You might only know rugby as the really violent sport Ross plays to impress Emily in Friends! But with my easy guide you'll understand it faster than Harry learnt Quidditch! I feel at this point I should mention it's nothing like American Football. There are some similarities like the shape of the ball.... No actually I'm pretty sure that's the only one.
Rugby is played in teams of 15 with an oval ball on a pitch of grass with two 'H' shaped posts at either end. Like this.....
Image from - http://www.clker.com/clipart-rugby-field.html
First up. How to score points.
A Try - this is worth 5 points. It's is scored by putting the ball down in line with or in the box behind the posts. The ball has to be pushed onto the floor. No throwing it down or bouncing it on the floor like a touch down. If you don't have control of the ball then no points for you! Here is a compilation of some great tries.
A conversion - this is worth 2 points and can only be scored in addition to a try. The ball is kicked between the 'H' shaped posts. Below George Ford of England scores a Try and then Converts it for a full 7 points!
A penalty - this is worth 3 points and can be given by the referee at any time for any Law breaking on the pitch. To score you kick the ball between the 'H' shaped posts. Here is New Zealand All Black Dan Carter one of the best in the world showing you how it's done.
A drop goal - this is worth 3 points and can be scored at any time in open play. The ball is kicked through the 'H' shaped posts.
Got it? Pretty simple right.
Ready for some technical stuff? Like I said the are some complicated Laws in rugby and I still haven't got them all worked out. Luckily for me my dad is a ref so if I don't understand it he can explain it. Below I'm giving you the basics so you can enjoy a game of rugby.
Passing the ball - The ball can only be passed (thrown) backwards to your team mate. If you throw a forward pass play will be stopped and control of the ball handed to the opposition. Skip to two minutes in to see some good clear passing of the ball.
Tackling - Defence against the attacking team. You can only tackle the play with the ball. This is a very exciting and dangerous part of the game. High tackles ( above the shoulder) are illegal as are stiff arm tackles so no clothes lining your opponent. These offences can have you sent off. This is a long video but just watch a little to get the idea of a tackle!
Srum - this is probably he most commonly seen image from a rugby match. A Scrum restarts play after the referee has stopped it for an infringement on the Laws in the game. Eight players bind together and push against each other to win control of the ball. A good strong scrum is a great tactical advantage.
Right two more things and I think we have the basics covered. What is a ruck and a maul?!
Ruck - usually after a Tackle is made the ball is on the floor a Ruck is formed. It looks like a good old fashioned pile-on like you used to do at sleep overs! The attacking team use the bodies to defend the ball. The defending team try to push them off the ball so they have it. This is called Turn Over ball. Below is a good example of clearing a ruck by Samu Manoa USA v Canada.
Maul - After a tackle but the ball has not gone to ground. That's the difference the ball is NOT on the floor. Teams push against each other to gain ground if your attacking and win the ball if your defending. The Maul is most exciting close to the try line when your team is pushing for a try. The crowd will shout HEAVE HEEEEAAAAVVVVVEEE!!! Skip to about 37 seconds in to get to the action.
Right I think that's it for the technical stuff! I hope it all makes sense! Any questions do please ask! One day until the Rugby World Cup kicks off!