With the Rugby World Cup tournament heading to the finals this weekend, we thought why not let you in on some of the interesting things about this game? Some of these points are not new to hardcore rugby fans, but for those who are here just to enjoy the World Cup hype, then this is for you.
Here are some interesting and out-of-the-box points about rugby that you can include in your post:
In rugby, the scrum is a complex and powerful set-piece, but did you know that the team that’s not awarded the scrum often has a say in where it takes place? They can choose a mark to set the scrum, which can lead to some strategic positioning.
Tape and Bandages:
Players often wear tape and bandages on their hands and heads to prevent injuries, but there’s a superstition associated with it as well. Some believe that it can bring good luck and keep the bad luck away.
On the other hand, the tape on the thighs helps players hold their teammates up, while tape on the wrists keeps them warm and strong.
Rugby players are prone to developing “cauliflower ears” due to the repeated trauma to the ear during scrums and tackles. This condition occurs when blood vessels burst in the ear, and the ear can become swollen and deformed.
Media Teams: You see media teams inside the pitch and on the sidelines of rugby matches because rugby has a rich history of media coverage. The sport is followed passionately, and capturing the action from multiple angles is a tradition that helps bring the game to a global audience.
Rugby has a unique substitution system. In many cases, players who have been substituted off can return to the game as long as they were not replaced due to a blood injury or concussion. This adds an interesting tactical dimension to the game, allowing coaches to manage player fatigue and adapt to changing circumstances.
The opposing team is awarded a penalty in rugby for various infractions, including offside, high tackles, foul play, not releasing the ball, knock-ons, forward passes, scrum violations, ruck and maul offenses, and obstruction. The non-offending team can then choose to kick for touch, take a penalty kick at goal, or tap and go to gain an advantage.
Before international matches, the New Zealand All Blacks perform the traditional Maori war dance known as the Haka. It’s a captivating and intimidating ritual that adds a unique cultural aspect to rugby.
In-Game Kicking Strategy:
In rugby, teams often kick the ball strategically to gain territory or put pressure on their opponents. The “up and under” kick is a common technique, where a player kicks the ball high, and their team chases it to regain possession. It’s like a game of aerial chess.
Rugby positions have unique names like “hooker,” “prop,” and “fly-half.” Some of these names originate from the early days of the sport, where players had specific roles in scrums and lineouts. For example, a hooker’s role was to hook the ball with their feet in the scrum.
Rugby has a strong sense of sportsmanship and respect, which extends to “unwritten codes.” For example, it’s considered bad form to celebrate excessively after scoring a try, and players are expected to shake hands with opponents after the game, no matter how intense the match was.
Yellow and Red cards:
Yellow cards in rugby caution players for minor offenses or repeated infringements, resulting in a 10-minute suspension, during which time their team plays with one man fewer.
Red cards, issued for serious offenses, mean immediate expulsion, and the team cannot replace the ejected player. Two yellow cards in one match result in an automatic red card.
Rugby in Space: Believe it or not, rugby has even been played in space! In 2007, a British astronaut, Mike Tindall, who happened to be a World Cup-winning rugby player, took a rugby ball to the International Space Station and played a short game in zero gravity.
These unique aspects of rugby make it a fascinating and complex sport with a rich history and culture. Enjoy the Rugby World Cup final match between South Africa and New Zealand this weekend!