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Idiots Guide to Rugby Positions and Terminology


Rugby Positions
Front Row: Without a doubt the manliest men on the pitch -- Large, often hairy, beer swilling carnivores that can and will tackle anything in their path. Revelling in the intricacies of the scrum, they are rarely considered "nice" people, and in fact to some they aren`t even considered humans at all. Front rowers tolerate this attitude far and wide because they recognize their role at the top of the food chain. Sometimes they are acused by others of simply being dumb, this group just have unconventional ways of thinking. Locks/Second Row: They are next in the food chain. As with front row players it is inadvisable to put any limb you wish to keep near this group, when they are feeding. Renowned for being large, never the prettiest brutes they are more than willing to relish the finer points of stomping on a fallen opponent`s body and will gleefully recount the tale ad infinitum. They tend to be the Powerhouse of the Scrum. These members have a close fraternity with each other and also have unconventional ways of thinking but usually just dumb. Back Row: These are fine, fit fellows who in todays game are becoming far too much like a bunch of girls, theyre confused as to what their role on the pitch should be. While they know they are classed as forwards, there are those among them who long for the perfect hair that comes with being a back. Some relish the forward role and there are others within this group that will break the prime directive of the forward and do anything to prance foolishly with the ball. Scrum Half: Some like to think of this back as an honorary forward. The scrum half`s presence is tolerated by the forwards because they know that he will spin the ball to the rest of the girls in the backline who will inevitably knock the ball on and allow them the pleasure of another scrum. The No. 9 can take pride in the fact that he is the lowest numbered back and that as such he can be considered almost a forward. Fly Half: His primary role is the leader of the backs - a dubious honour. Main responsibilities as far as a forward can tell are ability to throw the ball over people`s heads and to provide something soft for opposing forwards to land on. Expected to direct the prancing backline - the fly half, like any good West End choreographer, is usually light on his feet though I find it hard to support anyone whose foot touches a rugby ball on purpose. Centres: Usually come in two forms the hard chargers or flitting fairies. The hard charger is the one to acquire in this day and age, as he will announce his presence in a game with the authority rarely found above the forwards. The flitting fairy is regrettably more common and will usually attempt to avoid contact at all costs. Both types will have extensive collections of hair care products in their kit bags and will be among the best dressed at the post-game festivities.

Back 3: While some people refer to this group as two wingers and a fullback, I really dont understand the difference between them. How these three guys can play 80 minutes of RUGBY and still stay clean and sweat free as they started the game is beyond me. These guys will be easy to spot after the game because they are the finely coifed, sweater wearing`, wine sipping`, sweet-talkers in the corner avoiding the beer swilling forwards at the bar.

Rugby Groups
The Pack: Eight handsome burly guys whom you`d want to marry your daughter. They are intelligent, elegant, sensitive and sweet. The Backs: Seven guys who will take advantage of your womenfolk, Often dine on quiche, brie and wine. Regularly take hair straighteners on road trips. Prop: some are short and round some are tall and round, these strapping men support the hooker, but no money ever changes hands and the act is never specifically named. Hooker: Often identified by a bald spot on the head, these vertically-challenged but talented men stand between the two props and secure the ball for their team during scrummages. Second Row: These tall powerful men are the driving engines not only of the scrum, but of the entire game. They can be in the scrum, behind the front row, or lofting high above the line outs pulling balls from the air. The Back Row: These three men of stamina and strength are often considered the Renaissance men of the rugby field. They not only control ball, but the entire pitch. Remember, the back row defines the whole team`s style of play. "They are the game." Scrum Half: The scrumhalf distributes the ball, runs tackles and kicks. The scrumhalf is only half as handsome and burly as the pack members. Fly Half: The first of those back guys, and can be seen as the play maker. May be referred to as the man who kicks a lot. Centres: Another pair of those back guys. Either power runners or annoying scampering guys usually found in the opposite order, but whose purpose is to get the ball to the wing. Wingers: Ideally the fastest men on the team. Their job is to "score with the ball," but they often confuse it with "get tackled with the ball." Fullback: The last line of defence. A back even the pack can appreciate, often viewed as a back row in the making.

Idiot`s Guide To Rugby Terminology


Rugby has a vocabulary all of its own there are a few basics to get to grips with! The Basics Rugby union (commonly referred to as Rugby) originated in England and was popular in public schools in the 1820s, specifically at Rugby School, which the game is named after. To start with, a rugby ball is oval, not round, and it doesn't roll. Two teams of 15 players battle it out over two halves of 40 minutes. Rugby is played between two teams and the team with the most points at the end of the two 40-minute halves wins. Each team has 15 players who assume different positions on the field with eight players making up the forwards and seven making up the backs. GAME PLAY One team will gain possession of the egg shaped ball from a kick-off, a restart kick, a scrum or a line-out. The ball can be moved by carrying it in the hands or kicking at any time. At no point can the ball be passed forward by the ball carrier except by being kicked. If the ball is passed forward without being kicked it's called a knock on and results in a scrum. Scoring Scores like 30-10 are quite normal. Unlike football, you score more than one point at once: 5 for a try, 2 extra for a conversion, 3 for a drop-goal and 3 for a penalty. Try When a player touches the ball down over the opposing team's line. A try is worth five points and is scored by grounding the ball in the opposition's in-goal area. A player can place the ball on the ground on or over the opponents' try line using their hands or arms or if the ball is already on the ground on or over the try line the player can press down on it with any part of their body from the waist to neck (including hands and arms) Conversion After scoring a try, or being awarded a penalty try, the scoring team attempts a conversion. A player takes a kick at goal in line with where the ball was grounded, or from in front of the posts for a penalty try. If the ball goes above the crossbar and between the posts it earns two points. Drop-kick What Jonny Wilkinson did so well in the 2003 World Cup Final. The ball must touch the ground before it's kicked between the opposing team's goalposts, above the horizontal bar to score 3 points.

Scrum Where the oxen of rugby love to be. A way of restarting play after an infringement, the eight forwards from each team pack down in tight formation and the ball is served into the tunnel and heeled back for possession. Tackle Only a player in possession of the ball can be tackled. American football-style blocking is not allowed. A tackled player must release the ball after he hits the ground. Neither he nor the tackler can play the ball until they are on their feet. It is illegal to high tackle above the shoulders, or to "spike" a player by deliberately upending him onto his head. The same goes for the late tackle - tackling the player after he has passed or kicked the ball. It is also illegal to punch, gouge, stamp on or kick another player. Heavy tackles are colloquially known as dump tackles, while an attempt to prevent the ball being released quickly is sometimes called a smother tackle. Lineout If the ball has been kicked or knocked out of bounds then it is restarted by a lineout, which is similar to a throw-in in soccer. The team who is not responsible for the ball going out of bounds gets to throw it back in from the point the ball left the field. Players on the field will try to get possession of the ball and gameplay continues. Maul Struggle among players for ball that has not touched the ground. Ruck Like a maul, but ball is on the ground and heeled back into possession by players. Penalty If a team commits a penalty against another team the innocent team can either kick the ball out of the field to receive a lineout, take a free kick (the ball only has to be 'kicked' through the mark and most teams will just tap the ball over the mark to keep better control of it and restart play quickly) or take a penalty kick at the goal. The guilty team must retreat 10 meters from the spot of the foul. Quick Tap To restart the game after a penalty has been given, this helps to catch your opponents unaware. Blink and its gone. That`s the idea from the player of the team awarded the penalty who takes it. The kick is barely nudged forward before it`s caught and either passed, kicked, or moved on the run. Blindside The playing area nearest the touchline and next to a scrum, maul or ruck. Domain of loose forwards and scrumhalf. (the narrow side) 22 Drop Out A drop kick is taken from the 22m line if a team touches down in its own in-goal area but did not carry the ball over the try line, or if the ball is kicked over the dead ball line from any other play other than the kick-

off. The ball only needs to cross the line, but if it goes directly into touch a scrum is awarded to the receiving team at the centre point of the 22m line. Clearance Kick A defender faced with a charge by forwards kicks the ball as far as he can into touch or down field. Advantage Rule One refs don`t play enough. He allows play to continue after a foul if stopping would disadvantage the non- offending team. Ankle Tap Spectacular when they work, but in reality a last-ditch effort by an out-paced player to tackle an opponent by diving and slapping his ankle. Cauliflower Ears A deformity of the ear caused by blows and rubbing of the head in a scrum, a familiar trait in the second row. Hospital Pass Good pass for settling scores with a team-mate you don`t like. Ball lands into the hands of your team mate when you know that your team mate is about to be tackled. Up and Under A punt kick by a player on the attacking side where the ball is sent high into the sky over their opponent`s head. This gives teammates time to, at least, scare the living daylights out of defenders as they charge down on the ball. Haka Is performed by the All Blacks (New Zealand), and variations performed by Samoa and Fiji; a war dance done before every match. Third half The best part comes afterwards for some! Traditionally, the players get together and go out on the town after a match.