The (PUMA) Rules of Rugby

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We all know the basics of rugby union. 15 players battling it out on either side to keep control of an odd shaped ball that is the key to grabbing points that lead to prizes, and there is of course no bigger prize than that of a World Cup winner’s medal.

At PUMA we like to tackle the finer points of the game, so here’s a little guide to some of the ins and outs of the sport we call rugger…

What the ruck?

A ruck starts when two opposing players end up on the ground following a tackle. Team-mates pile in and try to win or protect possession of the ball and start building momentum towards an attack. The referee will then switch on his x-ray vision to locate the ball and check that no offences have been committed at the breakdown.

A right mauling!

A maul is similar to a ruck, but this time it starts when a tackled player maintains his footing and manages to keep hold of the ball. Again, team mates will rush to the scene and try to work the ball out and start an attack – often accompanied by a crowd chorus of encouragement with the words “HEAVE”!!

Don’t get caught offside (good life advice we think…)

A player can be offside if at the formation of a ruck or maul they are not behind their team mates. So, watch out for players entering a ruck or maul from the side – they’ll get a penalty given against them, not a good move. Repeat offenders may even face the threat of the ‘Sin Bin,’ which does exactly what it says. A player will be penalized and committed to a bin of sin (the bench) at the issuing of a yellow card for ten minutes to reflect on their poor behaviour…just think of it as a naughty step for oversized adults.

You’re such a drop out

If you touch the ball down in your own in-goal area, but didn’t take the ball over the try line, a drop kick is taken from the 22 metre line. It’s a great way to relieve pressure if your opponent overcooks a grubber into the danger area.

The referee makes the rules up!

A great little quirk for you to finish on… law 6.A.11 states:"The ball in in-goal touched by non-player. The referee judges what would have happened next and awards a try or a touch down at the place the ball was touched." Essentially, if you happen to be on the pitch (or your dog is) and you get in the way, the ref can decide what he think would’ve happened next!

Hopefully, you’ll now be able to narrate all the matches to your mates and amaze them with your knowledge of the greatest sport on earth.