I quote a colleague of mine here, *ahem*
"I was telling my Aussie friend (an ex-pat) about the newspaper poll thing, and how we think they're a load of whingers ........ and got this reply. Its quite a good insight into the thing they call 'sledging' down under, and why the English shouldn't take any notice of it.
"Presumably, when you are doing real sledging you have to keep your arms by your side and shift your weight from left to right to steer. So it looks like these guys are on a sledge when the roll around bumping into each other.
"As for the Aussies adopting a whingeing Pom approach – you and the English team have fallen for the biggest Aussie sporting trick in the book. Its called sledging – and strangely enough its an Aussie tradition from AFL where before the siren goes (not a whistle) players will physically shoulder each other and generally behave like two drunks at a bar taking a hostile stance but being unable to throw a punch. During this interchange (very common – just look for it) – you'll see a lot of talk going on. It's usually runs along the lines of "I slept with your missus on your wedding night and boy did she give good head" or something along those lines. They do it to rile the other side so that they lose focus. That is much like the HAKA is supposed to do isn't it?
"So doesn't surprise me in the least that Aussies would be verbally "picking on" the English team well in advance to engage them in a distracting verbal battle –and when they get a response out of their opponents – they succeed! And they love sucking their opponents in. Now what really worries the Aussies – is when there is No response. It gets up their nose that they can't psyche their opponents out of the game.
"And if you think I'm less than serious here. You'd be wrong. I've even seen littlies in little league do it! Its in the national psyche to sledge opponents verbally.
"Actually, I gather the Aussies are telling the English that they play "boring rugby" – rather than criticising them for being whingers. Rather clever if you ask me – as they're obviously trying to get the English team to break out of their strong systematic game where they are unlikely to be make mistakes for the opportunistic aussies to capitalise on. I'm glad to see the English coach on the news last night saying calmly – well we're happy playing boring games – and in fact, we'll be the most boring we can be for them". Hope the team listen to the coach not the sledging – because your coach is quite correct.
"If they stick to being boring (which has been so terribly successful hasn't it :-) ) then they won't be drawn to make ill considered moves and rash mistakes.
"The aussies will give lots of verbal stick because to them its part of any game to square up and do a lot of posturing – after all, its taught to them at school. They're outgoing and aggressive because its in their genes. And if you think about it, it is this quality that has made them aspire harder and win more in sport – out of all proportion to their resources, population and support.
"I reckon you should get in touch with the English coach and tell him all this straight away. He might have a chance of convincing those pea-brain, bull necked, stomping machines to stick to their boring systematic game. Anything else will be a crack in their defence which an enterprising and maverick Aussie will go to town on."
Quote ends - - - Just thought it was an interesting perspective.