Rugby is a ball game played on a pitch rougly dimensioned at 100 metres long and 70 metres wide. It is played by two teams of 15 players.

A match lasts for 80 minutes, two halfs of 40 minutes. A half comes to an end once the clock has passed the 40 minute mark, and the ball becomes dead, usually by being kicked off the field of play.

The ball is oval shaped and can be carried, passed or kicked by either team with the objective being to out-score the opposition.

Moving the Ball

The most obvious way to move the ball around is to pick it up and run with it. But you are also able to pass and kick the ball to gain valuable metres.

Passing the ball

The ball can be thrown from one player to another and this is know as passing the ball. However all passes must be completed by passing the ball laterally or backwards. A player cannot recieve a pass at a point further forward than the pass was executed.

Kicking the ball

A ball can be kicked forward by a player and this is often used as a method to gain territory. Players can run onto balls kicked by team mates or they themselves can dribble the ball.

Tackling

Tackling is essentially the first area we are talking about where the two codes differ.

Rugby Union

Tackling

Once a team is in possession of the ball the most common way of regaining the ball is to tackle the player in possession of the ball. It is illegal to tackle or impede a player not in possession of the ball. Once a tackle has been made the tackled player has to release the ball. If he does not have enough team mates supporting him then the opposition will gain possession of the ball.

Rugby League

Tackling

Each team is given six tackles (phases) or chances to score. If, after six tackles, the team in possession has not scored, the ball is handed over to the other team at the point of the sixth tackle. The new team in posession also have six tackles to attempt to score.

Scores

There are essentially two ways to score in rugby, with a try or by kicking the ball between the goal posts but over the horizontal crossbar. And here the scores vary between both codes of rugby.

Rugby Union

Scoring a Try

To score a try one team has to place the ball down in the oppositions in-goal area, the area between the goal line and the perimeter of the pitch. If this is achieved the scoring team recieve 5 points.

Scoring with a Kick

There are essentially three ways to score from a kicking the ball over the oppositions goal posts:

  1. After scoring a try the scoring team has the chance to convert that try. Known as a conversion this results in a player kicking the ball at goal and if the ball goes over the crossbar and between the upright posts it results in a further 2 points.
  2. Another way to score from a kick is if a penalty is conceeded. If the team awarded the penalty feel the distance is achievable (usually if it’s within the oppositions half), they can attempt to kick for goal. A succesfully converted penalty would result in a score of 3 points.
  3. The final way to score from a kicked ball would be to attempt a drop goal. A drop goal is attempted in open play and is executed by dropping the ball and striking it as it simultaneously striked the ground. If kicked between the posts and over the crossbar a drop goal is worth 3 points.

Rugby League

Scoring a Try

To score a try one team has to place the ball down in the oppositions in-goal area, the area between the goal line and the perimeter of the pitch. If this is achieved the scoring team recieve 4 points.

Scoring with a Kick

There are essentially three ways to score from a kicking the ball over the oppositions goal posts:

  1. After scoring a try the scoring team has the chance to convert that try. Known as a conversion this results in a player kicking the ball at goal and if the ball goes over the crossbar and between the upright posts it results in a further 2 points.
  2. Another way to score from a kick is if a penalty is conceeded. If the team awarded the penalty feel the distance is achievable (usually if it’s within the oppositions half), they can attempt to kick for goal. A succesfully converted penalty would result in a score of 2 points.
  3. The final way to score from a kicked ball would be to attempt a drop goal. A drop goal is attempted in open play and is executed by dropping the ball and striking it as it simultaneously striked the ground. If kicked between the posts and over the crossbar a drop goal is worth 1 point.