Explaining Rugby Terms: Scoring, Lineouts and the Scrum

It’s a sport brimming with history, speed and of course, aggression. Rugby is fast gaining popularity in all corners of the world and with the World Cup coming next year, the excitement is building up.

For the uninitiated, however, rugby can be a complicated sport with esoteric rules. Worry not as we’re here to give you a quick guide to some of the important terms in rugby.

As the objective of Rugby, like every other ball sport, is to outscore your opponent, we’ll start things off with the different ways to score.

Try: To score a try, a player must place the ball (while being in control of it) in the in-goal area. The ‘in-goal’ area is the region behind the goalposts and between the try and the dead-ball line. If any part of the player’s body goes beyond the touch-line (the white line to mark the edge of the field) then the try is not counted. A try is worth 5 points.

Some different ways to score tries (apart from the classic run over the line and touch the ball down) are as follows:

Pushover Try: It is scored when you drive the opposition scrum back over their own line.

Momentum Try: The ball-carrier slides into the in-goal zone.

Penalty Try: Awarded when an opponent illegally obstructs an opponent to prevent them from scoring a try.

Conversion: When you’ve scored a Try, you’re given a place-kick to score two extra points. To get a successful conversion, you have to kick the ball above the bar and in between the two posts. A conversion is worth 

Drop-goal: It is worth three points and can be scored from anywhere on the pitch, provided the ball touches between being dropped and kicked. To score the ball has to be above the bar and between the posts.

Penalty Kick: In case of an infringement, the kick at goal that follows is known as a penalty kick. Worth three points, it is placed where the infringement takes place.

Now, we go onto another crucial part of rugby – the set pieces. They are important because of their frequency. And that high frequency can be attributed to the aggressive nature of the game which inevitably results in the referee blowing his whistle.

The Lineout: Ever wondered what’s the whole play where rugby players hoist one of their teammates to catch the ball thrown from the sideline? Well, that’s the lineout. In essence, it’s a jumping contest to determine who gets possession of the ball.

The two teams line up past the five-metre line with a metre of space between them. Then, the hooker of the team awarded the lineout throws it towards his team. The other team, meanwhile, tries to intercept it.

The Scrum: For the novice, easily one of the most confusing aspects of the game. The scrum is, basically, a brute force contest to gain possession of the ball.

The scrum results from either a forward pass, a knock on or for an accidental offside. In a scrum, the two forward packs engage in a physical contest to heel the ball to the back of their respective scrums. Keep in mind that the ball is thrown into the middle of the scrum to start the proceedings. The objective for a team in the scrum is to take the ball back and into the hands of their hooker who resumes play.

Leave a Reply