Matt Butler: Context is everything when the All Blacks come dancing your way

Autumn International highlights, BBC3

Somewhere on the internet lies a website featuring inspiring fitness quotes juxtaposed with pictures of people drinking heavily. Whoever did it was on to something. After all, the slogan “You never know your limits unless you push yourself to them” takes on a whole new meaning when superimposed on an image of a man struggling to neck a trio of frothy pints.

It is full-colour proof that context is key. Take the comments from Ben Cohen, the World Cup-winning former England rugby player, on Saturday night. He proclaimed himself to be “chuffed with what I have done” and to have “really worked on things and the results speak for themselves”.

If you closed your eyes, you’d think he was talking rugby. But his quotes were just after he had performed a Viennese (or as one of the judges pronounced it, “V and ease”) Waltz on Strictly Come Dancing.

Not that we were watching, of course. After all, the highlights of England’s match against New Zealand had just started on BBC3. And what highlights they were. Yes, before the match started Lewis Moody gave some technical analysis of what England should do – breakdowns, gain-lines and phases were all mentioned – while Jason Mohammad, the host, kept it simple, pressing the point home that New Zealand, or the All Blacks, as everyone including the England coach Stuart Lancaster called the opposition, were after revenge.

Alistair Bruce-Ball, in the commentary box with Brian Moore as his side man, kept the theme going. As the All Blacks did the Haka, which, no matter how many times you watch it, is still spine-tingling theatre, the commentator repeatedly claimed that the visiting side were out to avenge last year’s record loss.

While Bruce-Ball had his “they have their revenge” line used up by the second minute, when New Zealand bowled over for their first try, Moore called things more phlegmatically.

But when it came to England’s pack grunting over the line midway through the first half to have two try attempts passed to the video referee, the former hooker was indispensable.

He had been embroiled in many an incomprehensible forward drive as a player, and he did brilliantly to walk the viewer through what the hell was actually going on in the sea of limbs. And in the two instances in as many minutes of England having a try referred, he was spot-on in his analysis. Just what we wanted.

Moore was even more entertaining when Chris Ashton totally Ashley Young-ed his fall to the ground, having been shoulder-barged by the All Black prop Wyatt Crockett. “He did a bit of a Hollywood there,” Moore scoffed at the rugby league convert. “There was no need for that dive.” It could have been a quote straight from Match of the Day.

But the hands-down winner for ambiguous statement of the day also came from Moore: “Catch and cry, see what the options are from there.” If we’d had audio alone, he could have been describing Cohen’s strategy on Strictly. Thank heavens for context.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum