Rugby Lessons

Want to learn more about rugby? Broaden your rugby knowledge with the help of Fullback and Wing, Gerrie Labuschagne!

What is Rugby?

Rugby is a team sport that originated in England in the early 19th century. It’s a dynamic game that combines strength, strategy, and speed. The objective is simple: carry or kick the ball over the end line to score points.

The Basics: Understanding the Game

  • Teams: Rugby is played between two teams, each consisting of 15 players (in Rugby Union) or 13 players (in Rugby League).
  • The Field: Known as a pitch, it’s a grassy area 100 meters long and 70 meters wide, with H-shaped goalposts at each end.
  • The Ball: Oval-shaped and made of leather or synthetic material.
  • Duration: A standard match lasts 80 minutes, divided into two 40-minute halves.

Scoring in Rugby

  • Try (5 points): Awarded when a player places the ball down in the opponent’s in-goal area.
  • Conversion (2 points): After scoring a try, the team gets a chance to kick the ball between the goalposts.
  • Penalty Kick (3 points): Awarded for certain infringements. The team can opt to kick the ball between the goalposts.
  • Drop Goal (3 points): A goal scored by dropping and then kicking the ball on the half-volley.

Key Rules and Regulations

  • Forward Pass: Players can’t pass the ball forward to a teammate. All passes must be lateral or backward.
  • Tackle: Players can halt the ball-carrier by tackling. Once tackled, the player must release the ball.
  • Ruck: After a tackle, players from both teams can compete for the ball by driving over it.
  • Maul: When the ball-carrier is held but not brought to the ground, a maul is formed.
  • Scrum: A set-piece formation where eight players from each team bind together and push against each other to compete for the ball.
  • Lineout: When the ball goes out of play, it’s thrown back in and players jump to catch it.

Playing Positions

Forwards (1-8): The powerhouses – responsible for scrums, lineouts, and close-quarter play.

  • Props (1,3)
  • Hooker (2)
  • Locks (4,5)
  • Flankers (6,7)
  • Number Eight (8)

Backs (9-15): Faster and more agile, they execute strategic plays and score tries.

  • Scrum-half (9)
  • Fly-half (10)
  • Centers (12,13)
  • Wings (11,14)
  • Full-back (15)

Getting Started with Rugby

  • Learn the Basics: Understand the rules, positions, and objectives.
  • Join a Club: Find a local rugby club to practice and play.
  • Gear Up: Invest in quality rugby boots, mouthguards, and protective gear.
  • Watch and Learn: Watch professional matches to understand strategies and gameplay.
  • Stay Fit: Rugby requires strength, endurance, and agility. Regular fitness training is essential.