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What is Rugby? -/- Who can play Rugby? -/- History of Rugby -/- Player positions -/- Rugby social life -/- Rugby dictionary -/- 10 Commandments of Rugby

 

There are two distinct groups: The Big Boys (Cattle, Forwards) and the Clever Ones (Girlies, Backs).

The Big Boys are generally big. Their job is to fight hard so that most of the opponents are forced to join the battle scene (called mauls or rucks) this will generate some space for the Clever Ones who know how to use it, if the ball is released by the Big Boys.

The Big Boys are composed of 8 players and are organized in 3 rows: Front row (3), second row (2), and back row (3). (Still following?). Their job is to win the ball, they are the backbone of the team. They can win in open play or in static phases:

Touch lines: Between 3 and 7 players line up, one throws the ball, and the rest struggle to get it, make a mess (sorry, maul) before finally releasing it to more inspirational people out wide.

Scrums: After certain fouls, the referee kindly asks the Fat boys (oops Big boys) to bind together and to form a scrum. They form the three rows, eventually get together, and the scrum half (a kind of hybrid between the Big Boys and Clever Ones) puts the ball into the scrum and take it back afterwards (this small ball greedy player knows only too well that forwards are not the best at handling rugby balls).

Each Big Boy has a specific role, even if Modern Rugby tends to homogenise the role of each. Not yet in Te Werve:

Props (1 and 3): they are in the heat of the game, constantly fighting against their opposing position in the scrums. It is a really tiring, demanding position, and quite ungrateful when it comes to play the ball. Basically run or walk from scrum to maul to touch… Position often considered as the most noble in rugby.

Hooker (2): He is the leader of the pack. He is slightly more mobile than his two fellow front rows, and has more occasions to touch the leather: He is often throwing the ball in touchline. Most common nickname: Pizzaiolo.

Second row (4 and 5): Very difficult position as they have to place their heads between the arses of the front row. Normally tall and powerful, they stick to their props and go from fight to fight. They are often lifted in touch, basically to be photographed from time to time; recognizable by their cauliflower ears.

Flankers (6 and 7): Placed aside the second rows, they are in charge of the defense around the scrum and all around the field; one of the most enjoyable. Only responsibility is to put pressure on the opponents with constant runs and hard tackles. Should be able to help the backs if not too unfit… Complete psycopaths…

Number 8: The last guy in the scrum; his role in defense is to assist and back up the Girlies just in case they get into trouble. He has an important role in attack as he can pick up the ball at the end of the scrum and run (and that stops the scrum half from making another mistake).

The Clever ones are clever. They are clever because they are weaker. They do not search contact. More over they try to avoid it by running and passing the ball to their friend who will be hammered instead of themselves. They are the artists of the game.

Scrum half (9): Considered often as a back, as he is one of the organizers of the game.
His role is to get the ball from the Big Boys, then run, kick it or pass to the fly half. In an ideal world, they should know what they are going to do before they do it but in reality 90% of the timeit is guess work.

Fly half (10): Organizer of the backs. He gives the call for moves in the backs. A move is a special play that is expected to fool the defending opponents. It can be dangerous sometimes if your teammates are not focused and it all ends up in a collision. The number 10 is the one who displaces the game thanks to his kicks. It can be useful, but really poor as well. A fly half is a perfect job for lazy people, as it consists very often of making two steps then a pass or a kick.

Centers (12, 13): They take care of the center of the field. They are fierce tacklers and put attacking under constant pressure. These two must know each other, as every mistake is costly. Generally the greediest people of the whole team, they ask for all the balls, run them, loose the ball and then complain that the wingers are late.

Wingers (11, 14): Each one takes care of one wing. Fast runners, they form the back triangle together with the fullback. They must catch and recycle balls kicked to them and contribute to the attacks thanks to tough runs and quick side steps (they usually die if tackled). Difficulty for wingers: Stop before dead ball line. New position invented in Te Werve by a center (ball greedy player) who had to play winger: Outside winger…

Fullback (15): He is cold blooded even under pressure. Calm, alert opportunist, he can afford some naps if the others do their job. If they don’t, he is in real trouble with 1-to-1 tackles to make, up-and under to catch… In the best case he can join the attack line right at the moment the centers loose the ball.

An important figure is the trainer. He must shout; as none of the players are really listening. He must avoid insulting the referees but for some it does not seem that easy… His role is to transform us into fit and skilled rugby players and that is not easy. This sadistic character knows a lots of exhausting ‘games’ and fitness exercises. He will always give good excuses to justify these sessions.
Highlights: Passing with a brick instead of the ball. 5 minutes, 3 broken fingers.

 

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