Rugby: Know your game
MUCH has been said and written about the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the time has finally come to see who will wear the crown at Eden Park on October 23.
The tournament is bound to be enthralling as all clubs seem to have done everything possible to win the cup.
The tournament kicks off tomorrow at Eden Park when hosts New Zealand engage Tonga (at 10.15am SA time). So we have decided to have this feature, Know Your Game, to help our readers to know the rules of the game that will help them enjoy the game.
Here is how they go:
It is the most valuable method of scoring. A try is worth five points. It is scored when a player places the ball on the ground with downward pressure in the in-goal area between (and including) the goal-line and up to but not including the dead-ball line of the opposition's half.
If a team scores a try, they have an opportunity to "convert" it for a two further points by kicking the ball between the posts. The kick is taken at any point on the field of play in line with the point that the ball was grounded.
Penalty KickIf a side commits a penalty infringement the opposition can take the option of a place kick at goal from where the infringement occurred. It is worth three points.
A drop kick is when a player kicks the ball from hand and the ball touches the ground between being dropped and kicked. If a drop kick goes through the posts then it results in a drop-goal worth three points.
A penalty try is awarded if the referee believes a team illegally prevented a try from probably being scored. Penalty tries are always awarded under the posts regardless of where the offence took place.
A ruck is formed when the ball is on the ground and two opposing players meet over the ball. The offside line becomes the last foot of the last man on each side of the ruck and players compete for the ball by attempting to drive one another from the area and to "ruck" the ball backwards with their feet.
The breakdown is a colloquial term for the period immediately after a tackle and the ensuing ruck. During this time teams compete for possession of the ball, initially with their hands and then using feet in the ruck. Most referees will call "ruck" or "hands away" as soon as a ruck is formed.
When a ball carrier is held up by both an opposing player and a player from his own team, a maul is then considered formed.
A phase is the time a ball is in play between breakdowns. For example, first phase would be winning the ball at the line-out and passing to a centre who is tackled. Second phase would be winning the ball back from the ensuing breakdown and attacking again.
A player is offside in general play if he is in front of a teammate who is carrying the ball, or in front of a teammate who last played the ball.
An illegal pass to a player who is ahead of the ball; a player is not allowed to pass the ball forward to a teammate.
If a player drops the ball 'forward' - that is, towards the opposing team's try line - or loses possession of the ball and it goes forward, a scrum is set, with the non-offending team getting the scrum feed.