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View Full Version : Rugby: Can someone explain the appeal?



BrianY
09-25-2009, 11:28 AM
I don't mean to insult anyone's favortie sport or anything, and I realize that I'm treading on dangerous turf here, but I've spent a fair bit of time over the past couple of weeks watching bits of Australian Rugby League matches that are rebroadcast on one of the cable channels in my town. I honestly don't understand the appeal of the game.

A guy gets the ball, runs for a short time straight into a bunch of other guys and is tackled. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat, but this time kick the ball. The other team does the same thing. Sometimes they pass the ball back and forth for a brief time (that, I admit, is interesting) but the incessant run for 5 - 10 yards (oops, meters) straight into a bunch of other guys, get tackled, and do it over and over again is mind-numbing.

Now, I'm not much of an (American) football fan either, but at least in that game there's the "excitement" (not much for me, I admit) of blocking, open field running and short and long passing to break up the endless run a short distance -tackle-run a short distance-tackle routine. There is considerable strategy at work too and that adds to the interest

From my admittedly uneducated perspective, rugby looks like a simple varitaion of a game that kids play called Red Rover - run directly into a bunch of other kids to see if you can break through. But there's got to be more to it than that, right?

Please enlighten me.

mmd
09-25-2009, 11:33 AM
Think of US football as a parable for warfare with whole armies directed by the quarterback(field general) and coach (GHQ), and rugby as a representation of hand-to-hand individual combat in medaeval times...

(I don't think much of either game...)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-25-2009, 11:49 AM
Try Rugby Union.

Uncle Duke
09-25-2009, 12:08 PM
http://steamrollerrugby.com/miva/graphics/00000001/GiveBlood_PlayRugby.gif

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-25-2009, 12:20 PM
OOerrr -- that's way too close to the Harlequins bloodgate scandal...

(Harlequins are a UK Premiership Rugby Union club, based in SW London - in a match against an Irish side they needed to make a substitution but had used up their allowance so a player was told to bite a fake blood capsule and to make assurance doubly sure they cut his lip - very bad and on a par with the Renault F1 scandal)

Peerie Maa
09-25-2009, 02:27 PM
Andrew is correct, Union is a much better game than League. Our League used to be even worse. The reliance on the possession rule meant that they did not even run fast, now however because the tackles have got harder thanks to some coaching by an Aussie coach, the League game is more open and running. However it is still boring, just faster boring.

Kevin G
09-25-2009, 02:29 PM
I always thought the appeal was beer.

kg

ishmael
09-25-2009, 03:23 PM
Late to the game, but you go out, wrestle with your mates, pump your chest and say I'm king. If your luck holds you get a bit smashed up(the girls world around love their men bashed in battle) and then you go home and drink yourself into a snit, get laid, and go to bed.

stevebaby
09-25-2009, 03:49 PM
Late to the game, but you go out, wrestle with your mates, pump your chest and say I'm king. If your luck holds you get a bit smashed up(the girls world around love their men bashed in battle) and then you go home and drink yourself into a snit, get laid, and go to bed.What's not to like?

John B
09-25-2009, 04:29 PM
Rugby and rugby league players especially at the top level are superb athletes who can go out and play a fast , very physical , contact game for 2 X 40 minute halves without pads or protection( or with very minimal protection).There are no specific time outs or rest periods per se, so its a full on game . There are subs and blood bins but in general , a player is on the field or hopes to be on the field the whole time.
In the UK, Rugby is an upper class game , league more a working mans game. Here it still has a bit of that connotation but the lines are blurred .

Peerie Maa
09-25-2009, 04:48 PM
In the UK, Rugby is an upper class game , league more a working mans game. Here it still has a bit of that connotation but the lines are blurred .
I cannot let that past. There is a north south divide, and up until a few years ago Union was entirely amateur, but certainly was not upper class. My own school was a keen rugby union school, state run, and took its intake on merit, not class. When I was older the rowing club to which I belonged drew its members from all walks of life, rowing in the summer and playing rugger in winter.

John B
09-25-2009, 05:00 PM
Interesting, thats what my English friends have always told me, although I remember the north south demographic as well now that you mention it.

WX
09-25-2009, 05:11 PM
Here we call it thugby. Rugby players have been copping some pretty bad press here the last few years now with drug abuse, brawling in public places and sexual assaults.
I don't see any sportsmanship in the game at all.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-25-2009, 05:12 PM
I cannot let that past. There is a north south divide, and up until a few years ago Union was entirely amateur, but certainly was not upper class. My own school was a keen rugby union school, state run, and took its intake on merit, not class. When I was older the rowing club to which I belonged drew its members from all walks of life, rowing in the summer and playing rugger in winter.

Just the same here; I went to a (state) Grammar School which played rugby union, only, no round balls allowed to be kicked, and played mostly (private) Public Schools. No rowing at school, that had to wait for University but sailing WAS allowed!

My son Alex goes to a smallish (state) Comprehensive which plays taptoe and rugby union and has in fact just won the national championship for schools starting rugger for the second year running, so they will now be kicked upstairs into the regular schools league.

Alex also rows very zealously with the local club and I know exactly what he wants for Christmas - one of those nice Chinese single shell sculls which will leave no change out of 2K. In fact rowing has now replaced rugger as his sport of choice and he has dropped out of the local rugger club side.

Hwyl
09-25-2009, 05:29 PM
As with all sports, if the participants want to participate and no one else is affected, then the merits ascribed by onlookers are inconsequential.

Soccer in America is an incredibly popular participatory sport, but is not perceived as successful because it's not watched on TV; and then there's sailing.

Ron Williamson
09-25-2009, 06:55 PM
My niece loves it.
She's played U19 National and is now playing for U of Guelph.
You wouldn't know it to see her,but she would cheerfully crush any of us.
R

bamamick
09-25-2009, 07:59 PM
'what's not to like?' indeed! Big guys running about smashing into each other? What could be more fun?

I played football, basketball and baseball at the high school level. After high school I played flag football and softball, and later went back to baseball. I LOVE sports (and I haven't even mentioned over 30 years of competitive sailing), and I like watching rugby, but when I was offered a tryout on a pretty good team in Mobile I just shook my head. Those guys are really nuts. In a good way. I like that. I like rugby. I like it, but not enough to risk my job getting run over by nutcases who would cheerfully charge a Mack truck on the highway just for the 'fun' of it. I had to pass. But I still like it.

Mickey Lake

peter radclyffe
09-26-2009, 12:04 AM
i dont think i played it even once, i couldn't stand the violence