08 Feb 6 Nations in Barcelona
The first round of 6 Nations has flown past and from Flaherty’s Irish Bar Barcelona we hope you had as good of a time as we did! For those of you who are just acquiring the taste of rugby, this week we’re bringing you a crash-course! You no longer have any excuses to not watch 6 Nations in Barcelona.
Let’s kick off with an easy one, a try, this is when player lays the ball down between the opposition’s goal line, awarding them five points! After every try the scoring team gets the chance to kick the ball between the posts and over the crossbar for an extra two points. This kick is taken in line with where the ball was grounded, so it’s important to try and score between the posts!
There’s a great deal of rough and tumble in rugby but there are rules to all of it. When an opponent tackles the ball-carrier and drags him to the ground the ball-carrier must release the ball, and the tackler has to release the player. Tackling cannot take place above the shoulders, all tackles must be below. After a tackle you get a breakdown, this is the chaotic part of the game when players scrap for possession of the ball.
When the ball is on the floor and one or more players from opposing teams smash into each other over the top, a ruck is formed. Once again the tackled player must release the ball. All other players can pile in from behind and attempt to gain possession of the ball. The aim is to heave each other away then move the ball backwards with their feet, no hands allowed!
If a player with the ball gets held up off the ground (without being tackled – by both an opponent and a team-mate) it’s a maul. Team-mates can pile in from behind and drive the maul forwards.
The organised 16 man cuddle is called a scrum, it follows certain infringements for example when a player passes the ball forwards (big no no!) or if the ball gets trapped in a ruck or a maul without signs of progress. The eight forwards from each team pack together and drive forwards to compete for possession of the ball. It may simply look like men shoving each other around, but it involves a great deal of strength and skill.
A player is offside when they’re in front of the offside line, simple right? However this line varies in different situations. In open play the ball represents the offside line. In rucks or mauls it’s marked by the feet of the player who’s furthest back.
Penalties are generally awarded as a result of a dangerous play or an offside. They players can kick the ball for a goal and earn three points, tap the ball and run, request a scrum or boot the ball into touch for their own line-out. A drop goal is also worth three points and can be scored from open play.
A line-out is similar to a throw-in at a football match but much more fun. When the ball goes out of play between two and seven forwards from each team stand two metres apart and contest for the ball when it’s thrown in from the touchline. Players perform elaborate lifts and manoeuvres to snatch the ball.
Now that you know the essential parts of rugby why not come down, have a pint and enjoy the game? The atmosphere is always fab and great craic is assured! We’ll be waiting for you next Saturday at 15:25 at Flaherty’s Irish Bar Barcelona for the 6 Nations France v Ireland game!