Planet Rugby

The best quotes of 2009

31st December 2009 07:22

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Who said that?

It has been an eventful year of rugby, but how much of it do you remember?

Here are some of the verbal highlights from the last twelve months. See if you can match mutterings to mouths. Scroll to the foot of the page to find out who said what.

A: "Just about to make a cup of tea to welcome in the new year. Now that is living on the edge."

B: "Why don't we all go to the nearest ballet shop, get some nice tutus and get some great dancing going on. No eye-gouging, no tackling, no nothing. Then enjoy."

C: "I allowed my passion for the club to compromise my judgment."

D: "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

E: "I know myself that I am a God-given talent."

F: "It's pretty distressing talking about this. When you think about how much time people have put into my career and I have thrown it away."

G: "Now I realise that people regard you on the basis of your achievements, not on what you do when you close the door."

H: "Well, you know, the Lions have great backs."

I: "We have closed the gap considerably when you look at what happened last autumn, when we were outplayed in both games against [southern hemisphere sides]. We have closed the gap but we have not closed it far enough."

J: "I am the best ever that I can be, what you think doesn't bother me, I know what I am and I don't give a damn."

K: "I can't take back anything that's happened in the past, so now it's up to me to work hard and control what I can control."

L: "If we want to eye-gouge any lions we would go into the bushveld and eye-gouge there."

M: "We'll fill Wembley within three years."

N: "I was going against my conscience and it became impossible to enjoy. It came to a point where I couldn't do that any longer."

O: "This is the second-best day of my life - the best day was when I lost my virginity ... I'm taking all the cheerleaders out for dinner."

P: "If I am the weakest link then we are bloody strong!"

Q: "Munster have to call upon all their proven powers of resilience if they are to come away from the home of the French champions with a solitary bonus point, let alone a victory ... Munster's pack will be savaged at the scrum, the midfield will be hanging on in defence and the ears will be screaming for release from the constant haranguing of this volatile crowd."

R: "If we want to win games in boardrooms and on TV screens, we might as well go to the nearest ballet shop and buy ourselves some tutus."

S: "What we must understand here very clearly is that rugby is a contact sport, and so is dancing."

T: "It's disappointing that we allowed them [Wales] to show what a good side they are."

U: "I thought of replacing him after 25 minutes, but out of respect I left him on the field."

V: "We were sometimes going off-plan and doing things we especially said not to do against this team."

W: "It's a bit f***ing late now, mate!"

X: "He's not a goal kicker, he's a rocket launcher."

Y: ''Rugby is in a recession. But we've hit rock bottom now and I think it's a recession that rugby had to have in a way; to clean out the rut.''

Z: "So, will you speak about the Grand Slam now?"

Answers:

A: Former England captain Will Carling files his first Facebook status update of the year.

B: South Africa coach Peter de Villiers on that moment in the second Test between South Africa and the British & Irish Lions.

C: Former Harlequins boss Dean Richards admits to his role in Bloodgate.

D: Brian O'Driscoll's surreal response to being asked what it was like to play with and against Martin Johnson. We later learned that BOD had been dared by his teammates to slip this quote, from comedian Peter Kay, into the press conference.

E: South Africa coach Peter de Villiers on, well, South Africa coach Peter de Villiers.

F: Understatement of the year from England prop Matt Stevens? He won't be lacing his boots in anger until January 18, 2011.

G: Wales stalwart Gareth Williams on the public reaction to his coming out.

H: South Africa star Ruan Pienaar passes judgements on the tourists' pack in the build-up to the Lions Test series.

I: England boss Rob Andrew puts considerable spin on his side's November record: played 3, scraped 1.

J: Peter de Villiers does his best Muhammed Ali impression.

K: Australia star Quade Cooper commits to counselling following a string of off-field incidents that included a charge of burglary.

L: If only the Christians of ancient Rome had Peter de Villiers as their coach.

M: Saracens chairman Nigel Wray sticks his neck out. Make a note of it - it might come to pass.

N: Scotland's Euan Murray decides that playing on Sundays is no longer compatible with his Christian faith. The prop will duly miss, among other games, his nation's opening Six Nations game against France.

O: Lucky punter Stuart Tinner goes off-message after winning £250,000 in Saracens' 'Crossbar Challenge'.

P: Guess who? Yep, that man Peter de Villiers again.

Q: Rugby pundit Stuart Barnes correctly predicts a mauling. Munster recorded a crushing four-try 37-14 victory that ended Perpignan's 23-match unbeaten home run.

R: Peter de Villiers gives his verdict on the citing process. Or does he believe ballet is a game to be won in boardrooms and on TV screens?

S: Never do the funky chicken with Peter de Villiers.

T: Former Scotland coach Frank Hadden comes up with a novel take on defeat. It didn't save him his job.

U: Italy coach Nick Mallett defends his decision not only to select Mauro Bergamaso at scrum-half against England but to leave him there after it became patently obviously the flank was out of his depth.

V: England boss Martin Johnson after his side's win over Italy in the Six Nations, clearly pining to be directing matters from the pitch rather than the sideline.

W: Lions prop Phil Vickery reacts after referee Bryce Lawrence allegedly admitted to "getting some things wrong" during the first Test between the Lions and South Africa.

X: South African captain John Smit pays homage to Francois Steyn after the playmaker's right boot clinched the Tri-Nations title with a win over New Zealand in New Zealand.

Y: Australia hooker Adam Freier clearly has a long career in the city ahead of him.

Z: A reporter chances his arm at the post-match press conference in Wales after Ireland had finally sealed the deal. Declan Kidney had outlawed talk of the clean sweep from all previous briefings.

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