Here we attempt to clarify rugby union rules, not just for beginners but also for those among us who are not as acquainted with the rules as we might like to think (in fact, this article might be more for me than anyone else!).
Rugby Union Rules for Beginners
First thing to note about the game of rugby union and its constitution: the sports has LAWS instead of RULES. And as with any law, these change from time to time.
And if you really took the time to learn the laws, you’ll soon find that you know a lot more than the average spectator at the game!
Second thing to note about rugby union rules for beginners is that scoring a goal by crossing the end line and touching it on the ground is called a TRY.
A TRY is so called because in the days of yore, points were awarded only for kicking the ball between the goal posts. So when one crossed the line, it was a good try ol’ chap but no cigar. You were then given a chance to kick the ball to see if you can convert your try into a goal.
To this day, they still say “to convert the try”. But this time, more points are awarded for a TRY.
Thus, scores in a game of rugby are earned as follows: 5 points for a TRY, 2 points for a conversion, 3 points for a penalty kick and 3 points if you drop-kick the ball between the posts before anyone has had a chance to tackle you.
Trying to drop-kick quickly before you are tackled by the opposing team is actually an extremely hard feat to achieve. Doing this at a World Cup Final launches one into the stratosphere of national hero and guarantees fame to last several lifetimes.
This is exactly what Jonny Wilkinson did when he stole the game from Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup with only 35 seconds to go. Have a look at the video below. Hear the excitement in the voice of Ian Robertson (the commentator) as it reaches a crescendo.
Third thing to note about the rules of rugby is that even when the whistle goes, the game is not over as long as the ball is in play.
And that made the last few seconds of the 2003 Rugby World Cup game in the video above even more nail biting. Despite the whistle having gone, the game was not over until the ball is dead. Ian Robertson was desperate for the ball to be kicked off the pitch. Because he knew the rules/laws of rugby. And he knew of times, in the past, when rugby teams at the very top levels have stolen the game in the dying seconds.
Fourth thing to note about rugby union rules … well, I cannot say it any clearer than this video by the English Rugby Union!:
How is the game played by non-cartoon players?
Head on over to the Britannica by clicking on the image below to check out their take on the rugby union rules for beginners:
And there you have it …
There’s your glimpse into the very physical and exciting world of ruggers!
For some introductory reading, have a browse through these:
You now know some rugby union rules, some rugby union terms.
Will you become a fan of the egg-shaped ball?
See you on the sidelines!
Don’t tackle just anyone running at you! They might be coming in for a friendly hug.
But if you must, go for the body. Less likelihood of causing long-term damages that might result in a body bag.
If you’re looking for more insights into basic rugby tackling, check out the WikiHow illustrations – just click on the image.
For those well acquainted with tackling, share your tips in the comments below.