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total rugby newbie HELP



Hey everyone,
Just joined a club around here and am sooo excited. Unfortunatley, here in the US there are NO RESOURCES as to how to learn and to watch matches to get an idea of the game. I am SO confused. I am a wing because i am small and pretty fast, but im still so confused. Still dont know what a ruck or a maul is. Still dont know many of the rules. Any input??

Secondly, being here in the US its so hard to find a match to watch somewhere, its virtually impossible. Is there anywhere online that i can watch one? Also, I dont know anything about sides, Ive heard of the All Blacks but thats it, what are some other good ones? How can I play rugby and not have a favorite?! Any really good players that i can look into to find a favorite? Specifically, a winger or a back that is exceptionally good? Just curious. Im trying to learn as much as i can about the sport.

Any more input would be awesome. Thanks
www.irb.com is the website for the International Rugby Board. here you can download a .pdf document of the rules of the game. the document also demonstrates certains situations with pictures.

stay away from allblacks.com, it's been known to send subliminal nazi propaganda messages to teenagers and promote genocide, nuclear warfare and terrorism* :) :p

* not necessarily true or correct
The best way to learn rugby is to watch it. That might be difficult seeing that you are in the US. Seeing that you are on the wing you should work on side stepping, kicking, chip kicks and positional play. Also work on cross defence. Good luck.
Getting the basic skills are easy enough, even on your own.

To learn the basics use an American Football (if you don't have a propper ball); Kick up high balls to yourself and catch them, as it's harder using the gridiron then the Gilbert 9they tumble and move around more).

If you have the resources, basics like kicking a ball on a target 10-12 foot up on a wall helps with place kicking if you want to learn that (normally being a good kicker garantees getting games even when the rest of your game is suspect).

Overall, the best form of training is 2 people in the park kciking and passing to each other.

Don't worry too much about rucks and mauls as a novice if your going to wear the 11 or 14 shirts though; Most of your life will be spent ball watching anyway and backs (especially wings) should only join a ruck or maul when absoloutely necessary.

Some basics of a winger that may help;


I know lots of coaches start players who are new to the game on the wing: they can do not much harm and "everybody can play on the wing". How wrong! I think playing on the wing is very difficult task. Better start "newbies" on the flanker: more players around and always in the midst of things.

Left or Right side?
Very few can play competently on both left and right. There are specific requirements, which a wing must have when deciding left (#11) or right (#14). This mainly relates to kicking and being able to step off the left foot to move back inside coming from the right and v.v.

Two types of kicks:

* to keep play 'alive', maintain the opportunity to score and to regain possession
* to kick parallel to the side-line and chip-kick into space.

Speed and the ability to 'finish' are important. Running the right lines is critical but the methods of beating a man can vary from player to player. The traditional move: the body swerving in towards the defender to slow him down then accelerating on the outside.

Always try to receive the ball at full pace, accelerate before you receive the ball.

Get involved: do not wait until the ball reaches you, look for work !

The side step
This is the weapon of wingers. Change direction to get on the inside shoulder of your opponent. Then the use of strength to burst tackles or stand in the tackle and off load to support.
Larger players (Lomu) use their size and strength to break the line and hold the ball up to create opportunities for others. If you are more the light weight type a technique is more "fend-and-turn". This is handing off the defender and turn towards your support player to off load.

Communication with the full-back and other wing is important. You form the last line of defence. If you are on the open side you are more aligned with the centers. On the blind side defence you are deeper.

Key qualities
Concentration both on attack and defence. Looking at the body language and positional play of the opposition to detect 'the next move/point of attack'

Speed (straight line and acceleration), Good hands, Kick off either foot, vision to counter-attack, a good finisher', read defensive situations and TACKLE.

To sum-up
Ability to beat a man one on one
Kick with either foot
Comfortable with all types of pass
Comfortable playing in any part of the pitch
jsut go to video.google.com and youtube.com search rugby and you'll get segments of play and occasionally full games to watch which will give you a better clue. A good one I enjoy watching is a France vs. Australia game on google video, just go to video.google.com and type Australia vs. France (or the other way around if that doesn't work) and it should be the first link. It will help you out.
You say you want a fav player, preferably a winger. Joe Rokocoko is your man!! :D
Okay...I can relate to you.

Everyone else is right: the only way to learn is to watch. So, there are only a couple of ways to see the best in International Rugby.
If you are a DirecTV subscriber you can order Setanta Sports (http://www.setanta.com) and watch coverage of the Guinness Premiership, Magners League, Air New Zealand Cup, Super 14, Currie Cup, Tri Nations, Six Nations and occasionally some 7's (They also show the IRB's show "Total Rugby" and Sky Sports "The Rugby Club"). From Setanta's North American Website you can also subscribe to Setanta Broadband...it's alright, it has a back catalogue of last years Six Nations and the Guinness Premiership. Also Mediazone has the "Rugby Channel," which is another subscribtion highspeed internet service (http://www.mediazone.com/channel/rugby/jsp/2006/index.jsp) which shows mainly Southern Hemisphere Rugby.

My personal suggestion is go with DirecTV and get Setanta on channel 615. They replay and show live mathces and only costs an additional $12US on top of the regular service. Tivo is also a big key, so you can watch whenever you want.
Thanks for all the replies on this thread. I am totally new to rugby and am interested in learning about it. I wish there was a way to watch it on TV here in the US.
Hi everyone!
I'm a newbie too, and I got a little question:
if in a lineout the throw is judged as "not straight", how is penalized this foul?

In the Ea sports game "rugby 08" you are are penalized with a free kick but shouldn't be pebnalized with a scrum with opposite's introduction?

I know it's a little "offtopic" but I am a newbie also in this forum and I apologize for.... my english :blink:
I suggest reading the wikipedia entry on Rugby. Lots of good information, including links to pages that have details on the various positions.

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