a rough guide to rugby
this is a very rough guide to rugby. i won’t be going into the fine points of the game or anything that could seem a little confusing. today i will be looking at scoring and moving the ball.
a game lasts for 80 minutes and has two halves. the object of the game is to score more point than the opposing team. there are two basic ways to do this: a try or a kick between the posts.
a try is scored when a player places the ball down behind the tryline in the opposition’s half of the field. this is quite similar to american football, with the only difference being that the player actually has to touch the ball down on the ground – hence many dramatic images of players diving to score a try.
a try is worth 5 points.
kicking for the posts:
there are three different opportunities when one can kick for posts. the first is when your opponent has conceded a penalty in their own half. the kicker places the ball where the penalty was incurred and attempts to kick the ball between the two posts and above the bar. this is called a penalty and is worth 3 points.
the second opportunity comes when you have scored a try. when you score a try you get given the chance to kick for posts as well. this is called a conversion. if your kick is successful you score 2 points.
the third opportunity comes from open play - if a player is near enough he can attempt to kick for the posts. the player attempting to score this way has to drop the ball on the ground and kick it as it lands (which is different to a penalty or a conversion where the ball is placed on the ground). this is called a drop goal and is worth 3 points. it is harder to execute than a penalty as the player kicking it has less control over the ball and since it is in open play it is harder find the space and the time to execute the kick.
moving the ball
all passes in rugby must travel backwards.
kicking forms quite a big part of rugby as it is used to start and restart the game. you can also launch an attack with kicking by kicking the ball forward for your players to chase. lastly, you can also force your opponent back, by kicking the ball deep into their own territory.
the most common way of winning the ball back is by tackling the opposition player who is carrying the ball. it is illegal to tackle or impede any player who is not carrying the ball. once the player who was carrying the ball is tackled he has to release the ball – if there is not enough support from his team or if the opposing team fight for the ball well, then the opposing team will win the ball back.
okay boys and girls thats all for now. next time i’ll be looking at the set plays and the individual positions.
photos 3 and 5 by fabdany.