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I have to be honest. I’m still unclear about the difference between a ruck and a maul and cannot pretend to be on top of my game with all the rules. Perhaps it’s the vibe I love more than the game itself. The build-up, the gees and the passion of a nation united in victory or defeat.  Not least, I love the essential all South African pairing of good company, a great game of rugby and a braai.  

It’s more than a cultural past time. The ritual of firing up the perfect coals, the nurturing and grilling is an art form in its self. That said I’m not here to shed light on how to braai however even I, a mere mortal have some steadfast rules of engagement for bagging the perfect match day braai and coveted bragging rights (even if the Bokke lose). 

If you’re hosting 

Get a head start Prep as much as you can ahead of time. A little light pottering and socialising in the kitchen glass in hand is great. You don’t want to be chopping and slicing while your guests are having all the fun.  
Ask a friend to bring a salad, homemade chutney or dish but be specific. Set out your snacks and glasses well before kick-off. 
Spoil your guests Don’t skimp or take shortcuts. When it comes to meat go for quality over quantity. It’s all in the details. A well set buffet table is casual yet elegant. No paper plates or plastic ware please.  Wrap and tie cutlery and set in buckets or jars for casual appeal. Potjie pots are gorgeous to pile up with bread rolls and bowls of fruit and chocolates will double up as dessert.  
The 3 B’s: Biltong, Beer and Boerrie. Moist biltong, ice cold beer and epic boerrie rolls. Need I samore?  
Grab and goYou don’t want to be distracted by topping up and refilling drinks during the match. A well-stocked, oversized ice bucket laden with drinks nearby will ensure your guests are well sated during the game. For easy grab and go around the braai have wheelbarrow within easy reach filled with ice, drinks and water. For a kids version pile high with juice, ice lollies, fruit and veg for healthy fun snack options. 

Win or lose, huddling around a fire and enjoying the flames and ambiance is the perfect round up to the evening. Stock up on fire wood, turn up the volume to your favourite tunes and celebrate or commiserate in good company. 

How to score big 

Do know who’s playing.
Do pay homage to your team by wearing something green.  
Do read our guide to rugby  http://bit.ly/2woDCVG. Some of us really have no idea what Naas is talking about!  
Do bring a hostess gift.  
Do make sure that the Braai Master has a drink in one hand.  
Do offer to help clear up. 
Do make sure the bathrooms are clean and that there’s plenty of loo paper. 
Avoid penalties 
Don’t back seat braai. If you’re not holding the tongs, stand back and enjoy your drink and post- match banter.  
Don’t complain about the music. 
Don’t ask the Braai Master for his secret marinade recipe. 
Don’t arrive with a fish or bring your own braai tongs.
Don't wear your Sunday best, rather have a look at our Canterbury and Columbia collections to find casual alternatives
 

Christian Stewart, “worlds fastest centre with no Achilles tendons” and former WP Stormer, Springbok and Canadian golden boy weighs in on how to avoid a red card. 

Never…never arrive with cheap red wine. Never bring a WAG who knows more about rugby than you (other guests will lose respect for you). Never get aroused when Eben Etsebeth appears in a medium sized shirt (instead of a quadruple XL)Never ask how Robbie Fleck can only be 41 (he has his feelings) and never state the obvious (like Dylan Leyds needs to get a haircut).” 

 

THE ULTIMATE BACON BOERRIE ROLL TWO WAYS 

While a fat juicy steak or chop wouldn’t go amiss, for me there’s nothing quite as satisfying than a succulent and spicy boerrie roll. Much has been written and tried to give the humble sausage a makeover but I’m a purist at heart and will happily indulge in the more traditional and time honoured version albeit with a little twist. 

Always choose the best quality Boerewors you can buy. Braai Wors is not boerrie. If you’re unsure ask your local or supermarket butcher for advice. You can absolutely use soft white rolls but I prefer the crunch and chewiness of a fresh crispy baguette cut into lengths  

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 Written by Sandy - the Commander HQ Stylist, Contributor and a Proudly South African Springbok fan.

 

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