If the only thing you understand about rugby is that Dan Carter’s a solid 10, you’ve come to the right place.
What is Rugby?
Let’s start with the basics: Rugby is a sport with 15 players on each side, all of who spend 80 minutes concerned about the movements of an oddly shaped ball. If the ball is carried over the try line and touched down: try (noun, not verb), and five points. If the team’s designated kicker then drills the ball over the posts, that’s two more. You also get points if a team gives away a penalty, then the kicker again has a chance to boot the ball through the posts, but on these occasions it is worth three points. Unless they miss, in which case it’s worthless.
These ‘kickers’ usually play the position known as ‘first five-eighth’ – often seen as the equivalent of Quarterback in American football, and not just because they both have fractions in their name. They are the kingpin of the team. Dan Carter of New Zealand is the most famous rugby player in the world, not only because he’s one of the best players to ever play the game, he’s pretty *damn hot*.
Here is Dan Carter doing his thing.
Do the rest of the team even matter?
Rugby is the ultimate team game. Eight of the 15 players are known as the forwards; in essence, all their hours of training, coaching, strategy and practice boils down to one thing: push. Push the other team, backwards.
If you’re failing to push them backwards, get back to training, and learn how to push better.
Here is a guy getting a face full of arse.
The forwards. These guys are the unsung heroes of the team because what they do is less showy, but it’s brutal and it’s brilliant.
This is what it’s like to be a forward: A player gets tackled, you try to push opposition off the ball, trip over the tackled player, get trampled on, lose a finger, get up, tackle someone else, spend a minute in the mud covered in bodies with your face stuffed square in a pair of bollocks, get up, fall over, get up, ‘run’ to the next tackle, grunt, push, fall over, heavy nose bleed, forget your own name, get taken off by medical staff and assessed for concussion.
These guys deserve their pay-cheques.
And the other seven players?
The backs. The show ponies. The likes of pretty boy Aaron Smith, babein’ Sonny Bill Williams and Malakai Fekitoa (yep, he walked in his undies for Jockey at NZFW and you can pervehere).
Fleet of foot, quick runners, who dance round the opposition rather than through them. But that doesn’t mean they’re not subject to the sheer brute force of the game that is rugby’s main appeal. Imagine a fast, 16 stone man, running full pelt into the oncoming shoulder of an enormous forward, and being ‘sat down’, as the phrase goes.
Other shit that happens in a game:
Who? The opposing team (the ones who didn’t knock or kick the ball out) throw the ball in and they also get to decide how many players make up the lineout.
What? The teams line up side by side and one player throws it down the middle in the hope that their team will gain position.
When? This happens when the ball goes into touch (outside the field at the sides).
Who? 3 or more players from a team are in possession of the ball.
What? The players bind together with one person holding the ball to move towards the goal-line. They must stay on their feet.
When? The players try to move towards the goal line.
Notes: If the maul stops moving forward, the ref may say “Use it or lose it” to the team in possession which means they must pass the ball within 5 seconds or the ref will call a scrum and the other team will be given possession.
Who? Players from each team try to gain possession of the ball.
What? Players from each team bind onto each other with the ball on the ground in between them and each try to gain possession by only using their feet.
When? After a player gets tackled he must release the ball straight away. This is when other players may form a ruck.
Notes: There’s lots of extra rules to rucks. Just stare intensely at the screen if you don’t know what’s going on.
Rugby Watching Tips
If you’re going to join the RWC bandwagon you’re going to need some help with the Lingo. So here are some things to say to make you sound in the know:
1) ‘Sit Down!’
This should be said whenever a big tackle is made on the opposition; is also useful when someone is blocking your view.
2) ‘Stand up!’
This should be said, following a big tackle on the team you’re supporting.
This should be said when a player passes the ball forward to his team member. The ball may only be passed backwards. *Use this correctly and you will be a ‘cool girl’.*
4) ‘He was offside!’
This should be said with passion after someone else says it first.
5) ‘Come on ref!’
This should be said when the other team does anything good or when your team does anything stupid. Not to be overused.
Original article from The Debrief.