Back in 1823, during a game of football in Rugby, England, a man named William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran towards the opposition’s goal line. And this was the unofficial birth of the sport - rugby.
The Rugby World Cup is in full swing and I'm sure you've been hearing all the buzz surrounding it. Just like football or tennis, it's an exciting and unpredictable sport that can go any which way. Just last week, Japan defeated South Africa in what was an awe-inspiring win over the two time champions. The Japanese had won their first game since defeating Zimbabwe in 1991!
For those of you who aren't familiar with Rugby, don't worry! We're here to help.
First thing to know is that there are 15 players on each time and the 15 are split between forwards and backs. The forwards' job is to push forward with full aggression while the backs are more nimble and quick to run with the ball and to score at the opposition's goal line.
One of main rules of rugby is that you cannot pass the ball forward. To be able to pass, you'll need to pass it to a player behind you. If you want to get the ball forward, you can kick it. But then your team will need to be behind you as the kick is being taken! It's a little confusing but it makes for some fun and strategic games!
Only the player with the ball can be tackled, and once you are tackled - the game does not stop like football! This is when a ruck is formed.
What is a ruck?! The simplest way to describe it is to call it a pile up. Players from both teams will come together and try to get posession of the ball but only by kicking it out of the pile! No hands can be used here.
But how are points scored I hear you ask? Well, there are a number of ways. Here they are!
If you've managed to keep up so far, then congratulations! You know the basics of rugby. If haven't kept up, then...I'm sure you'll get it eventually. It's a fun sport to watch and some of the best teams in the world are able to put on some amazing performances and let's not forget, it's pretty fun to see New Zealand open their games as such:
What you've just witnessed is the haka, which is a traditional ancestral war cry or a challenge that originates from the Maori people of New Zealand.
Enjoy the game and if the weather is good, why not give it a go in the park?