Sunday 25 February 2018

Here are 14 rugby clichés you will hear a lot of during the Six Nations

Tommy Bowe will hopefully give RTE commentator Ryle Nugent something to talk about in the Six Nations
Tommy Bowe will hopefully give RTE commentator Ryle Nugent something to talk about in the Six Nations
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

With the Six Nations about to get underway this weekend, brace yourself for an onslaught of clichés for the duration of the tournament. Here is a flavour of what you can expect.

Get the shove on

Can be used at nearly every scrum. Said immediately if it appears there may be a stalemate in the set-piece, or seconds later when a team clearly has the upper hand.

The crowd will tell you if this one goes over

The lull from the moment a penalty (where the kick at goal is the chosen option) is awarded to when the ball goes dead can be difficult to fill at times. This line is a gem, though generally reserved for the home team with the majority of the support.

Lovely little offload

Most often heard when the Welsh and French sides are in full flight. Will be less common following the retirement of Brian O'Driscoll.

No more than they deserve

A classic padder term. Either used for a team that has been dominating possession and territory, or a team (most likely Italy and Scotland) who have toiled all game and managed a consolation score that will not impact the result in any way.

Never give a sucker an even break

The catchphrase of RTE pundit Brent Pope. Used in the context that the stronger team must be ruthless and put the inferior team away on the scoreboard. The "suckers" in this regard

Brent Pope
Brent Pope


Sadly a word that may become extinct this season for one simple reason. Freddy Michalak is unlikely to feature at any stage for Les Bleus.

A term reserved generally for a French player, Gavin Henson in the past and Danny Cipriani have come as close as any "outsider" to the label.

Early pressure

To be used no later than the 10th minute of a game. Can mean one team is inside the opposition 22, has won a couple of lineouts or scrums,


George Hook's go-to phrase to describe something he is unhappy about. Generally reserved for Irish analysis and referee critiquing. Most likely to be heard when the Irish set-piece malfunctions and Italy have a 50/50 decision go against them against one of the 'big boys'.

Used by many viewers to describe Hook's choice of tie.

Do the simple things well

A personal favourite of RTE's Ralph Keyes. Often a warning for a side that are trying to be a little too fancy and that the expansive moves are not coming off, e.g. "they need to do the simple things well".

Paul O'Connell and team-mates will be expected to
Paul O'Connell and team-mates will be expected to "front-up" should they suffer defeat


Means at least two incidents – try, nearly a try, yellow card, brawl, poor knock-on, dodgy TMO call - have happened within the first five minutes of the game. More effective when an incident occurs for both sides.


What is expected of a pack, particularly after a defeat in the previous game. Means to do their job properly.

Tommy Boooooooooowe

RTE Head of Sport and rugby commentator Ryle Nugent sums up the national mood when the Ulster winger crosses the line with a dramatic confirmation of the player's name. Will hopefully hear this frequently over the course of the competition.


Is what the three winning teams (barring a draw) will have after the opening weekend. The narrative for the second week will be to "build on the momentum". A team undefeated after three games will therefore be difficult to beat as they possess "all the momentum".

Make the hairs tingle

Highly doubtful the Welsh national anthem at the Millennium Stadium will pass without a reference to the incredible atmosphere generated by the home crowd.

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