Here’s everything you need to know about the sport!
Can’t tell your rucks from your mauls in rugby? Not even sure how the game works? Brianna, our student ambassador from America takes us through what we need to know about the sport, before going to our first rugby game!
- Know the team you’re rooting for
Here at Limerick the home team are the Munsters. They are one of the four professional rugby teams in Ireland. They compete in the Pro12 and the European Rugby Champions Cup.
- Key Rules/ Terms
The first time I watched rugby it looked like absolute chaos of weird movements and harsh collisions. So here are some terms and rules so you can know what is actually going on through the chaos!
My favorite move is a line out which looks like a mixture of basketball and cheerleading. A line out is when both teams line up opposite each other, but one team then throws the ball down the middle of the tunnel. The purpose of the line out is to restart a play after the ball has gone out of bounds.
This for me is the most chaotic and strange sports move that I have seen. There is no other sport that even comes close to what a scrum is, maybe American Football but still. It looks like a bunch of people dog piling on top of each other. So a scrum is when a minor penalty occurs and both teams bind together and push against each other for possession.
This is easy to confuse with a ruck. A maul is when the player who has the ball is being held by one or more people from the opposite team. The teammates of the player with the ball, move with the player towards the goal line. But what makes the maul different to the ruck is the ball is not on the ground but in hand.
This is similar to a maul but the ball is on the ground. So a ruck is when one or more players from each team, using their feet only, close around the ball on the ground.
Now in most sports there’s only one way to get points but in Rugby there are four ways to get points!
The first way is a try. A try is the most valuable way to get points because it is worth the most. They earn five points and a conversion kick. To score a try the team must touch the ball down in the opponent’s goal area. (This is very similar to American football where the team runs to the goal line and then has a chance to score a field goal.)
After scoring a try the team gets a chance to score an additional two points from a conversion kick. The conversion kick, much like a field goal, is taken from a spot in line with where the ball was originally grounded.
A penalty kick is similar to a conversion kick. Penalty kick is worth three points and is a kick into the goal.
A dropped goal, is very simple, when a player drops the ball and then kicks it just as it bounces, it is worth three points if it goes through the uprights.
This is a great clip of the Irish rugby team showing all of the above and Jonathan Sexton’s drop goal in Paris in 2018 : https://youtu.be/_TEA6vt9zCg?t=305
These are just the basics to understanding this complex sport. Even if sports aren’t your thing, just go to a match. Rugby fans are probably the best fans! There was such an intense feeling from the crowd and it’s overall an amazing experience. Go with friends, cheer when the locals cheer, and have fun!!