We all know sport can’t exist without a bit of banter – both on and off the pitch. And who better to enter into a bit of ‘sledging’ with than the inventors of the witty put-down.
With the British & Irish Lions sneaking to victory in the first Test against Australia, here are five ideas from Living Rugby for some friendly banter with your opposing fans ahead of Saturday, whether you’re British or an Aussie.
Get under the skin of the Australians.
- Take the mickey out of the local brew. Yes, Aussies may have a reputation of liking a drink or 10, but what exactly are they drinking? They think they can drink the Poms under the table, but when you’re drinking their water – sorry, Fosters and Victoria Bitter – it’s not hard is it? We’ve drank stronger orange squash.
- Remind them about cricket. You know, the sport they used to pride themselves on and dominate the world in. Just mention Mickey Arthur and they’re likely to explode. Or you could mention Pat Howard. Or the fact David ‘Rambo’ Warner drank some proper English ale and tried to pick a fight with the Milky Bar Kid himself, Joe Root. And still didn’t land a clean shot. Or that they’re just plain useless. That would hurt a true Aussie more than a Merv Hughes right hook.
- Remind them there are so few decent Aussie coaches out there that they have had to get someone in from the little island across the Tasman to do a job for them in Robbie Deans. The only things Aussies are used to using from New Zealand are Vegemite and sheep but now they have one of ‘little cousin’s’ men running their national side. Ouch.
- Suggest that, like some of their provincial sides, they are so scared of a drubbing with their best team out that they just put out a second team so they have a man-made excuse if they lose. Perhaps their Test side should do the same? Or alternatively, just get Kurtley Beale a decent pair of boots.
- The Scotland of the summer hemisphere? Just let our Antipodean pals know that if there were to be a southern hemisphere Lions squad with players made up from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, there would be a very realistic chance that no Aussies whatsoever would make the starting XV.
But it’s not all one-way traffic. The Aussies can give us Brits some gentle ribbing, too.
- Ask a proud English fan how he feels about cheering on the Welsh. The Scots about hero-worshipping an Irish player. Yes, it’s all well and good to have the best of British lining up together but how do the Lions supporters really feel about having to cheer on players from rival countries.
- While we’re on the subject of foreign coaches, Lions fans probably should get out of that glass house before throwing their stones. Who knows the British players better than a good old Brit. Someone who’s been raised in the ways of English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish culture and has a deep-rooted affinity to the Isles. Oh, hang on a minute, we have a Kiwi in charge too, don’t we. Have we not learnt from Graham Henry?
- Having potentially the longest losing record of any team in any sport - 16 years! Australia are just one nation. Aussie players representing their country and doing the shirt proud. They’re taking on the cream of the crop from four countries. And that proud institution hasn’t won a series for almost two decades. Pipe down Brits.
- Danny Cipriani and busses. Andy Powell and golf carts. Mike Tindall and, well, just Mike Tindall. The Aussies might have had the odd off-field indiscretion over the years but maybe they can handle their drink after all. Or they’re just more professional. Either way, A Kurtley Beale jab and a Quade Cooper break-in aside, they certainly show the Brits the way in (non)drinking and sport.
- You’re just bitter. You have to team up with three other countries to try and take us on in our own backyard. We’ve got half a squad injured or wanted, and you still only just edged us out in the first Test. Besides, we all know without the Welsh boys the Lions wouldn’t have a chance or getting close. That’s right Pom, your face is now as red as the rose on your chest.
Over to you, what are your suggestions?
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