So as far as I’m concerned, the Six Nations start today, when we take on our Celtic brothers Scotland, in what always proves to be a truly fit and rugged game, because to be honest, I’m just not even ready to talk about what happened last weekend…
Any of you who follow me on Twitter during a game will have noticed, I pretty much live for International rugby. I always keep a keen eye on my fave local club, but there’s just something about the drama and passion of the Wales games that stirs something inside of me that pretty much lies dormant for most of the year. It’s that nervous flutter inside of your stomach that you feel before a date, or when River Island have a sale on shoes.
I rarely have a bad word to say about the sport, but I will admit that if, like me, you only really watch it for the small shorts, it can be a confusing game to follow. So I’ve complied a quick guide to help some of you out there get a better grasp of the beautiful game.
The Match – The game is made up of two 40 minute halves. This can feel like 40 days, or 40 seconds depending on who we’re playing
Players – Each side is made up of 15 players. 8 Forwards (These are the big fuckers who do most of the smashing, or lifting) and 7 Backs (These are the prettier of the players, and do most of the running)
Forwards, are characteristically the biggest players in the team as they drive the scrums forward, and despite the broken noses or dodgy ears, these players tend to have the biggest shoulders and arms.
Welsh Forwards – Warburton, Hibbard, Ball & Jones (Always in our hearts)
Backs tend to do most of the running, and score the tries, so they’re normally taller, skinnier, and more nimble. Rugby squads have realised the importance of keeping their prettiest player (in our case Halfpenny) as far away from the action as possible. So as not to damage his face, he plays in the furthest back position you can.
Welsh Backs – Halfpenny, Webb, North & Phillips
The object of rugby, besides moulding men into husband material, is to score more points than your opponent. This can be done a number of ways;
Try (5 Points)– This is the best way to score in rugby, because not only is it worth the most points, it also looks the best. A try is when the player jumps like superman over the line with the ball. If a team scores a try, they’re awarded a conversion.
Conversion (2 points)– A successful example of this is getting your boyfriend to quit his football team and take up rugby full time. It’s also the word for what Leigh does when he kicks the ball over the capital H for Halfpenny.
Penalty Kick (3 points)
If the opposition commits an offence, such as singing Chariots of Fire in the Millennium Stadium, then a penalty kick can be awarded. Again, Halfpenny, Biggar, or god forbid Preistland, kick it over the posts, and the crowd goes wild.
This is basically the worst. So imagine Mike Phillips running into contact, he drops the ball because he’s to busy thinking about his other half, and it rolls forward. If it hits the ground and a George North jumps on top if it first, the opposition gets a scrum. If the opposition gets to the ball first, then they get the advantage. Basically if Phillips was single, we could have avoided the whole thing.
Once the balls been knocked on, and a scrum has been awarded, the forwards’ will form the pack, this is where those big shoulders really come in handy. Hibbards our main guy here, and his job is to hook the ball back through the Welsh pack, into Webbs hands, who passes it to Biggar, who will then run down the line and score a try.
Kicking is a big part of the game. And a player has two options;
The first is kicking for territory. So the ball comes into Halfpenny’s territory at the back. Naturally the bigger players start charging towards him, and knowing he needs to keep his nose un-broken, he quickly kicks down to the other end of the pitch.
Kicking for touch, is pretty much similar, only this time the ball is kicked straight off the pitch, so the opposition can get a lineout. This might not sound like an advantage but gives us a real chance of stealing the ball back. Halfpenny has to be behind his 22m line, so basically as far away from the action as possible, in order for a lineout to we awarded. Otherwise shit gets waaaay too complected.
This isn’t just what Walkabout have coming from the door on Match day, this is when a maximum of 7 and a minimum of 3 forwards line up parallel to one another, wherever the ball went out, and wait for Hibbard to throw it down the line. Whoever wins the ball, gets position.
Passing is mega straightforward, the only rule really is that the ball must always go backwards.
The point of tackling is to
A) Look fit
B) Give the press a good photo
C) Stop the player from advancing
Picture for one ludicrous second that a Welsh player has been tackled, and through the sheer shock of it rarely having happen that often, he’s fallen to the ground. It’s the responsibility of the Welsh squad to help their buddy out by running over as quickly as possible, and form a protective pack around his beautiful head/the ball. Speed is essential and the players will be looking for a fast and hard ruck. The object here is for a Welsh to keep the ball.
Any questions? Maybe direct them towards Scrum 5…
Enjoy the game girls,