The Rugby Championships. For the first time, Tri Nations has become four and we have Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa all competing for the new trophy.
Australia has quite an influx of tourists come into the country every year for rugby, and with the inclusion of Argentina this year, it struck me that many fans may not have been to Oz before.
I quite frequently have sporting fans ask me a variety of questions regarding Australia and what they should pack, where they should visit, what kind of weather to expect, what Australian slang they need to learn, etc prior to their arrival. Given there appears to be no real product on the market, I thought it was imperative for non-Australians to learn some of the basics.
So here we have it: the Paws fail-safe guide to the Aussie legs of the Rugby Championships, split up to cater for individual countries and matches in an effort to help minimise your concerns.
Weather and what to wear:
It’s Winter. You’ll freeze your butts off. You’ll need to wear clothes that keep you warm and dry. But you’re New Zealanders. If you’re not used to that kind of weather by now, there is nothing I can do to help you. Wear what you’d wear at home but note that “sheep” are not items of clothing in this country.
Weather should be quite pleasant. You see everything on the Gold Coast clothing wise, so it depends if you want to look like a local or a tourist. For that tourist look, opt for clothes that make look like you are a decent member of society. For the local look, go fake. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is fake. Alternatively, I recommend crocs, wife beater singlet, shorts that are pulled down far too low for viewer comfort and whilst you’re at it, tattoo and pierce the hell out of every available piece of free skin. You’ll fit right in.
It’s little South Africa. You’re probably more at home here than I am. The weather is mild with a cool breeze throughout most of the year. Wear what you’d wear at home, or for the men, I’d probably prefer you without clothes.
Where to go:
It’s hard to go past Darling Harbour. The Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge stand out as true tourist attractions. If you like staring at a freaking bridge and a building that most people have no clue what it symbolises and after ten minutes, shrug and walk away, that is.
Home. Quickly. Don’t turn around in case, like Lot’s wife, you are turned into a pillar of salt. Or worse; you hear the local chant of “heyabudyougottadolla?” meaning “I can’t even be bothered begging properly. Give me your change, but I can’t be bothered mugging you either. Meh.”
Western Australia is a huge state and has some of the world’s best wineries, at a reasonable price. Lucky, really. You’ll be able to drink yourselves into oblivion trying to forget the match for a quarter of the cost of buying a beer at the venue.
Where to avoid:
Cronulla. Although they’re probably more scared of you than you are of them.
Given you’re already here, it’s probably too late to ask this question.
Anywhere that requires you to be on the road. Perth drivers are THE WORST DRIVERS IN THE WORLD; and I’ve been in a crowded Indian street, blocked by a cow, being pickpocketed by a trained monkey and chased by a bus full of people screaming “You’re going the wrong way, you lunatic!”
Aussie rugby slang:
“It’s awesome seeing Sonny Bill Williams playing for the All Blacks” means “For the love of God, do NOT come back to rugby league.”
“ALL DAY, SIR!” means “For f*ck sake, will this ref have the balls to call Richie McCaw offside?”
“F***ING ALL BLACKS!” means “the depth and quality of this team is really quite parallel to none other on an international rugby stage, is it?”
“Where the hell is Argentina anyway?” means just that. Most of us don’t know, and even less of us care.
“Sky blue and white? F*ck off!” means “Wow, their uniforms are attractive.”
“Clean sweep, my ass” means “unfortunately, Argentina were the only Southern Hemisphere side to lose any of the three test series against the Northern Hemisphere sides on the recent Winter Tours. Shame.”
“Where’s the eye gouger?” means “It’s such a shame that the delightful Schalk Burger is not yet back in a Springboks jersey.”
“Hahahahahaha!!” means “That World Cup Quarter Final was the most awesome game I’ve seen in years. Pocock is a champion!”
“There is little difference between winning and losing except you feel better after winning,” Nope. We don’t know what it means, either.
Things you will hear us say:
“New Zealand may be world-beaters, but they still can’t win a world cup away from home.”
“Fish and Chips for dinner at six. Say it.”
“North Island, South Island, who knows? Which one has all the good snow again?”
“Don’t cry for me, Argentina.”
“HEY! IS THAT DIEGO MARADONA?”
“South America, hey? Hmmmm…” *whilst looking around for cops*
“Sooooo… what the hell happened to the Stormers anyway?”
“Just how many men has Wilhem Alberts eaten today?”
“I still don’t get how Matt Damon won the World Cup.”
Things you will hear ME say:
“So you won the World Cup? We won Trinations and Super 15 last year, plus your juniors sucked in that final in Cape Town.”
“Hamilton. Never again.”
“You see that ball of fire in the sky? That must be a novel concept for you. It’s called the Sun.”
“I cannot WAIT for the Olympics in 2016. Wait, nup… that’s Rio. Same place, yeah?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t understand your accent, nor do I have any idea what you’re trying to say.”
“NO, I will NOT dance the tango with you… here… maybe later.”
“Please stop talking, your accent is making me weak at the knees and I may do things that I can’t be held responsible for.”
“Load me up with biltong, buddy, and I won’t remind you of the Rugby World Cup… or the Cricket World Cup… or…”
“Have you heard of an Aussie kiss? It’s like a French kiss – only down under.”
So to all venturing over, enjoy your trip to the magnificent land of Oz and remember – our customs officers do orifice checks on foreigners in front of television cameras – for our amusement – and we tend to be suspicious of anyone that isn’t riding a kangaroo and carrying a beer.
Disclaimer – the author was intending to travel to the New Zealand and South African legs of the Wallabies journeys and to New Zealand for the Boks match however, the embassy has advised against doing so after releasing such a publication.