but impact players. In the 2 to 20 minutes the bench warmer is on the field they are expected to turn a losing cause into a monumental victory. Impact isn't what happens on the field it's what happens to the coaches career when desperation turns to the bench.

Structure: Boring. England play a highly structured style of Rugby. It means they have grizzled behemoth man mountains in the forwards that are highly effective in slowing down play and preventing spectators, commentators and especially referees from seeing what's going on. Structure is the opposite of...

Instinct: Chaos. Pacific Islanders and the Ella brothers play with instinct. Players love it because it means they don't have to think. Thinking is hard. It gives them headaches. But coaches hate it no matter how much they claim to encourage it publicly. Instinct can't be planned and that's what coaches are for. If all players played instinctively there'd be no need for coaches.

Discipline: Soft. To be disciplined in the modern game is to not strike back when your opponent is pummeling the shit out of you. Referees and the IRB love discipline because they think it improves Rugby as a television package for the masses, but the reality is that the modern game is so disciplined it's in danger of turning into soccer.

Natural game: See instinct.

Experienced: Old.

Exciting: Young. Coaches hate exciting players. They play with instinct which is only really useful when impact is needed. And even worse they can be unpredictable. The coach's goal in life is to coach out excitement and instill structure.

Gameplan: Wishlist. A coach's ideal gameplan revolves around taking the experienced and exciting players and letting them play an instinctive natural game but with structure and discipline before bringing on the impact players with 15 minutes to go.

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