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Rugby Survival Part 2
How To Survive Common Rugby Occurences
Posted Feb 18, 2011 by Weird World of Rugby
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As you might have noticed in the last few weeks, we here at Imagine have been using Fridays to present to you our loyal readers as much satire, stupidity and all-round ridiculousness as we possibly can. In continuation of this grand (well, month old) tradition, it’s time for us to bring to you the second part of our guide to surviving your first few games of rugby. In last weekend’s article, we explored survival in your first three matches. Well, we’re assuming that despite these matches you’ve still got all your appendages attached and can see out of both eyes. If so, congratulations! If not…well, lord knows how you’re reading this. It’s time now to step up the level, though, and embark on these vital facets of a rugby match.
The Ruck. A very common occurrence in modern rugby, this occurs when one player runs towards the opponent’s try line and is tackled to the floor by one of said opponents. However, in his ‘death-or-glory’ request to score vital points, he is consequently pressured/tackled/jumped up and down on by extra opponents that join in and must try and release the ball to his team-mates behind him. The referee is advised to blow the whistle once said player has run out of momentum, oxygen and the will to live. That doesn’t mean they will, though.
The Maul. This is similar to the ruck, except the player with the ball manages to stay standing when assaulted by another seventeen stone plus player. Thus proceeds a rather violent pushing and shoving match, in which more team-mates and opponents join said pushing, and the player’s fingers are bent slowly away from the ball in an attempt to gain possession. Once again, the referee is obliged to blow the whistle after the second or third ‘cracking’ sound. Random shouts of ‘No, I’M the king of the castle’ may or not be heard emerging from this sea of blood, teeth and leather.
The line-out. The rugby equivalent of a football throw in (though don’t EVER voice this whilst playing) the idea is for both teams to make a line, and for the ball to be thrown in towards one’s own team’s side of the line-out in order to gain possession. It is common for one player to be ‘lifted’ (not in the Lighthouse Family sense) in order to give him a better chance to catch the ball. Cue knees connecting with shoulders, elbows connecting with faces and various cupping incidents that would probably go down as sexual harassment anywhere else in the world.
Offside. It is important that no player gain an advantage by running past their ball-possessing team-mate towards the opposition with the attempt of gaining the ball or offering up a tasty drop-kick to the opposing captain’s eye. All players must remain behind the ball in situation such as rucks or scrums, or else they are deemed as having an unfair advantage. It is considered far more in the spirit of the game to tread on said team-mates on the way to obtaining the ball.
Scrums. The bread-and-butter of any rugby match, this involves forwards grouping together in a formation the Roman army would be happy with and pressing hard against the opposing forwards whilst avoiding dropping the ball which is then dropped into the centre of this sea of humanity. Points are decided based on the team that dishes out the most bruising to the opposing side during the confrontation. Any kisses or exchanging of phone numbers that occur are not spoken of. What happens in the scrum, stays in the scrum.