Mud, Mouthguards, Muscles… Manpilez

Just another WordPress.com site

Belated Newspilez: Here’s our Graham (or Lauren) With a Quick Recap… April 8, 2011

Hey, look  we didn’t die of anti-climax from the last weekend of the Six Nations! An anti climax so severe it managed to leave everyone but Ireland lower in the table than they’d seemed to be heading and lead to the silverware being dished out in what looked like a cupboard.

With every one of the Six Nations returning to base camp with their tails between their legs, there seems to have been something of a resurgence in the domestic game. Though the Magners League and Aviva Premierships rattled on really rather nicely during the competition, the wounded internationals appear to have returned purely to prove their mettle and so the race to the respective playoffs has become mightily interesting over the last few weeks.

In particular, the Aviva Premiership felt like a cup final weekend last week, and that was no more felt than at The Stoop, where visitor Leicester Tigers beat Harlequins in one of the most closely and fiercely fought clashes we’ve seen all year. Punches, failed scrums, contentious tries, yellow & red cards and at one point, boots, were flying all over the place. It was messy, but boy was it exciting as both teams played their skins off.

The Citing commissioner had a mightily busy weekend all of his own and as well as Quins’ Joe Marler and Tigers’ Marcos Ayerzer’s bans for their fisticuffs towards the end of the match, Mark Cueto found himself in trouble after getting a little too far up in the grill of Northampton Second Rower Christian Day. The wait till Cuets’ hearing will be a particularly long one for England fans, as ‘contact with the eye or eye area’ can attract a ban of as much as two years.

In the Magners league, things weren’t quite so fraught but that’s not to say they were any less exciting. With the leaderboard painfully close and just three weekends left to go, the competition is massively hotting up and Munster v Leinster in particular had supporters in fever pitch, only for Munster to scrape past their visitors with a 24-23 victory. Meanwhile, the South Wales Derby of Ospreys v Blues ended in a draw after both teams defended their actual bottoms off to end 21-21 without a single try being scored.

Both leagues are having an off-week this week to allow for the excitement that is Heineken and Amlin Quarter Finals which means the madness has descended. ..

  • Saracens, now without the media whirlwinds of Brendan Ventner and Gavin Henson have caused a stir this week by spending their week off training with the Miami Dolphins and taunting members of rival teams via social networks. Expect a lot of forward passes at Vicarage Road in the coming weeks as they try and secure their place in the Home Playoff zone
  • Ben Youngs, fresh from thrown-out-ball-gate, has become Leicester’s Karl Pilkington after a mystery member of the Tigers squad has started a twitter account @stuffbensaid. So far it has featured such gems as : “ME: I heard you’re doing a session with Kyren Bracken Every Fortnight Lendrid: I am, but not every fortnight, he’s only up twice a month”. Tom Croft has also managed to convince Ben that they could breed salmon ready stuffed with cream cheese.  No, really.
  • The Ospreys have sadly had to lose two players to enforced retirement on medical grounds in the space of a week. Firstly Ben Lewis was taken away from the Liberty Stadium by a nasty neck injury sustained early in the season, and young lock Conor McInerny has succumbed to a persistent knee injury. We wish them both all the best of luck for the future.
  • Gavin Henson scored his first try for Toulon. The media have dubbed him The Best Player In The Universe again. We’re going to give him a few weeks before we pass judgement.

Closer to home, you’ll hopefully be pleased to hear that during our absence we’ve been away plotting for more great stuff for the next few weeks, and you know what, you’re going to love it. Not that we’re blowing our own trumpet or owt. We’ve lined up some cracking interviews  over the next few weeks to fuel your excitement as the season comes to a head.

First to get a grilling will be winner of your favourite nudey picture, Harlequins scrum half Danny Care, then we’ll be  heading west to bother Bath prop David Flatman and finally over the border to annoy Ospreys prop Cai Griffiths and referee Nigel Owens. And we’ve even got lovely lady rugbyist Jemma Cooper from Quins’ Ladies giving us her twopenneth. Blimey.  As ever, because we’re lovely,  if there’s anything you’re dying to know, get in touch with us in the usual ways.

This week we’ll be down at the Stoop for the Amlin Cup Quarter final clash between Quins and Wasps, so if you see us, say hello!

Words by Lauren

Advertisements
 

Six Nations Madness: The SuperSaturday Drinking Game March 18, 2011

Filed under: Random,Six Nations,What The Shit Is This — Manpilez @ 1:32 pm
Tags: , ,

So, you’ve followed our guides to the Six Nations, but if you, like us, are having a few friends and beers to see you through the epic slog that is Supersaturday you’re going to need something to keep the mind alert when Brian Moore is moaning on about scrums till everyone is blue in the face.

So here it is; the Supersaturday drinking game, designed to make you cease to care who walks away with the silverware and stop you waging a fatwa on John Inverdale… just.

Take a Sip if…

  • Eddie Butler overpronounces the name of a Frenchman
  • A member of a losing side says ‘they just wanted it more on the day’
  • A member of the Wales team kicks away a promising looking bit of possession
  • James Haskell mentions a brand name. Two if it’s not Land Rover.
  • Someone mentions the Law 19.2(d) incident
  • You hear the phrase ‘the boys dug deep’
  • You see Lewis Moody on the touchline
  • There is a useless singer leading the anthems.
  • A commentator has a girly moment over Sergio Parisse
  • For every position James Hook Plays
  • The Tindall v Banahan debate
  • Someone mentions the Millenium Stadium roof even though it’s got a week off
  • Someone uses the phrase ‘he/they went out there and did a job’
  • Someone uses the phrase ‘we just didn’t play enough rugby’
  • There is a discussion around ‘the kind of selection headache you’d like to have’

Take a Gulp…

  • For every five minutes spent by the BBC talking about England before the France v Wales and Scotland v Italy games
  • For every one minute spent by the BBC talking about any of the other five teams before the Ireland v England game.
  • Mirco Flamingolegs Bergamasco
  • Commentator mistakes Chris Ashton for Dylan Hartley
  • You see Lewis Moody on the pitch
  • Someone brings up 2003

Down your drink if…

  • Eddie Butler chokes on his own mouth trying to overpronounce the name of a Frenchman
  • You see an Ash Splash
  • FIGHT!
  • Someone comes off through injury – mark of respect, innit!
  • Tommy Bowe starts singing
  • Richey Grey has a dicky Tummy from eating too many happy faces

Drink everything in sight if…

  • An Irish person acknowledges that Wales should have won anyway.
  • Italy beat Scotland

Stop drinking if…

  • Warren Gatland or Marc Lievremont say something you agree with – you’ve had too many.
  • You think Tommy Bowe’s singing’s aright
 

Six Nations 2011: The Scrummy XV February 21, 2011

It’s all been a bit serious around here lately, what with all the predictions, analysis and an actual, legitimate interview. Time, we’re sure you’ll agree, to lower the tone. Yes, the pundit hats are being hung up for a short while as we shamelessly celebrate the fine forms, good looks and down right rawr of our favourite Six Nations boys. Alongside an anonymous panel of Manpilers, we have made our selections. This isn’t about fairly representing each squad, nor who has the best chance of taking home the silverware. This, our dear readers, is our Scrummy XV.
 
 
Loosehead Prop
“There is no such thing as a hot loosehead prop,” came the bold claim from one panel member. Before anyone jumped up to counter this argument, the majority realised that they agreed. Several minutes of head scratching later, a lone voice with a serious weakness for front row forwards took a stand and nominated Cian Healy with the proviso it’s “without the shaved head and gypsy mo”. As no one else had a preference, our loosehead was named. A last minute shout out goes to Alex Corbiserio, who’s Italian heritage put him at a definite advantage in what was always in danger of becoming a distinctly continental line up…
 

Cian Healy: defying all odds

Hooker
Again, our unofficial doyenne of the front row was adamant that there was only one man for the job and that man was Dylan Hartley. Needless to say, said doyenne is in no way affiliated with Warren Gatland. Few will be surprised to hear that the rest of the judges weren’t so easily convinced and The World’s Prettiest Hooker, Dimitri Szarzewski was swiftly selected after a majority vote. Because he’s worth it.

Show us you swish: Dimitri Szarzewski

Tighthead Prop
Things got a little easier here as several votes went one way. Sure, we were anxious to get to the squabbling over all those pretty backs, but one voter’s weakness for a certain type of man coupled with another’s claim that “Every team needs at least one cave man” meant that, regardless of the first shout out for Wales with Ryan Bevington, this had to go to Martin Castrogiovanni. Wild hair, wild beard; Castro is classic prop.
 

Mad props: Martin Castrogiovanni

Locks
Ah, locks. The Achilles Heel of three quarters of the Manpilez ladies. We knew there was a risk of all out war with this, so thank goodness there were some definite preferences across the board. Our second Irish boy was brought on board at 4 with the inclusion of prankster extraordinaire, our very own Duck Wrangler, Mr Donncha O’Callaghan. The thighs, the eyes, the mischevious grin; we just can’t resist that Donners charm.

Don't mention little red pants: Donncha O'Callaghan

The startling inevitability of our number 5 meant that his name was already bolded on the original list of suggestions that circulated. It seems only right that the first of our Welsh boys should be one whose gwlads are always just those few decibels louder, whose pride is just that little bit more fierce and whose pretty blonde curls make all the girlies swoon. Yeah, you know it. We’re all a-flutter for Alun Wyn Jones. Locky love also went out to our favourite giants Simon Shaw, Richie Gray, Nathan Hines and Jerome Thion. Difficult choices!

Scrumming 9 to 5: Alun Wyn Jones

Flankers
After the locks, it’s the lovely fierce flankers that we turn to and where the props left us struggling, we were spoiled for choice here. Because we are very dedicated to our perving, some (flimsy) ground rules were put in place which meant that nominations for injured players were null and void. Thus, the very topical Tom Croft didn’t win a place in our XV. Rather it was a pair of Killer Bs, Johnnie Beattie and John Barclay, who beat off the competition in the shape of Alessandro Zanni, Tom Wood and David Wallace to join our back row.
 

Johnnie Beattie: not affiliated with the Wu Tang Clan...

... although John Barclay has a side project with Raekwon The Chef

Number Eight
Another controversial position, this became a clear Wales v Italy showdown. No amount of insistence and pouting could put Ryan Jones at Eight, however. This one was crafted for the returning wonder that is Sergio Parisse. Hair loss be damned, The Big Man still cuts a fine figure on and off the pitch and the weeping during the anthem is the kind of thing that turns a girl weak at the knees. It’s not just us ladies, either – did you see the BBC’s ode prior to the Italy v Ireland game? It seems no one can resist a bit of a Sergio swoon.

Sergio Parisse: enjoying the novelty of clothes

Half Backs
It’s tempting, when asked to compile the ultimate hot squad, to simply respond with “France”. However, Chabal may not be to everyone’s taste (you fools) and we already have our cave man. Regardless, there were just too many delicious Bleus to not let the bias shine through at some point. To that end, there was a unanimous demand for the pretty, pocket sized powerhouse that is Morgan Parra to take the glamour role of scrum half. The logical conclusion was to appoint the stunning Francois Trinh-Duc as his partner, just the way the gods of the stadium intended.

Straight out of the pages of Vogue Homme: Morgan Parra

You'd applaud yourself if you were this hot: Francois Trinh Duc

Left Wing
And if we’re not talking France, let’s talk Italy. There is a Manpilez lady to staunchly defend both teams, but the Italian camp didn’t have to try too hard to ensure this went to Mirco Bergamasco. Representing both brothers this year, Bergamasco the Younger may have toned down the peroxide and gone all manly with a beard, but he is by no means less gorgeous. Countless comparisons to classical Italian sculpture aside, there’s no doubt that the crestfallen Mirco we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks has pulled at the heartstrings. Come here, Mimi. We’ll give you a hug.

Sassy captions don't apply to this vision. It's Mirco Bergamasco, bitches.

Centres
After all that ooh la la and ciao, bello, the Celts fought back with full force to claim their places at 12 and 13. This is where it got pernickety, with literally less than tens of emails being fired back and forth to the effect of “But x is technically a wing,” and “Yes, but y is being played at centre” and “Ooh, z! Did you see that one photo where…”
 
Feet were put down and eventually, two were named. First up, our favourite Big Doc, Jamie Roberts. No one seemed to really be able to place what it is about Jamie that gets the eyebrow arching in approval. It might be the general massiveness of him, or that endearingly soft voice. Whatever it is, he wears that jaw well.

Jamie Roberts: we love him for more than his Brains. Heh.

There are some that might argue that there’s only one number 13 and those people will probably be wearing green. As it is, the allure of Brian O’Driscoll transcended nationality and with his dual weapons of handsomeness and heroics, there was no way he wasn’t making the final cut.
 
On the bench: Gonzalo Canale and Gordon D’arcy.

At last, an excuse to use the "Sex BOD" pun: Brian O'Driscoll

Right Wing
Much like his counterpart on the left wing, this boy is one half of a pair of beautiful brothers with a penchant for getting their kit off in a series of increasingly jaw droppingly suggestive photographs. If you haven’t guessed it by now, you haven’t been paying nearly enough attention to your lessons at Uncle Gigi’s School of Rugby Filth. It’s Max Evans. Google “Dieux du Stade 2010” but, for the love of God, don’t hold us responsible for the results. The acronym “NSFW” was probably invented for Max and his brother Thom.

It's the innocent looking ones you have to watch: Max Evans

Full Back
This one was the wild card, with no clear front runner to begin with. It’s only in hindsight that the similarities between the three shortlisted players becomes apparent…
 

Beardy brunette #1: Clement Poitrenaud

Beardy brunette #2: Ben Foden

 

Beardy brunette #3: Luke McLean

It was ultimately the refusal of one panel member to make any choices beyond fly half (“I don’t do backs”), that meant Luke McLean was the victor. Yet again, those Italian genes have given an undeniable edge and coupled with that lazy Aussie grin, Luke is a delicious combination of cute and fierce, even when he is the beardiest of the brunettes with his Grizzly Adams look. We’ll be sure to supply plenty of razors with that Scrummy XV shirt.
 
With that much hard work choosing from just six squads, we’d better start shortlisting for the World Cup Scrummy XV now…

 

With thanks to our panel of voters

Words by Anna

 

Six Nations Countdown part 3: The Manpilez Songbook February 2, 2011

When the day finally arrives you might have lucky pants, your nation’s kit or simply a colour based homage, but outfit is key: you want to be comfortable, you may be getting in and out of your chair rather a lot with luck and you don’t want to be having to rearrange your look every time a point is scored.

Now, one of the most important things you’re going to need, whether in the stadium, the pub or your living room is your voice. Before the games start, you might want to try out some of these voice exercises to limber up.

Next, you need to know the tunes. We’re not all trained sopranos, and not all tenors know the descants but as long as you know the basic tune you can hum along even if you don’t know the words. Here’s each nation broken down into song:

Wales

The Welsh pretty much have the monopoly on the singing, with a repertoire spanning generations and only a few which are abusive or morbid. Here are the main ones to look out for.

One of the least bloody and random of the anthems, Land of my Fathers is all about the ‘Hiraeth’, feeling the pull of your land no matter how far over seas you may be. Though you get the odd mumbler (Gav), one man has become so famous for his almost fevered singing during the anthem moment that the cameramen pan around him so they can pull him out at just the right moment. See if you can guess who we mean…

Here’s those words for you as it’s sung for Rugby:

How It’s Sung What they’re on about
Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mâd,
Dros ryddid collasant eu gwaed.Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i’m gwlad. Tra môr yn fur i’r bur hoff bau,

O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau. (Repeat)

The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
Land of poets and singers, famous men of renown;
Her brave warriors, very splendid patriots,
For freedom shed their blood.Land, land, I am faithful to my land. While the sea; a wall to the pure, most loved land,

O may the old language endure. (repeat)

Of course it’s not all faith to one’s land and the enduring power of language and poetry at Wales matches, sometimes it’s about adultery and chest wigs  (Delilah)  Cookery and Cat death (Sosban Fach), having a pure heart  (Calon Lan) or a salubrious trip to Twickenham (Hymns and Arias). There is one song, however, above all others, that seems to increase in volume the more tense the atmosphere gets and that is good old Cwm Rhondda, aka Bread of Heaven. It goes like this:

Guide me through oh great Jehovah
Pilgrim through this barren land
I am weak, but though art mighty
Hold me with thy powerful hand
Bread of heaven
Bread of heaven
Feed me till I want no more
Feed me till I want no more

There are a few more verses, but those are for the pub afterwards…

England

For some reason, England sing about queen rather than country in one of the dreariest anthems known to mankind (and we’re 50% English, so we can say that…). If you want to be patriotic while having a nap, here’s a clip of the men in white singing God Save The Queen last year:

If you don’t already know it goes like this:

God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen

Don’t sing this one or Eddie Izzard’s version, for that matter, or you’ll get kicked out of Twickers. You have been warned.

However, once the anthems are over, there are still plenty of decent tunes to get behind, from the really rather deluded Jerusalem to the bombastic pomp and patriotism of Land of Hope and Glory but the melody that will turn fortress Twickenham from a big lump of concrete to a place where special things happen is not a song of patriotism, but, bizarrely, a slave spiritual. It does sound lovely though, so here’s how to sing it:

Swing low, Sweet Chariot,
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, Sweet Chariot
Coming for to carry me home

As with most of the songs here, it does go on a bit more, but nobody can be bothered with the rest when there’s too much going on before them and a bar full of IPA to put a dent into.

Ireland

There’s many traits people associate with the Irish but greed isn’t usually one of them. When it comes to anthems, however, they gorge and gorge till even the team look visibly fed up. However, the unity (or rather lack of) of Northern and Southern Ireland in the team does necessitate a multi anthem performance as you can see here

We’re just waiting for them to wake up and realise a mashup is the way to go. Until then, here’s the words to both the IRFU commissioned Ireland’s Call, and the traditional Soldier’s Song to be getting on with.

Ireland’s Call

Come the day and come the hour
Come the power and the glory
We have come to answer
Our Country’s call
From the four proud provinces of Ireland

Ireland, Ireland
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We’ll answer Ireland’s call

The Soldier’s Song

How It’s Sung What they’re on about
Amhrán na bhFiann   Sinne Fianna Fáil,
atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
thar toinn do ráinig chughainn,
Faoi mhóid bheith saor
Seantír ár sinsear feasta,
Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.
Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
Le gunna scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
Seo libh canaig amhrán na bhFiann
The Soldier’s Song Soldiers are we,
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free,
no more our ancient sireland,
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the “bearna baoil”
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal,
’Mid cannon’s roar and rifles’ peal,
We’ll chant a soldier’s song

Once the choir have gone to their seats, there are a number of melodies that ring down Landsdowne Road, most people will proudly sing Fields of Athenry, and they have joint custody of Danny Boy with Scotland but our favourite is Molly Malone. Alive, Alive-o indeed.

Scotland

Sadly, though their try celebrations may try to hint, Scotland have yet to adopt The Proclaimers’ 1000 Miles as their national song. Instead they sing proudly of their horticulture with Flower of Scotland

Here’s How it goes:

O flower of Scotland
When will we see
Your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again
The hills are bare now
And autumn leaves lie thick and still
O’er land that is lost now
Which those so dearly held
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again
Those days are passed now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

Well that told us. For evening games, Murrayfield is a fantastic place to be with darkness, mist and pipers, but nothing will make you feel like you’ve walked into a bizarre version of Brigadoon like second-in-command anthem Scotland the Brave

France

Probably the anthem that has the most pomp, ceremony and frankly danceability is La Marseillaise, it’s also the most bloodthirsty by a country mile. Check it out:

How It’s Sung What they’re on about
Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé.
Contre nous, de la tyrannie,
L’étandard sanglant est levé,
l’étandard sanglant est levé,
Entendez-vous, dans la compagnes.
Mugir ces farouches soldats
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger vos fils,
vos compagnes.Aux armes citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons!
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons
Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consortsTo arms citizens
Form your battalions

March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows

The Les bleus faithful, bizarrely, occasionally whip out a bit of the olde Edith Piaf with a rousing chorus of Je Ne Regrette De Rien. Oddly, they don’t sing that when they’re losing… other than that you can expect many calls of ‘ALLEZ!!’ as if people’s lives depend on it. Come on guys, put your lungs in it!

Italy

We’ll be honest, the lyrics to The Song of the Italians scare the bejeesus out of us and once we found out what they were singing about we understood why a lot of the Azzurri look like they’re about to cry as they line up like here (which also features the dulcet tones of friends of the site Eschoir):

How It’s Sung What they’re on about
Fratelli d’Italia,l’Italia s’è desta, dell’elmo di Scipio

s’è cinta la testa.

Dov’è la Vittoria?

Le porga la chioma,

ché schiava di Roma

Iddio la creò.

CORO:

Stringiamci a coorte,

siam pronti alla morte.

Siam pronti alla morte,

l’Italia chiamò.

Stringiamci a coorte,

siam pronti alla morte.

Siam pronti alla morte,

l’Italia chiamò!

Brothers of Italy,Italy has awoken, with Scipio‘s helmet

binding her head.

Where is victory?

Let her bow down,

For God has made her

Rome’s slave.

CHORUS:

Let us join in a cohort,

We are ready to die

We are ready to die,

Italy has called.

Let us join in a cohort,

We are ready to die.

We are ready to die,

Italy has called!

Ready to die they may be, but as soon as that emotional moment is over they get on with it and… keep the pipes closed we’re afraid. We’ve tried getting inside information from Genuine Italian People but the consensus was, as soon as the anthem’s over, cheering’s the best you’re going to get.

We’re going to have to try and sort that. In the meantime, we’ll join the Bergamascos for a singsong of this:

Words by Lauren, except where they were ancient and/or anthemic

 

Six Nations Countdown Part 2: Watching the Six Nations the Manpilez Way… February 1, 2011

Filed under: England,France,Ireland,Italy,Random,Scotland,Six Nations,Wales — Manpilez @ 12:35 am
Tags: ,

The Six nations is one of those rare times in rugby when it’s actually better to watch it on the telly, purely so you don’t miss  anything that happens elsewhere. So pull up a sofa cushion and sit back for your guide to enjoying every bit of Six Nations Action.

What is a Saturday afternoon of top flight rugby without refreshments? Of course, you could go with the standard beer and crisps option, but that’s for dilettantes. Team with the theme and add an extra level of spice to proceedings, go on! Below are a snack and beverage from each nation perfect for fuelling your cheering muscles.

Treat this as your shopping list or be parched, hungry and unpatriotic.

Wales:


Welsh Cakes (picau ar maen): This delightful little delicacy is like a spicey, flat and if cooked right, slightly gooey scone. You can buy them from most branches of Marks and Spencer or you can make them yourself quite easily. Our favourite recipe is by Her majesty Cerys Matthews.

Brains. No, we’re not zombies, we just love Cardiff’s favourite brew. There are many types of Brains brew, from the light and refreshing SA Gold to the thick and stouty Brains Dark but for this time of year there must only be one: the  Six Nations special brew, Bread Of Heaven. Avaliable all over Wales and some branches of Morrison’s if you’re at the wrong end of the M4.

England


Victoria Sponge. There’s little more English than a good afternoon tea, and this is the archetypal afternoon tea treat. You could make like a WI member and get competitive with your friends about the lightness, crumb and moistness of your sponge, or you can be lazy and go down the shops, either way, it must be jam, buttercream and a light dusting of icing.

Gin. Mix it with tonic, ginger ale or some traditional lemonade to cleanse your palate before the boys eat their opponents alive. It may seem gentle but it is fierce!

France


Macarons. This is an especially good one for when Les Bleus play against England as you can keep the afternoon theme running with these almondy delicacies. In truth, these are a bugger to make, so you’re best buying them from your local patisserie (Paul and Maison Blanc are particularly good). If you really want to open a can of baking genius, however, Last Year’s Great British Bakeoff Runner Up Ruth Clemens, aka The Pink Whisk has a fantastic guide on how to make the shells which you can fill with whatever takes your fancy. Or if you haven’t got a sweet tooth, baguette, garlic butter, oven, bosh.

Sauvignon Blanc.  I was nearly going to go for a nice red here but Sauvignon Blanc is the king of the grapes at Manpilez HQ.

Scotland


Chips. The scots are renowned for deep frying anything vaguely edible so why not go back to basics, get a nice bag of chips to soak up all the alcohol from the other nations.

Irn Bru. We could have gone with a nice single malt here but to us nothing quite says Scotland than the cloyingly sweet, indescribable and yet infinitely tempting smell of Irn Bru. Other countries have whiskeys, nobody else has the gall to make something ‘from girders’ and claim it drinkable.

Italy


Pizza. Let’s be honest, we’ve all dialled a dominoes on a supersaturday when we can’t bear to move from the action long enough to make anything edible, so let’s make it official. For authenticity go for thin crust with some olives or parma ham.

Prosecco. Whoever wins, you need bubbles and prosecco is, in our opinion, far more of a treat than champagne.  Yum.

Ireland

 

Potato Cakes. Yes, we know, it’s a bit of a cliché choosing a potato based snack for Ireland but they’re just so nice. Toasted with butter they’ll be the perfect comfort food if your team is doing badly in or against the emerald shirts.

Baileys. Because we’re girls, Guinness is manky and frankly, if you’ve followed all of these recommendations, by the time you get to this point you’ll need to dilute it in an Irish coffee before the world starts spinning.

Stay tuned tomorrow when we’ll be limbering up our voices. No, stay, we can carry a tune, honest….!

Words by Lauren

 

Adventpilez 20th December 2010: Calendar reviews December 21, 2010

Filed under: Random — Manpilez @ 12:04 am
Tags: ,

As that all important last shopping date approaches with the kind of terrifying speed usually reserved for Leigh Halfpenny, we had our second guest writer Rachel wade through the swathe of  rugby based calendars. Good Luck getting hold of them in the snow, you guys…

Without further ado, here’s our Rachel with a quick roundup.

It’s that time of year again, you know what to get your rugby-loving friend but you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to calendars! Do you get one that raises money for charity? One full of action shots of their favourite players? Or do you go for the naked option?

Here’s the Manpilez guide to the best of rugby’s 2011 calendars.

The Charity Option

Rugby for Heroes, £9 inc. P&P, http://www.rugbyforheroes.org

for some reason I feel a lot more patriotic looking at this...

In its second year, the Rugby for Heroes calendar shows some of the Aviva Premiership stars from Leicester’s Anthony Allen to Bath’s Nick Abendanon looking their very best in not a lot of clothing. The special thing about this is that the players pose with props related to the armed forces, whether it’s the union flag or the dog tags that they wear. The proceeds of the calendar go towards helping ex-servicemen and women train in new careers or setting up new businesses. A worthwhile cause to support and a great calendar too!

Matt Hampson, £9.99 + £4.99 P&P, http://www.matthampson.co.uk

We bought it for the good cause, honest, guv!

This calendar, now in its third year, helps to raise money for a trust created by the inspirational Matt Hampson. In 2005 he was playing in the front row for the England U21s when a collapsed scrum left him paralysed from the neck down. Since then he has been raising money to help those with spinal injuries along with many other charities. The calendar, which stars Leicester Tigers (the club
he was at) players, is one of those many things that people can buy to help raise money for the trust. As a Leicester Tigers fan myself, it’s always at the top of my Christmas list each year.

The Action Option

International Sides

If you don’t know what team your friend supports (shame on you!) then why not go for the international side that they support, surely you know that? I had a look in the Calendar Club the other day, you can find them either in big shopping centres, and here’s what they have on offer. If you’re not near a big shopping centre then they’re online here: http://www.calendarclub.co.uk

Prices shown here don’t include postage and packaging costs.

England Rugby 2011 Wall Calendar, £7.99
Welsh Rugby Union 2011 Wall Calendar, £9.99
Irish RFU 2011 Wall Calendar, £7.99

Domestic Sides

Aviva Premiership (England)
Bath Rugby Calendar 2011: £15, http://www.bathrugbyshop.com
Leicester Tigers Official 2011 Calendar: £7.99, http://www.leicestertigers.com
London Wasps Official 2011 Calendar: £7.99, http://www.wasps.co.uk
Northampton Saints 2011 A3 Calendar: £13.95
Northampton Saints 2011 Desktop Calendar: £9.95,
http://www.northamptonsaints.co.uk
Sale Sharks Calendar 2011: £7.99, http://www.salesharks.com (though they also do a clothes-free version)

Magners League (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy)

Cope Connacht Calendar 2011: €9.99, http://www.elverys.ie
Edinburgh Calendar 2011: £10, all proceeds go to http://www.maggiescentres.org.
http://www.scottishrugbydirect.com
Munster Rugby Calendar 2011: €10, http://www.munsterrugby.ie
Newport Gwent Dragons Calendar 2001: £4.99,
http://www.newportgwentdragons.com
Ospreys 2011 Charity Calendar: £7.50, all proceeds go to “The Joshua
Foundation” and “Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research” charities
http://www.ospreysrugby.com

The Naked Option

Dieux de Stade – Calendrier 2011, £21.92 inc. P&P, http://www.amazon.co.uk

Thank you, Uncle Gigi!

Quite possibly one of the most risqué rugby calendars I’ve ever seen! Once again a select few rugby players who play in France’s Top 14 league take their kit off to pose with nothing but a strategically placed rugby ball or towel, in some really artistic shots – that’s how to justify the buying of this calendar, it’s not porn, it’s art. Having gained quite a following there’s now books and DVDs about the
making of the calendars, proving that there’s no such thing as too much naked rugby player.

Rugby’s Finest 2011 Wall Calendar, £16.99 inc. P&P, http://www.play.com

Now you really can’t compete with the pornographic artistry of Dieux de Stade but some of the players in England’s Aviva Premiership are giving it a go with this tasty offering. Featuring the likes of Saracens’s Nils Mordt and Harlequins scrum half Danny Care this calendar has the feeling of being more fun and less artsy. And what fun you’ll have turning your calendar each month to see a new piece of tasty rugby player.

NB: My god I’ve ended up describing the players as though they’re pieces of
meat! The things I do in the name of research…

And with that, I think it’s fair to sayRachel has been fuly indoctrinated to the Manpilez way!

Manpilez Rugby Calendars round up 

It’s that time of year again, you know what to get your rugby-loving friend but
you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to calendars! Do you get one that raises
money for charity? One full of action shots of their favourite players? Or do you
go for the naked option?

Here’s the Manpilez guide to the best of rugby’s 2011 calendars.

The Charity Option

Rugby for Heroes, £9 inc. P&P, http://www.rugbyforheroes.org

In its second year, the Rugby for Heroes calendar shows some of the Aviva
Premiership stars from Leicester’s Anthony Allen to Bath’s Nick Abendanon
looking their very best in not a lot of clothing. The special thing about this is that
the players pose with props related to the armed forces, whether it’s the union
flag or the dog tags that they wear. The proceeds of the calendar go towards
helping ex-servicemen and women train in new careers or setting up new
businesses. A worthwhile cause to support and a great calendar too!

Matt Hampson, £9.99 + £4.99 P&P, http://www.matthampson.co.uk

This calendar, now in its third year, helps to raise money for a trust created by
the inspirational Matt Hampson. In 2005 he was playing in the front row for the
England U21s when a collapsed scrum left him paralysed from the neck down.
Since then he has been raising money to help those with spinal injuries along
with many other charities. The calendar, which stars Leicester Tigers (the club
he was at) players, is one of those many things that people can buy to help raise
money for the trust. As a Leicester Tigers fan myself, it’s always at the top of my
Christmas list each year.

The Action Option

International Sides

If you don’t know what team your friend supports (then shame on you!) then
why not go for the international side that they support, surely you know that?
I had a look in the Calendar Club the other day, you can find them either in big
shopping centres, and here’s what they have on offer. If you’re not near a big
shopping centre then they’re online here: http://www.calendarclub.co.uk

All prices shown don’t include postage and packaging costs.

England Rugby 2011 Wall Calendar, £7.99
Welsh Rugby Union 2011 Wall Calendar, £9.99
Irish RFU 2011 Wall Calendar, £7.99

Domestic Sides

Aviva Premiership (England)
Bath Rugby Calendar 2011: £15, http://www.bathrugbyshop.com
Leicester Tigers Official 2011 Calendar: £7.99, http://www.leicestertigers.com
London Wasps Official 2011 Calendar: £7.99, http://www.wasps.co.uk
Northampton Saints 2011 A3 Calendar: £13.95
Northampton Saints 2011 Desktop Calendar: £9.95,
http://www.northamptonsaints.co.uk
Sale Sharks Calendar 2011: £7.99, http://www.salesharks.com

Magners League (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy)

Cope Connacht Calendar 2011: €9.99, http://www.elverys.ie
Edinburgh Calendar 2011: £10, all proceeds go to http://www.maggiescentres.org.
http://www.scottishrugbydirect.com
Munster Rugby Calendar 2011: €10, http://www.munsterrugby.ie
Newport Gwent Dragons Calendar 2001: £4.99,
http://www.newportgwentdragons.com
Ospreys 2011 Charity Calendar: £7.50, all proceeds go to “The Joshua
Foundation” and “Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research” charities
http://www.ospreysrugby.com

The Naked Option

Dieux de Stade – Calendrier 2011, £21.92 inc. P&P, http://www.amazon.co.uk

Quite possibly one of the most risqué rugby calendars I’ve ever seen! Once again
a select few rugby players who play in France’s Top 14 league take their kit off
to pose with nothing but a strategically placed rugby ball or towel, in some really
artistic shots – that’s how to justify the buying of this calendar, it’s not porn,
it’s art. Having gained quite a following there’s now books and DVDs about the
making of the calendars, proving that there’s no such thing as too much naked
rugby player.

Rugby’s Finest 2011 Wall Calendar, £16.99 inc. P&P, http://www.play.com

Now you really can’t compete with the likes of Dieux de Stade but some of
the players in England’s Aviva Premiership are doing their bit with this tasty
offering. Featuring the likes of Saracens’s Nils Mordt and Harlequins scrum half
Danny Care this calendar has the feeling of being more fun and less artsy. And
what fun you’ll have turning your calendar each month to see a new piece of
tasty rugby player.

NB: My god I’ve ended up describing the players as though they’re pieces of
meat! The things I do in the name of research… 😀

 

Adventpilez 2010 – December 14: Name That Tune #2 December 14, 2010

Filed under: Random — Manpilez @ 9:52 pm
Tags: ,

If you thought the last one was tenuous, you ain’t seen nothing yet…