“You Have To Get The Ball Over That Line By Throwing It Backwards”

Here is the post I didn’t have time for yesterday, featuring the Six Nations rugby match between Wales and Ireland.

The primary aim of a game of rugby is to score as many tries as possible by

grounding the ball on the opposite side of the opponents’ goal line.

The try notches up 5 points. Afterwards the best place kicker has the opportunity to convert this to 7 by kicking the ball over the bar and between the goal posts.

The referee, in the white shirt is there to ensure fair play, to interpret the rules, and to make decisions about points scoring.

We now, with the benefit of technology, have the Television Match Official who, having access to replays, has the task, at his request, of aiding the on field referee.

The grounding must be controlled and the feet inside the touchline. The score above was legitimate.

The ball carrier may be tackled by an opposition player. There are strict rules about the execution of this.

One of the consequences of an infringement is the set scrum. This is where two packs of forwards, each weighing in total 850/950 kilos, shove against each other to gain mastery and possession of the ball which is tossed into the middle by the scrum half, seen in green in the first picture, and red in the second. This can eat up 5 minutes of playing time.

Loose scrums. rucks, and, mauls result in less choreographed tussles.

These pieces, with or without the intervention of the referee, are followed by a lining up of the three quarter backs, one of whom will pass the ball along while the opposition attempt to dispossess them. It was this passing process that in 1965 prompted my late brother Chris, accompanying Jackie on her first time of watching me play, to utter the memorable one line explanation; “You have to get the ball over that line by throwing it backwards.” Although players may kick the ball ahead, a forward pass is not allowed.

Medical assistance is essentially on hand. This player struggled on fo a while before having to leave the field.

This one, captain Jonathon Sexton, had no choice. Despite his reluctance he had to go off for a compulsory Head Injury Assessment.

Earlier, he was the first of the faces I pictured in this gallery. His opposing captain, facing him, sporting a black eye, has plaster on his ear.

The masked supporters could not show theirs.

This scene reminded me of the season in which I lost three contact lenses in a fortnight. I then gave them up on the grounds that there is a limit to the number of times one can have 30 men in rugby kit crawling around in the mud in search of them.

Tackled In Vain


Pass in the air

Today’s set of scanned colour negatives from October 1992 is of Newark Rugby Club Under Thirteens v. Paviors. Here, the home side’s scrum half gets the ball away as he hits the deck. This is the player whose job is to receive the oval ball from the scrum and pass it on.

Passing the ball

This time it is a Paviors player who makes a pass.

Gumshield wearer with ball 1Gumshield wearer with ball 2

One determined Newark lad seems to have a loose gum shield;

A Pavior passing

another’s tackle fails to prevent a Pavior pass.

Break by fullback

Here the home full back charges into the opposition. The full back is the last line of defence, and will often consider attack to be the best option.

Chasing the ball carrier

This targeted chase

A tackle

results in a successful tackle,

Breaking with the ball

whereas this fleet lad eludes one.

Chasing gumshield wearer

Oh. Oh. There goes that gum shield again.

Tackling the gumshield wearer

and again.

Sam breaks

Although you can’t see it, Sam, with the knee-strapping, has actually made a break with the ball.

Breaking with the ball

Contrary to appearances, the referee is not about to tackle this red-head,

Facing a tackle

although this opposition member is.

No 12 has the ball

Number 12. in the centre, has the ball here.

Receiving a pass

Such an effort goes into this tackle, but the Newark player still makes a successful pass.

A pass

Here is another.

In the actionGetting away

Breaking with the ball 3

When a player gets clean away with the ball we term it a break.

Legs in ruck

This is what a worm’s eye view of a scrum looks like. Note the strapped knee,

Sam tackled

belonging to Sam, who, defending manfully, is tackled,

Sam tackled early

passes the ball, and is then tackled late. A tackle is deemed late when the scragged player  no longer holds the ball on impact.  Given the amount of opposition bearing down on the Newark line, the ensuing penalty comes in rather handy.

Girls in changing room

Rugby cheerleaders wear warm clothing and often repair to the pavilion to do something more interesting.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s fiery pork paprika, wild rice, and steaming broccoli. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014.