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Don't let the naysayers fool you! Rugby isn't all brutal annihilation, broken bones and bloodshed (although it does happen from time to time). Rugby is really about precision, skill, speed, strategy and most importantly: being part of a team.
RUGBY IS PLAYED 15 A SIDE
THE SAME 15 PLAYERS ARE ON THE FIELD WHETHER ON OFFENSE OR DEFENSE
Tackling is similar to American football, except that there's no blocking in rugby. Once a player is tackled, if he can't pass (sideways or backwards), there'll be a 'ruck.' This is when other players join around to protect the ball, keep it moving forward and re-distribute it to start another play. Rugby keeps going until play stops for an error or
offense, or the ball goes out of play.
Unlike football, in rugby you can only pass the ball laterally to another player, or behind you. A forward pass is an infringement
that will result in a scrum.
At the scrum, players face each other much like linemen at the line of scrimmage, but they bind together and push against each other. The scrum is used to restart the game after an error stops play. The ball is put in between two opposing teams of forwards and raked back to come out of the back of the scrum. Like the lineout, the team putting the ball in should win, but doesn't always.
THE BASIC PRINCIPLE IS
GET THE BALL
& STOP THEM FROM
GETTING IT OVER OURS
Unique to rugby, the lineout has similarities to the line of scrimmage and is used to restart after the ball goes out of the field of play. Your team gets to throw into the lineout if the opposition put the ball out (the hooker usually throws the ball in). In the lineout, players will lift another player high to catch the ball. The team throwing in should usually win the contest for the ball, but doesn't always.
The goal in rugby is to get the ball across the opposition line. In rugby, you score a try by placing the ball on the ground on or over the try line. Ironically, football's 'touchdown' came directly from rugby, but has evolved so that you no longer have to 'touch the ball down.'
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