The aim of the game is to score more points than the other team by scoring trys, conversions, drop goals and penalties.
If both teams score the same amount, or no points are scored, then the match is a draw – it does not result in extra time or penalties to find a winner.
Full-back: responsible for catching the oppositions high and testing kicks in attack; often the last line of defence or the first player making the break in attack.
Wing: Perhaps the fastest runner on the team, the wing needs to be able to pick up difficult passes in tight spaces.
Inside Centre: Whether in defence or attack, the inside centre is responsible for a variety of things: to offer options for the fly-half in attack, to make breaks and draw on the oppositions defence or to make space for the outside centre. Always involved in tackles for defence, the inside centre is a key player.
Outside Centre: Responsible for making holes in the opposition's defence and making ground for the wingers. Accurate handling and passing skills are a must for this position.
Fly-half: Possibly the most influential player on the pitch, the fly-half will make the big decisions in the game, whether to run with the ball or kick to gain territory.
Scrum-half: A key player, the scrum half is the link between the backs and the forwards, and has to get things going in defence and attack.
Loosehead prop: One of the three players at the front of the scrum, this prop stands on the left-hand side of the hooker.
Tighthead prop: Another of three players at the front of the scrum, the tighthead prop is on the right hand side of the hooker.
Hooker: Their first duty is to hook the ball for the scrum-half to collect in the scrum and the second duty is to throw the ball in at line outs for jumpers to catch.
Second row: The main responsibility of the second row is to catch the hooker’s throw and get the ball to the scrum half.
Openside flanker: An all round athlete, the flanker is responsible for winning the ball and making big tackles in open play. They also are often responsible for marking the opposition's fly-half by reducing the time they have to kick or pass the ball.
Blindside flanker: Similar to the openside flanker, the blindside flanker has to win the ball and make big tackles making them a target for hookers in the line out.
Number eight: This player controls the ball at the back of the scrum, always in the middle of a ruck.
Try: Worth five points, this is the maximum point score in a game of rugby. A try is scored when a player puts the ball down inside the opposition's in-goal area between the try line and deadball line.
Conversion Kick: This gives a team two bonus points after a try has been scored. The kick is taken from a point level where the ball was grounded for the try. To gain the points, the ball must go through the goalposts above the crossbar.
Penalty Kick: If the opposition commits an offence, a penalty can be given allowing the winning team the choice of kicking for goal or kicking for touch. A goal kick will give the team three points. If the team is too far away from the goalposts, they can have a kick to touch to gain ground or a throw in at the line out.
Drop Goal: Worth three points, a drop goal is scored when a player kicks the ball from hand through the opposition's goal posts. The ball must touch the ground between being dropped and kicked.
The ruck is an important part of Rugby Union.
When tackled to the ground, the player must release the ball immediately. A ruck is formed around this as the opposition try to steal the ball.
To get hold of the ball, both sides will drive over the ball to make it available to their nearest team mate.
Only players on their feet can handle the ball in a ruck.
If a player joins a ruck, they must do so behind the ball, not from the sides. (a penalty can be given for this).
Each player in a ruck must have at least one arm around a team mate.
If the ball does not come out of the ruck quickly enough the referee will award the team, moving forward at the ruck, the feed at the scrum.
When is a scrum formed?
A scrum is a way of re-starting play after:
The ball has been knocked on
The ball has gone forward
The ball has not come out from a ruck or maul
Not everyone can join a scrum.
Only eight players from each team can take part.
The scrum is formed at the place where the infringement happened.
All scrums must take place at least five metres from the touch or trylines.
When is a line out formed?
A line-out is another way of re-starting play after the ball has been knocked or kicked out of play.
A line-out can have anywhere between three to eight players from each side in it, up to 16 in total, all aiming to get the ball.
The opposing team to who knocked the ball out, or last touched it, get to throw in and the advantage is with them.
They also get to decide how many players will make up the line out.
Ball not released
When a ball carrier has been tackled to the ground, they have to let go of the ball. To stop the opposing team getting the ball, players often hold onto it which can lead to a penalty being awarded to the opposing team.
Offside in open play
If a player is in front of a team-mate in possession of the ball, or in front of their team-mate who last played the ball, they will be offside if:
They are actively trying to play the ball
They do not retire within 10m of an opponent who is waiting for the ball
They move towards the opponents or the place where the ball lands without first coming back onside
The referee will award a penalty at the place where the offence took place.
The simple aim of Rugby League is to score more points than your opponents
A Rugby League match lasts for 80 minutes (two 40 minute halves). Timekeepers monitor this and sound a siren or hooter as a signal to the referee when the game is over.
You score tries (worth four points) by touching the ball down over your opponent’s try line.
You can add a further two points by kicking a conversion. This means the ball is placed (normally on a kicking tee) in line with where the ball was touched down to score the try. The player then attempts to kick the ball between the goal uprights.
The other means of scoring are a penalty goal (also worth two points) and a drop goal (worth one point).
There are two teams of 13 players with four reserves on the interchange bench.
Each team can make a maximum of 12 changes involving any combination of players during a game.
Rugby League players have to be multi-skilled but some players do focus on roles within their teams including carrying the ball into the opposition line (forwards), attacking on the fringes (backs) and distributing the ball (hooker and half backs).
All players work together in their team’s defensive formation.
Rules - Play/Tackle
The ball has to be passed backwards. It can be passed as many times as you like until a player is tackled in possession.
Each team has the ball for six plays (or tackles). After a tackle, the ball carrier plays the ball back between their legs to a receiver standing directly behind them. The defending team must retreat 10 meters once a tackle is made, except two players who may act as markers on the tackled player. They cannot move until the ball is played.
A tackle is called when the attacking player has been ‘held’ (stopped from moving forward) or brought to the ground by the defending team.
After the six plays are completed the team in possession must hand over the ball to the opposition. Most teams elect to kick at this point in order to gain as much ground as possible.
Six players form a Rugby League scrum.
A scrum is made up of two props, two second row, a hooker and a lose forward (collectively called Forwards).
They are a means of re-starting the game and create a good opportunity to attack.
To form a scrum the two props ‘bind’ onto each side of the hooker to form a front row. The two second rows then join onto each other and between each prop and the hooker. The lose forward then ‘binds’ between the waist of the second row. Scrums are awarded for knock-ons (losing the ball forward) or forward passes.
Differences between Rugby League and Rugby Union
The main difference of a Rugby League scrum is that they are uncontested (feeding team retains possession) and the ball is placed into the scrum (normally by the scrum-half) between the legs of the second row. The ball is then passed out to the standoff and the rest of the backs.
You are offside in Rugby League if you are within the gap maintained by the referee between the attacking and defensive sides or if you interfere with play after being in front of a team mate when they have kicked the ball in open play.
A 40-20 kick is when a player kicks the ball behind his own 40 meter line and it bounces into touch within the opposition’s 20 meter line. If this happens the side that kicked the ball gets the advantage of putting the ball into the resulting scrum.
A goal line drop out is taken from under your own posts if you have been forced to touch the ball down in your own in-goal area or put the ball out of play in this area
Basic product Requirements
Base layer – optional
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