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Speaking rugby

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Descriptions of World Cup rugby matches are fun to read. Why should South Africa be worried about a banana skin? What was New Zealand doing with a hammer? Let’s find out. AFP photo 

Georgia goes on the attack against Scotland in the 2011 Rugby World Cup being played in New Zealand AFP photo


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Speaking rugby

As an American I know very little about the sport of rugby, but I still enjoy watching it occasionally for 15 minutes or so. I find it more fun to read about it, however, because of the colourful language sports writers use in describing the bruising, very physical action on the field.

Here are two examples from today’s Bangkok Post. In the first, why do you think the South African team, better known as the Springboks, should be worried about a banana skin?

Springboks wary of Fiji banana skin

WELLINGTON: Reigning champions South Africa play Fiji in the second match of their title defence here today well aware of the threat the South Sea Islanders can pose.

In the 2007 World Cup, the Fijians pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament by beating Wales to move into the quarter-finals against the Springboks.

It should be clear the story is not about a real banana skin, but a threat – a possible loss to Fiji if the Springboks are not well-prepared.

Why is a banana skin a threat? Well, it is slippery and if you step on a banana skin without seeing it, you could fall down and hurt yourself. Watch to see if the Springboks stay on their feet today.
 
occasionally – sometimes, but not frequently or regularly บางครั้งบางคราว
bruising – difficult and unpleasant, making you feel tired or weak ทำให้เกิดรอยช้ำ
physical – involving people touching or hitting each other a lot ออกแรง
wary – careful or nervous about someone or something because you think they might cause a problem ระมัดระวัง
reigning champions – the current champions; defending champions แชมป์ปัจจุบัน
title – the position of a winner in a sports competition  ตำแหน่งแชมป์
title defence – an attempt at winning a championship that you won the previous time
aware – knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ
threat – a danger อันตราย
pose a threat – to be a possible danger กระทำการซึ่งอาจก่อให้เกิดอันตรายต่อ
pull off – to succeed in doing something difficult ทำได้สำเร็จ
shock – a strong feeling of surprise as a result of something happening, especially something unpleasant; the event that causes this feeling ช็อค, ความสะดุ้ง, อาการช็อค
tournament – a competition for teams or single players in which a series of games is played, and the winners of each game play against each other until only one winner is left การแข่งขัน
quarter-finals – competitions between the last eight competitors remaining in a tournament การแข่งขันก่อนรอบบรองชนะเลิศ
slippery – wet, smooth or oily so that it slides easily or causes something to slide ลื่น

Ma'a Nonu does his best Superman impression to score a try. AFP photo


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Mismatch

The second story is about a mismatch – a match in which one team is much too powerful for the other. Watch the language that is used to describe the stronger team and the weaker team.

Hamilton hammering

Ruthless All Blacks run in 13 tries in 83-7 victory over Japan

Hamiliton, New Zealand: New Zealand pummelled hapless Japan 83-7 yesterday in an embarrassingly one-sided rout which brought back the horrors of World Cups past for Asia's top team.

The makeshift All Blacks, with Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Mils Mulianian among those missing injured, scored 13 tries at a rate of one every six minutes to evoke memories of the Bloemfontein massacre of 1995.

That match in South Africa was New Zealand's biggest ever World Cup victory, thumping Japan 145-17. 

impression – an amusing copy of the way a person acts or speaks การล้อเลียนท่าทางหรือการพูดจาของบุคคลที่มีชื่อเสียง
try – (in rugby) an act of scoring points by touching the ground behind your opponents' goal line with the ball
pummel – to keep hitting somebody/something hard  ตี, ต่อย, ชก
hammering – a very bad beating, in this case, in a competition  การตี
ruthless – not thinking or worrying about any pain caused to others; cruel ไร้ความปรานี, โหดเหี้ยม
hapless – of someone who you feel sorry for because bad things have happened to them เคราะห์ร้าย
embarrassing – making you feel ashamed, nervous or stupid น่าอับอาย, น่าอับอายขายหน้า
rout – a complete defeat of an opponent in a battle, competition, or election การทำให้พ่ายแพ้ราบคาบ, การทำให้พ่ายแพ้กระเซอะกระเซิง
horror – a strong feeling of shock or fear caused by something extremely unpleasant ความหวาดกลัว, ความขยะแขยง
makeshift – using whatever is available and therefore not very good   สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว, ใช้ประทังไปก่อน
injured – hurt physically  ซึ่งได้รับบาดเจ็บ
rate – the level or speed at which something happens or changes, or the amount or number of times it happens or changes in a particular period อัตรา
evoke a memory – to bring a feeling, a memory or an image into your mind  ทำให้ระลึกความหลัง,  ทำให้ระลึกถึง
massacre – the action of killing of a lot of people, or, in this case, of defeating an opponent very badly การสังหารหมู่
thump – to hit someone or something with force and usually with a loud sound ตีดังๆ

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