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Super Rugby has the best names. Listening to Super Rugby commentators every weekend is a splendid cacophony of Spanish, Japanese, Xhosa, Sotho, Afrikaans, Tongan, Maori, or Fijian names stewed into an expressive anthem of speed and power.
“Akira Ioane busts through Lood de Jager’s tackle! Akker the Warthog is free, with only Perenara to beat! Boffelli has buffaloed Burger!”
But as was recently discovered on The Roar, the names of Super Rugby can be adapted to verbs, often quite muscular verbs with precision, supplying our never-ending English tongue with new and descriptive action words.
I believe the first verb was ‘riccitelli’, meaning to deliver a lineout ball from well inside the field of play, boots not even near the touchline.
More verbs occurred to me:
1. To sheek: to paint a lovely picture of days gone by, otherwise known as ella-cindering.
2. To joubert a referee: to focus on one error made in the heat of the moment and drive the official out of the sport.
3. To nonu or faauli an opponent: to impale a ball carrier with one’s shoulder, but smile boyishly as the victim is stretchered off, and then check on them in hospital.
4. To lord: to have many constituent facts wrong, yet still magically reach the right conclusion.
5. To jantjies: to fold into a fetal position upon the slightest setback on the pitch, resulting in a lopsided haircut.
6. To kitshoff an opposing prop: to create such morbid fear of ginger beer, ginger ale, ginger snaps, the ginger next to sashimi, and Ginger Rogers, that your opponent dances backward at scrum time like Fred Astaire.
7. To akker: to run 10 cm off the turf, bellowing and snorting and generally behaving like Diggercane on amphetamines.
8. To rhule: to evade evasively, on attack and defence.
9. To beale: or not to beale, that is the question.
10. To ned: to limply lope languidly into contact, except when rhuled.
11. To bosch: to kick like a mule, but run away from all collisions as if an eggshell.
12. To levanini: to burger and eben and franks another player, but get carded by a referee who peypers your actions like a fionn.
13. To sanchez: either to dive soccerly upon a whisper of contact or to snipe from the base of a disintegrating scrum.
14. To RG: to pretend to be a criminally fast giraffe who despises English tourists.
15. To hayden: to look even more like an accountant than Bun Smith.
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16. To crockett: to soar and boar, with an emphasis on the arse.
17. To PSDT: to be just slow enough to fail, and just fast enough to almost not fail.
18. To ioane: to be kainoed, or to float, to glide, to score, to win, to smile; or to bash, and scowl, and dream of joining one’s brother on a test team, also known as barretting or du preezing.
19. To be thorred: to be nuggeted by a South African eighthman, while trying to tackle up high, only to be lifted higher than a toilet door, and disposed of, and crudened, or put to sleep.
20. To mounga: to create a flyhalf selection controversy by being brilliant while supported by a pack that loods and reads and furlongs and marxes other packs.
21. To jordie: to invade homes which seem like they have someone named Schalk inside.
22. To lam: to score miraculous tries and never do anything else.
23. To whiteley: to turn haplessly to the sideline to seek guidance on 3 versus 7 calls.
24. To kwagga: to waiseke and akira defenders, while breaking one’s nose.
25. To phipps: to urinate in costume, but not when being putined or colluding.
26. To bishop: to turn anything into a diagramme, and be laconic about it.
27. To cooper: to quade fans and ashley coaches.
28. To gill: to be the best, but never prove it.
29. To cronje: to move like a crab, but sting like a bee.
30. To angus: to scold or perenara, in a clear voice.
31. To mckay: to tip retroactively better than prospectively.
32. To crotty: to find knees with your head.
33. To whitelock: to shave without success.
34. To spiro: to be faxed in the middle of the night.