We rate the players after most tests; now that we’re in the middle of the Tri-Nations it’s time to see how the commentators are travelling. Who’s on top of the ladder SA, Oz or NZ?
Home ground advantage is most important in the commentator stakes. This breed don’t travel well as a rule although being able to speak English is a positive. Having a knowledge of rugby is desirable but not necessarily a prerequisite, as you’ll see.
Kobus ‘Headroom’ Wiese is from Paarl like our good mate PaarlBok. In fact PaarlBok’s boykie Klein goes to Kobus’ old school, Paarl Gimnasium. Kobus is the original four square blok van oë*. Kobus Headroom is one fokken big oke. Ag man, he’s a monster. I’d say that he doesn’t buy his suits off the rack? Mind you, some chicks go jags over him. With his headphones on he looks like…..well, Max Headroom. Kobus is not a natural comments japie, it’s just that everyone is scared kakless to tell him. His commentating style is to state the bleedin’ obvious. Relies heavily on his old china Nasty Booter for support – this is what lets him down. Beam me up Kobus! Rating: 5
Hugh ‘Blowers’ Bladen, the Blofeld of the Velt. Blowers is full of bombastic bluster and piss and wind like ‘our ‘Enery’. He attended the famous rooineck King Edward VII school in Jo’Burg, where I suspect he was fagged. In fact, he was Head Boy in 1962 so he was probably doing the fagging! Blowers is the quintessential English speaking Saffa. He is now senile and his bumbling ramblings ensures names, dates and places are regularly forgotten. Unfortunately he’s a bit of a national treasure, our Blades, and a bit hard to move on. He’s the Gough Whitlam of South African sports commentating. Apart from ‘Ya Clarkie’, he constantly repeats ‘the atmosphere is electric’ and ‘he’s getting into the thick of things’. His bias is legendary. And he’s in desperate need of a haircut. Rating: 3
Nasty Booter is the Godwin Grech of Saffa rugby. I mean, he’s just a fokken fraud in the commentary box. Sure, he used to kick the ball a bit, but that suggests we’re going to get something decent from his input. The reality is we get kak. He has the analytical skills of a warthog. Anyway, shouldn’t he be commentating on the Van der Merwe channel? You can’t fokken understand him! ‘Ya, Schmidt kickken die ball arnd it bang off Lakky for Victor to schlup up und fall over blankes line‘. Voetsek, jou sleg moer! Rating: 0
Robert Brian Skinstad aka The Fonz. Robert Brian….you’re kidding? Bobby mate, you’re lookin’ good. Yep, still lookin’ good. Need a comb and mirror? Do you also get the feeling that Bobby is only in this business just for the chicks he’s gonna pull. Always was, and still is, a poser. Rating: 2
Bros. ‘Try tiiiimmmmeeeee’ or ‘it’s oooovvvveeeeeerrrrr’. Warren has a habit of exaggerating everything. From his modest cv to his commentary. He generally operates in tandem with Blowers – god help us! You can identify some boofhead tendencies with Bros but at least he is able to sustain a conversation on rugby tactics. Trouble is he just can’t sit still. A bit like his playing days when he was all over the place with the Golden Lions, Sharks, Ulster, Calvisano and the Bulls. Personally engaging, I reckon he’s a bungy jumper! Rating: 6
Kia ora. Where’s the cuzzy bro’ commentators? How about Kenny Laban and Willie Lose from the ANZ and Pacific Nations Cup. Isn’t it about time we had a bit of representation from this mongrel mob that makes up two thirds of the All Blacks? Instead we’ve got Nisbo. Nisbo is tutae (kak in another language). Nisbo came from the wireless. Winston McCarthy, Bob Irvine, Keith Quinn, Nisbo…..Nisbo??? He still thinks he’s on the bloody radio. He should learn from Richie Benaud and let the pictures do the talking. One eyed, whingeing and inevitably affronted by defeat. Wasn’t it great listening to the commentary when his beloved ABs were beaten by Le Frogs. Nisbo, the (shiny) pate that roared! Rating: 1
Tony Johnston is one of the best commentators about. TJ’s just so unbelievably cool when having to work with f*ckwits like Muzza Mexted. He’s generally fair and unbiased. He tells it how it is but uses sense and sensibility when it’s needed. Sure, he supports the All Blacks but not to the detriment of everything else. TJ’s just the sort of guy you’d want to get on the piss (sorry puss) with and I’d imagine he’d have a deep appreciation of Speights Old Dark. He’s the bro’. Rating: 8
Murray Mexted – Muzza, Muzza, Muzza…..why does this man bother! Should be tested weekly for foot in mouth disease. Yes, believe it or not he was once married to Miss Universe. Lorraine, how could you? I knew a guy who used to shower with Mex (Wellington Rugby Club circa 1983) and I’m reliably informed that there is a reason. Muzza is generally on another planet: I don’t know which one, perhaps Kobus could help us with that? His stupidity is legendary frequently winning ‘Wanker of the Week’ awards. A couple of his quotes are: ‘Strangely, in slow motion replay, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer’ and ‘he kicks it with his left-handed foot’. Isn’t it great that we’ve got such a target……it makes it oh so easy. Ronnie Barker would be proud. Rating: 0
Foxy the ferret is pretty analytical with his comments and frequently on the mark. Unlike Muzza, he’s pretty conservative with his opinions. He also seems to have a bit of insight into what’s going on. Wouldn’t he just love playing behind Fourie du Preez with the tactics the Boks are currently using. Just needs to invest in a bit of nasal spray. Rating: 6
Ian ‘the elderly boy’ Jones. Known as Kamo, he’s named after a hick town in Taniwha country…its a bit like being called Goodna? A perpetual teenager like Cliff Richard, he’s got one of those Mike Tyson voices that lifts a few octaves higher when excited. He’s actually excited all the time, incredulous that his limited talent has got him this far. When interviewing players he’s got a tendency to spit all over them which I’d imagine they’d find disconcerting. Retains a certain schoolboyish charm and country bumpkinism – I suppose he’s harmless enough. Rating: 5
Gordon Bray has been the ‘Voice of Rugby’ in Oz for the past 25 years. He’s a bit like your old cardigan, you love it to bits and don’t want to throw it away but there’s no way you’re going to be seen in public in it. He’s the poor man’s commentator these days i.e. free-to-air. Does anybody watch this anymore? I certainly don’t see that much of him these days, only when the satellite’s down! Gordy’s the most knowledgeable bloke around on footy and very middle of the road. So are Helmet Horan and Crowls. Ah, the good old days on the ABC with Buddha Handy and Gary Pearse seem like light years ago. But hey, times have changed and we’re looking for a bit of edge in our commentary now. You know, wide boys like Marto and Kearnsey. Gordy is one of the few unbiased commentators around and he’s still top notch. Rating: 7
Greg Clark is the all-round nice guy of Australian rugby. He’s a fella you don’t really want to bag because you can tell he’s genuine and professional in what he does. However, in the last few weeks he’s been doing a bit of whingeing like his offsiders. Probably not his fault, he’s just been dragged down by his boofhead mates. Very much a mediator in this commentary team. Clarkie’s vanity got the better of him when he dyed his hair but it seems normal transmission has now resumed; at least it wasn’t as appalling as Col Love’s! Don’t overdo the cheerios mate. Rating: 6
Kearnsey is the Wally Lewis of Fox Sport i.e. his rugby playing skills are not transportable. For one so accomplished on the park, he has the rugby knowledge of a reserve grader. Have you been noticing his memory lapses lately, perhaps it’s a symptom of Props and Hookers Irrelevant Legend’s Syndrome (PHILS), a post retirement affliction? Kearnsey is the resident boofhead, and there’s a place for that on the telie. He’s occasionally funny and, apart from the appalling bias, is regarded by fans in all three countries with some affection. The class clown! Rating: 5
Marto the Triple M comedian. His most famous gig was with Campo in 1989 when he was Dean Martin to Campo’s Jerry Lewis against the British Lions. A budding politician, his recent campaign in the Queensland election against Anna Bligh was a corker. His platform of no dogs under 30cm, bring back Cracker Night and allow everybody to ride in the back of a ute sadly wasn’t a winner. No worries – his completion of a touch judge’s course recently has fortuitously now made him an expect on the laws of rugby. Opinionated and loud, Marto shoots from the hip in a scatter-gun approach. Sometimes it works. Rating: 6
Tugboat Kafer – ‘all out bruvvers’! Kafe is the head of RUPA, the players union. He’s their Sharon Burrows; well he’s built like her anyway. Desperately trying to appear relevant, RUPA have initiated an inquiry into Lote overboard, amongst other things. Not sure how that’s going to play out when Lote, his manager, the ARU and everyone else who knows anything about it refuses to talk to them. Oh well, as they say in politics perception is everything. Via his dork-board, Kafe shows up all the boofheads on the show with his Brains’ act. He knows some serious footy stuff. Gee, why don’t the Reds give Mooney the arse and recruit this guy? His game analysis is spot on and I’d imagine Dingo would be watching every Thursday night with notebook in hand. Rating: 7
*In case you were wondering:
boykie = boy, blok van oë = brick with eyes, oke = guy, jags = horny, japie = man, kakless = shitless, rooineck = English speaking, voetsek, jou sleg moer = fok off.
kia ora = gidday, tutae = kak, Taniwha =Maori bunyip (Northland).