• Home
  • /
  • Rugby
  • /
  • 13 Rugby Buzzwords To Use If You Want To Sound Like Gerry Thornley

13 Rugby Buzzwords To Use If You Want To Sound Like Gerry Thornley

13 Rugby Buzzwords To Use If You Want To Sound Like Gerry Thornley
By PJ Browne
Share this article

Picture: Irish Times

We're big fans of Gerry Thornley here at Balls. One of my greatest ever personal moments was actually getting to stand one urinal away from him at the Shelbourne Hotel.

Gerry isn't just about the sunglasses and leather jacket, he's also about the little phrases which populate his own personal rugby lexicon. If you want to sound like him, you need to start using these little gems.

Top Quatorze

When used: Anytime you are discussing French domestic rugby. Commoners call it the Top 14. To Gerry and now you, it's the Top Quatorze. You have obviously increased frequency of use since Jonny Sexton joined Jonny Sexton's Racing Metro.

Example of use: I see both Setanta and BT are showing the Top Quatorze this season.



Pitch up

When used: Only trot this out when talking about players moving from Ireland to France. Players can only pitch up in the Top Quatorze or the Pro D2.

Example of use: Sean O'Brien pitching up at Clermont or Racing is a definite possibility.

Coaching ticket

When used: Anytime you are speculating about a possible new coaching setup at a team.


Example of use: Joe Schmidt will surely retain Les Kiss on the Ireland coaching ticket.

Sword of Damocles

When used: The Sword of Damocles has been hanging over Connacht rugby for years now to various degrees of precariousness. This season it's blade also looms large of the Heineken Cup.

Example of use: If the Heineken Cup goes belly-up, Connacht would be the first in the firing line. That's another Sword of Damocles hanging over them.


Midi Olympique

When used: Whenever some gravitas needs to be added to a conversation about French rugby, you can name drop this bi-weekly French newspaper. You can also refer to it as Midol.  La Montagne or La Parisienne are suitable alternates.

Example of use: I see Leigh Halfpenny was linked to Toulon in Midi Olympique.



Bloodless coup

When used: If you need to communicate that a match was one-sided. Italian Pro12 teams are often involved.

Example of use: In the end, Australia and Italy was somewhat of a bloodless coup.


Fait accompli

When used: You no longer say that things are a given, they are now a fait accompli. A multi-purpose phrase which can be applied to in-game situations and also conversations about the broader issues affecting rugby.

Example of use: The advent of the Rugby Champions Cup was made to seem like somewhat of a fait accompli.

Callow out-half

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

When used: Whenever you need to talk about the current Munster out-half situation. Particularly useful when discussing JJ Hanrahan or any other young inexperienced out-half.

Example of use: Munster have lost Ronan O'Gara and now they've got two callow out-halves vying to replace him.

Pound of flesh

When used: A handy phrase which you should utilise during discussions about the disadvantages of Irish players moving to the Top Quatorze. Effective in relaying your knowledge that they play a lot more games in France than the Pro12

Example of use: These French clubs, they pay well but they want their pound of flesh and that's something Jonny Sexton is realising quickly.

Pissing ice cubes

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

When used: This is the equivalent of the Americanism 'clutch'. You will employ this when talking about players who stay cool during high pressure game situations.

Example of use: Dan Carter just pisses ice cubes everytime he steps up to the kicking tee.

Sabre rattling

When used: This usually occurs between governing bodies though two high profile coaches may occasionally engage in a bit of sabre rattling.

Example: There's plenty of sabre rattling going on between the LNR and the FFR at the moment.

Litmus test

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

When used: To be employed everytime an uproven team or a new coach has a tough upcoming game. Pat Lam's Connacht, Rob Penney's Munster and Matt O'Connor's Leinster will all face several litmus tests this season. A newly appointed captain may also face a litmus test.

Example of use: That game against Munster was a real litmus test for Matt O'Connor's Leinster and you'd have to say that they failed.

Living off scraps

When used: If you're analysing a game, this is an effective phrase to communicate your recognition that a team is somehow staying in a game despite not seeing much attacking ball. Examples of scraps are unforced errors by the other team such as knock-ons in their own 22 or inexplicable penalties being given by the referee.

Example of use: Ireland will be living off scraps against New Zealand.

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com