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Rugby help

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SoSueMe, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Well, rugby season starts tomorrow. I've successful avoided the sport my entire eight years in the biz, but I can avoid it no longer. I have to cover a game tomorrow. I have no idea how to keep score or write about it. I don't know the terms or even basic rules. Anyone have some tips? Websites that explain this sport in layman terms?
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

  3. John

    John Well-Known Member

  4. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I watched my first rugby game the other night and found it really cool. One of the assistant coaches recommended I check out BBC.com for motion tutorials and USA Rugby's site for good beginners guides.
  5. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Hey Cadet. You're number of posts is 2,666
  6. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    Ah rugby, I dreaded it the first time I covered it too.

    Scoring is sort of like football. If you touch the ball down in the end zone, it is five points (a try). If you kick a convert, it is an additional two points. A field goal is three points. You can score a field goal off a free kick penalty, or by drop kicking the ball through the uprights.

    Basically, each team has a forward pack -which you'll see in the scrums and a back line, which is obviously out of it. The scrum half, who feeds the ball into the scrum is kind of like the quarterback running the offensive play.

    Generally, possessions start with a scrum - the packs squaring off against each other and trying to tunnel the ball back to their own scrum half, a penalty play (the opposing team will have to go back 10 metres and it's a free ball), or a lineout, which is like a throw-in. Watch for steals off scrums and lineouts, that's a big part of the momentum.

    Also, you'll have things called rucks where if someone is tackled, they'll post the ball on the ground. People must decide if they're in the ruck or not and join at the back. People in the ruck can't pick up a ball off the ground, people out of the ruck can. They must be standing. Generally, the person putting the ball on the ground is allowed one move to set the ball or to pop it up to a teammate.

    Something called a maul is similar to a ruck, but you never drop the ball to the ground, you just keep forcing it ahead.

    Most of the penalties in the game are based on positioning. If you're on offence, you can't pass the ball forward, and if you drop a pass forward, it's called a knock on. The other team will receive an advantage to try to play past the point of infraction, otherwise they'll get a lineout or scrum. If something is happening repeatedly, they might get a free penalty play. Playing the ball on the ground in a ruck is also a penalty. You also can't block (or obstruct) and that's a free-ball penalty.

    Defensive penalties occur if you're offside - past the ball, generally, if you fail to wrap while tackling, or if there's a high tackle. Defensive players can also be penalized for playing balls on the ground.

    A very serious infraction on either side may call for a yellow card, which sends a player to the "sin bin" in the opposite end zone, generally for 10 minutes or less at the referee's discretion. A red card ejects the player. They are not replaced.

    Otherwise, there's a few strategic things to look for. If a team is taking its penalty kicks and booting the ball straight out, that's called kicking for touch. They do that because they get the ball back in a lineout, with field position.

    Inside the field, there are several strategic things. Some teams go into contact quickly to cycle the ball quicker, others will try to evade contact by drawing defenders, then passing back to where they were. Another common ball movement strategy is the push or overlap, where a team will capitalize on having more bodies to the side of the field.

    Really, it's a lot to take in, but in a scrambled way, those are the basics of the game.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Be sure not to shower for days... you;ll fit right in...
  8. joe king

    joe king Active Member

    And drink heavily.
  9. I believe, from reading the St. Pat's Day thread that Small Potatoes plays ... send him a pm ...
  10. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    RedCanuck explained it pretty well.
    Another rule to keep in mind is advantage, which is kind of like the advantage rule in soccer or a delayed penalty in hockey. The referee might see an infraction (usually a forward pass, somebody being offside, or a knock-on, which is when the ball is fumbled in a forward direction, and not blow the whistle immediately. Instead he'll wait to see what happens and either not call the penalty or wait until the offending team gains possession of the ball before blowing the play dead.
    The Web site www.rugbyfootball.com has some good articles on the sport.
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