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Stayin' Alive

The Rugby Survival Guide Part One

Posted Feb 11, 2011 by Weird World of Rugby

Feel free to be scared

For hardened rugby fanatics, there’s nothing that beats a good game of sevens on a Saturday afternoon, followed by another round of seven (pints) down the local boozer.  However, spare a thought for all of those just taking up the great game, for whom the sight of various 17 stone monsters descending upon one’s tender frame must be mortally terrifying.  Our hearts go out to you, rugby virgins.  Because we care, here are our ideal tactics to help you survive your first three competitive rugby matches.

Match one.  If this is your first match, you’re liable to be shoved wherever your team-mates don’t wish to play.  Don’t be too worried – your aim is simple: stay in one piece.  Points and results are of a mild indifference to you.  Observe two main tactics:

1: If someone has the ball, run into them as hard as you possibly can.  Where possible, try and make it one of the opponents.  Avoid the referee – if he suffers internal damage then there will be no-one to stop your massive opponents from standing on your face.

2.  If you are thrown the ball and manage to successfully catch it, run like hell towards the opponent’s goal-line.  If it helps, imagine you’re the kid from the Reebok advert instructed to ‘beat the beer belly.’  Under no circumstances refer to team-mates or opponents as ‘belly’, however.  If you do, it’s likely you may wake after the post-match celebrations in the Welsh valleys and handcuffed to a pig.

Match Two.  Now you’ve mastered not dying (or if you haven’t, our condolences), it’s time to learn passing.  As with match one, there are two simply rules for doing this:

1.  Pass the ball backwards to your team-mates that are in a better position to be (and far less scared of) powering forward.  (Note: throwing the ball into the air and shrieking like a cheerleader to avoid being hit is to be avoided.)  

2.  If your opponent is running forward with the ball, then running slightly behind him will probably ensure at some point he will pass it to you.  If you develop a habit of dropping said ball, your team-mates may then tell you to move to ‘prop forward’ position.  If you aren’t keen on receiving the ball, it might be best for you to wear jerseys that blend in with the field.

Match three.  Now it is time to master kicking.  The general aim when kicking is to obtain the ball, and then kick it over your opponents heads and then run towards their goal-line with the aim of scoring a ‘try’.  (Don’t panic, tries will be covered in more depth later on) For now, concern yourself with kicking the ball forward.  Or at least simply dropping the ball and then kicking anybody in the near vicinity.

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, we will return next week to explain such tactics as rucks, mauls and scrums, all of which are going to seem complicated, possibly homo-erotic and all in all likely-hood scarier than a car made of spiders driven by Freddy Kreuger.  You have been warned…




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