Former New Zealand All Blacks player Jono Gibbes has been pilloried for his confused view of the scientist behind the theory of relativity No one in rugby should be called a genius Gibbes said a few years ago A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein? But it’s fair to say that even Norman’s alter-ego Albert might not have done better if asked to explain what Gibbes does for a living.
Rugby is, to say the least, a complex game Its rulebook spans a staggering 162 pages, and that doesn’t take into account the varied options of an umpire deciding on each rule
Code terminology may sound like another language In any game a commentator will mention scrums, crashes, rolling mauls, tight heads, loose heads, pod systems, crooked power supplies, box kicks and short-arm penalties
If rugby union is complicated even for boffins, it is positively embarrassing for beginners, including sports fans more immersed in the AFL In both codes, players attack and launch torpedoes, for example, but in each game they do it differently and in any case the similarities between the codes end roughly there
In Australia, the rugby union Super Rugby competition started in 1996 and since then it has been played with teams from New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Japan An Australian national competition has been organized for 2020 (Super Rugby AU) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is being played again in 2021, starting tonight, and for the first time a Super Rugby match will be screened in direct on free-to-air television (Disclosure: The owner of this masthead, Nine, who also owns the Stan Sport streaming service, outbid Super Rugby’s founding broadcaster, Fox Sports, last year for the rights, so yes, the games will be screened on Nine and Stan sport)
So whether you’re tuning in or just curious about the code, how do you handle rugby? What is a scrum? Can you cheat? What is a breakdown? Rolling maul? Lineout? And who does what in the field?
Nothing confuses or frustrates the casual rugby spectator more than the scrum In fact, the same can be said for dedicated rugby fans and even players.After a long set-up in which groups of players from each team prepare to collide, the whole can fall and the referee starts again, or assigns a penalty
Many fans see a special beauty in the fray, however, and think it’s a fascinating and essential part of the 15-player game. “A scrum for me is an exciting game in a game,” says Wallabies scrum coach Petrus Du Plessis – It’s eight men trying to push the eight opponents off the ball, either to hold their own ball or to steal the opposing ball It’s a chance for a turnover or a chance to show dominanceâ ????
Reduced to the essentials, the scrum is a way to resume play after a knock-on (when a player accidentally drops the ball to the ground in front of him) or sometimes a penalty
It’s a pushing competition â ???? between two packs of eight attackers Some players are more important than others in a scrum The three front heavy rowers are basically on the field to do this work The other five attackers have support functions
The attacking team aims to get the ball to the back of their scrum and then to the quick and creative players in the background The defensive team aims to push the attacking team back to recover the ball
But while the rugby league reduced the power of the scrum decades ago to get the ball back into play as quickly as possible, rugby scrums are still a competition of strength that can last for several minutes. One thing to keep in mind is that rugby seeks to create a possession contest at every opportunity. a major difference from the 13 player rugby code
– In the rugby league the scrum is a reset and go, – says Du Plessis But rugby matches could literally be won and lost in a scrum We saw the 2019 World Cup final where South Africa was dominant in the fray and that was probably the main reason South Africa won against England It’s a very physical game in the game that’s what makes it so excitingâ ????
Rugby forwards are great humans; those in the front row of a scrum, known as front rowers, are short, stocky, and often weigh 120 kilograms or more The players pushing behind both props and the hooker are locks, and they are usually tall and heavy too It is not unusual for a professional team to have a front pack that collectively weighs almost 900 kilograms
But size is only one thing Scrums are also extremely technical, with expert coaches and analysts training their attackers to combine tightly and push in the best way to exert maximum collective strength. It’s a brutal study in physics
– It’s a physical act of a first row against a first row and the five guys behind them, putting a lot of force across a horizontal line to manipulate the opposition, â € “ Du Plessis says – What people need to understand is that the human body was probably not born for the scrum, but we have become very good at it with proper training
– The forces that can go through the players if you are in a scrum and both teams go strong enough, you look at between 250 and 400 kg of force in opposite directions Once I remember us and ‘them we went as hard as we could and 20 seconds later – you are about to pass outâ ????
Above: An example of meaning of play in a scrum during a Bledisloe Cup clash in 2014, where the All Blacks’ freehead propeller (No1) is seen clearly â ???? boring dance ???? at an angle against the tight-headed Wallabies bracket (no3) Rugby laws state that all players must go straight Credit: Rugby Australia
It sounds like a shoe-tying lesson but there is a method in it Obviously, scrums are dangerous and in the previous decades there have been numerous cases of collapse and serious injury to the body. spine In 2007, however, a streak was introduced by the authorities to put the referee in charge of the safe meeting of the top two. Previously, players had regulated themselves and came from afar like rams bumping their heads The referees the call was “crouch, touch, pause, engage” but even the players gathered too far apart and there were too many collapsed scrums, so the sequence was simplified to ‘crouch, bind, pose’ in 2013
A referee will call “Crouch!” and the front rowers will bend over to prepare for a collision When the referee calls “Bind!” rival accessories will catch the others… shoulder to further reduce the space between the first rows When the â ???? Set! AT ???? the call is given, the first rowers get together and the competition is launched
It’s much safer now â ???? spinal injuries in melees are now rare but the downside is that melees can take a long time to set up and finish, especially when they fall apart and need to be reset
Is the Pope Catholic, etc.? Good scrummaging is often described as a dark art but let’s ask the expert If I was talking about melee tactics, I could probably write you a book It’s Massively Tactical, â € “ Said Du Plessis – Manipulate through Lean over the link Quick engagement, high scrum, how many right shoulder down? Depends on the oppositionâ ????
Each of these terms would need its own explanation. But is it cheating? Perhaps the most common way to cheat is to use a loose-headed prop – boring in it – on the side.The rules dictate that both teams push straight, but if a prop changes angles and starts pushing out the side of a rival where they are weaker – their pack can gain an advantage, force their rivals to the side and win the contest Referees and linesmen always watch the scheme, but often don’t spot it in the maelstrom
The arrival of spidercams made it easier for fans to spot them, and during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a fan-led Australian campaign emerged in support of England Joe Marler’s #scrumstraightJoe Thus alerted, the referees penalized Marler heavily when Australia faced its former rivals and won the match on the back of a dominant scrum
Not really Some nations prioritize the scrum, take pride in it and build a game around it Australians have generally enjoyed attacking, racing rugby on a large scale, and therefore not spawning the same giants obsessed with the melee than countries such as South Africa and England Internationally, Australians are seen as weak scrummagers and often cynical representatives of these so-called dark arts.
Dispatch refers to what happens when an attack ends, or goes down, via a tackled player There are several different versions of a tip the ruck, the maul, even the rolling maul (more on that below) When a player is tackled in a rugby league, a referee calls “held” and they play the ball under their feet When a player is tackled in rugby, teammates have to fight to keep the ball every time It’s contested possession
A ruck occurs when a tackled player ends up on the ground The laws of rugby say that the player must then release the ball after a second or two, which allows him to place it upside down on the ground The defending team will try to bend over and pick up the ball, however, the attacking team is allowed to send players to ‘clean up’ the poacher and thus secure the balloon
Rugby teams will often have an expert poacher, strong and able to withstand cleanup David Pocock, now retired Wallabies star, was one of those players Defending players must stand at the ruck and not come from an offside position, but many do, and it’s one of the most chaotic and dangerous places in rugby Most of the penalties you’ll see in rugby are for people doing the wrong thing in a ruck Attacking teams want to get the ball out of the ruck as quickly as possible to maintain the attack And defensive teams want to do the opposite, then you will hear words like “slow down the ball” or even “kill the ball”, where a player uses chaos to keep the ball from coming out
A maul is when a player is tackled but doesn’t go to the ground Here they don’t need to release the ball Mauls in general play are rare these days, given that the attacking team loses possession if the ball does not go out Rolling mauls are very common though, as they can be very difficult to stop, especially near the tryline Much like a scrum, a rolling maul is a kind of pushing contest The tackled player makes sure the ball is moved safely backwards towards a teammate, who hugs him, hiding behind a number of attackers who then push off as a collective group
A rival team is not allowed to return the rolling maul to the ground, unless they can get a hold of the ball carrier and knock him down.They are difficult to do over long distances, but when ‘they are well installed, a rolling maul can be almost impossible to stop near the tryline Yet some argue that rolling mauls are not fair and have called for their ban
Above: An example of a tactical long kick to open up space, as performed by Brumbies center Irae Simone Credit: Rugby Australia
Another difference between league and union is the amount of tactical kicking in the latter Again, the number of kicks a team has can depend on their attacking philosophy. The Wallabies under former coach Michael Cheika (2014-2019) preferred to hold the ball and run, and rarely kicked. But current England coach (and former Wallabies boss) Eddie Jonesâ? ??? game plans have often been built on the basis of lots of kicking, supporting their team’s defense and a strong scrum Generally speaking, all teams kick from inside their team 22-meter line, since you are allowed to refuel from this area Elsewhere, if you come out all the way, the roster returns to where you hit it After that, teams will use a long kick, away from rival full-backs, to try and move the game forward. This is called the playing area
Other kicks used in rugby are offensive kicks; short kicks on defense, putt kicks (grubber kicks) or weighted field kicks for a wide player to catch And there’s the dreaded box kick It’s a kick high foot executed by the half-back who aimed to cover only 20 to 30 yards, where hunting players can challenge the jump and force a receiver error Box kicks are a safe tactic and generally considered boring if overused, but they are also stubbornly effective, so they have become a regular part of modern rugby.
When a referee hits a penalty, the attacking team can kick the ball.If they are in their own half of the field, they can also hit the sideline and get the lineout thrown But if they are close enough to the posts, they can choose to kick for a penalty kick, which is worth three points.The team scorer then steps forward, places the ball on a plastic tee and shoots (formerly , a kid was running with a bucket of sand and the kicker was putting the ball) on a mound) Increasingly, however, teams will choose to ignore the penalty goal option and sideline for a lineout offensive and a possible trial instead (See rolling maul, above)
The short arm penalty is one where you cannot kick the ball off, or for a goal.This is for a minor infraction and, generally speaking, a team will choose to tap or scrum when a referee awards a short arm penalty (Watch the referee after the whistle; a fully extended arm is a full penalty, but if his arm is bent it is the smallest category)
Above: The Waratahs hooker throws a lineout which is caught by teammate Will Harris Credit: Rugby Australia
If a scrum is a pushing contest between forwards, a lineout is a catching contest.But with a team throwing the ball, the fight should be largely suppressed if they do their job properly
Typically, a hooker throws the ball, second rowers and full backs jump, and props help lift jumpers higher in the air. Alignments work on secret codes, or “calls,” made during the off season and coached many times during the week Someone in the lineup is in charge of “calling” who will catch the ball and how far it will go along the attacking line This is transmitted to the hooker via the agreed code and when executed well the jumper is lifted high, catches the ball without problem and goes to the half back
With a collection of moving parts that require precise timing, collective understanding, and great skill, a lot can go wrong The ball needs to be thrown straight into the lineup, to begin with, to ensure a fair fight And let’s just say many bitches can’t master this art
Former Wallabies hooker Phil Kearns was jokingly nicknamed Lightning due to his tendency to never hit the same spot twice Players high in the air can also be at risk if those same weightlifters don’t do a good job of helping the jumper get back to earth. And like any good spy game involving codes, rival teams often attempt to break their opposition’s line-up calls by studying and watching hours of tape, or even patrolling the sidelines during games. Once cracked, a rival’s roster can be easily chosen
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