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Old 08.10.2011, 20:45
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Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

I can watch any sport on TV I think and get a sense of the drama, the tactics and some degree of subtlety. I've watched curling, bowls, darts and baseball and enjoy them all. In fact - any sport that doesn't require a scorecard (which I think we can all agree AREN'T sports eg ice dancing, ski-jumping or diving), I can appreciate.

But stuck in the UK this weekend, feeling disappointed about Englands RWC defeat to France and with no Premier League football this weekend, I'm trying AGAIN to understand the attraction of Rugby League by watching the Super League Final - which I guess should be the highlight of the sport.

I just don't get it, seriously, I just don't. Is there any subtlety to it whatsoever, or is it really just 13 guys in opposite lines running at each other? There appear to be no tactics, or different phases or anything particularly smart about the game. Its EXTREMELY tough and requires fitness, but can somebody explain what makes it anything other than British Bulldog with a ball?
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Old 08.10.2011, 21:01
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

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I can watch any sport on TV I think and get a sense of the drama, the tactics and some degree of subtlety. I've watched curling, bowls, darts and baseball and enjoy them all. In fact - any sport that doesn't require a scorecard (which I think we can all agree AREN'T sports eg ice dancing, ski-jumping or diving), I can appreciate.

But stuck in the UK this weekend, feeling disappointed about Englands RWC defeat to France and with no Premier League football this weekend, I'm trying AGAIN to understand the attraction of Rugby League by watching the Super League Final - which I guess should be the highlight of the sport.

I just don't get it, seriously, I just don't. Is there any subtlety to it whatsoever, or is it really just 13 hot muscly guys in shorts in opposite lines running at each other? There appear to be no tactics, or different phases or anything particularly smart about the game. Its EXTREMELY tough and requires fitness, but can somebody explain what makes it anything other than British Bulldog with a ball?
Fixed that for you



The all blacks doing the Haka...
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Old 08.10.2011, 21:03
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

Big, buff, hot guys in shorts & cute shirts running at each other. What else is there to know?

What's the point of Ms Universe?
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Old 08.10.2011, 21:17
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

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Big, buff, hot guys in shorts & cute shirts running at each other. What else is there to know?

What's the point of Ms Universe?

You know......I expected the answer to come from a bluff "call a spade a spade" Northerner, I didn't expect that it would come from BA.

Get back to watching those taut Gauchos unless you have something sporting to add to the discussion
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Old 08.10.2011, 21:46
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

OP I wanted to thank you for this post but for some reason it didn't give me the option.

I feel the same about RL, it's funny as I am a massive follower of Rugby Union too. The Super League final has always been something that I thought I should watch but after 10 mins of hysterical commentary and no tactics I turn off.

Maybe it is a northern thing (I will wait for the abuse from others for stereotyping northerners - I am married to one so they can't be all bad..)
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Old 08.10.2011, 21:50
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

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OP I wanted to thank you for this post but for some reason it didn't give me the option.
Its because its "off topic" - no thanks or groans here

I'm not as blatant as some round here to suggest an alternative
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Old 08.10.2011, 21:55
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

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Its because its "off topic" - no thanks or groans here
Ahh explains it, thanks am clearly a novice at all this
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Old 09.10.2011, 11:04
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

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but can somebody explain what makes it anything other than British Bulldog with a ball?
My take on it (and have played both codes of the game) is that once you get to a level where you have too evenly matched teams in terms of size, strength etc, THEN yes it is essentially a game of tackling contact BB with a ball (never though of it that way), touch rugby is therefore BB with a ball. The emphasis is on trying to 'unlock' the oppositions defence through player movement and quickness of offloading the ball, with a narrower game plan overall thanUnion if you will (no trying to suck numbers into rucks,mauls etc), but more variations within the attacking running game than union tends to display - I would say that the Southern hemisphire Union teams play much more closely to league than the Northern Hemisphere team (probably due to conditions in normal domestic club seasons) and that is why the back lines generally rip their NH counterparts apart.
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Old 09.10.2011, 22:11
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

Having grown up in one of the top RL towns I have to flip it around and wonder what the attraction is of RU (from a spectators POV). For me, RU seems all about holding the ball up while everyone gets into position, kicking for territory and penalty after penalty after penalty.

To my eyes, RL seems far more enjoyable. Subjectively, I'm sure as a total % of the game, the ball is moving and in play far more often in RL than in RU. I'd bet the average percentage of tries per games at the top level is higher in RL and... there's quite a lot of lads in RL in England who can actually kick the ball through the posts instead of miming 'taking a poo' and then hitting he corner flag :-)

Last edited by ipoddle; 09.10.2011 at 22:23.
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Old 24.10.2011, 11:03
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

Ooh ooh good thread.

The OP's points are exactly what makes Rugby League sometimes dull to watch, when you have no investment in either side.

The last comment above is exactly what makes Rugby League awesome to watch! its a game focusing on rugby without the contention of rucks and scrums.

I've never watched a Super League match, but NRL in Australia is sometimes riveting providing you know the strengths of some of the players in each team... you see its a game of risk-and-reward, of putting pressure on the opposition through simple hard-hitting attack, and then choosing when to risk upping the tempo and passing the ball more, making more risky plays to get through a gap.

Imagine in Rugby Union, that you have an awesome number 9 and 10 on your side, they might be the most agile and skilled in terms of running/passing/kicking in the team. In Union they will get perhaps 10 opportunities in the game to really make a killer play, a key decision that requires their skill.

In league the halfbacks of similar skill sets are _really_ controlling the game and deciding what the tactic is, touching the ball or instructing the play each phase, 5 times per minute. When a play doesn't come off, it doesn't usually mean turnover ball, so they can really push the intensity of the game when they want to.

that coupled with higher fitness levels, makes it highly structured, but still tactical running rugby.
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Old 24.10.2011, 11:19
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

Rugby league aka catch me hump me is a poor cousin of rugby. I prefer rugby because it's not a line of Neanderthals running hard at each other for five tackles.

Plus in rugby you still hear players call the referee sir. Amazing in 2011. I bet that's something the Swiss would like to hear.
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Old 24.10.2011, 15:03
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

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Rugby league aka catch me hump me is a poor cousin of rugby. I prefer rugby because it's not a line of Neanderthals running hard at each other for five tackles.

Plus in rugby you still hear players call the referee sir. Amazing in 2011. I bet that's something the Swiss would like to hear.
--- groan ---

The OP seemed reasonable... this is just sad. I doubt any decent RU or RL player out there who would be so childishly disparaging about the other's code.
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Old 24.10.2011, 15:35
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

From a RL town, so maybe I am biased, but RL is far more fluid. RU is getting a bit like American football where you spend most of the time standing around waiting to play.
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Old 24.10.2011, 16:00
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

Explain Rugby League?
Please explain Rugby Union as well!

I've watched the Rugby World Cup on TV and I have enjoyed it. Having spent a year in NZ, the All Blacks were my sentimental favorites. But I much prefer American Football. I find the rules of American Football simpler and more "natural". I find American Football more spectacular. Rugby seems like a bizarre sport. The scrum. What the hell is that? And the constant kicking the ball off-side. Boring. I prefer American football. Great kick returns.

One thing I like about rugby: Real tough guys! No padding.
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Old 24.10.2011, 16:25
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

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13 hot muscly guys in shorts

Fixed that for you

The all blacks doing the Haka...
Oh Gata

a) All Blacks are a Rugby Union team
b) Rugby Union has 15 players, not 13
c) However, by your logic - Rugby gives you more 'hot buns' for your money (re:men in tight shorts)

------------------------------

On Topic

"Explaining Rugby League"

In its essence, both codes are well explained with the old saying:
"Rugby Union is a thugs game for gentlemen, and Rugby League is a gentlemens game for thugs"

I have grown up playing both codes at the same time and there are differences, and no, League is NOT just mindlessly running at the opposition (but that is one of the unfortunate strategies)

Personally, I prefer Rugby Union, but I enjoyed playing both codes equally.



A basic Rugby League Strategy divides the field into thirds.

There is an offensive and defensive strategy in each third.... and equally dependent on how many 'plays' are left in the set (of 6).


My advice for next time you watch a game is to watch the use of the wingers and fullbacks in both the defense and early attacks.

League makes more sense when you watch it live where you can see all players at the same time. The close up view on TV doesn't do the game justice.

Attack strategies of the backline are not any different to Rugby Union, however the defense should be more 'circular' (as they cycle the wingers and fullbacks into defense to ease the forwards).

To the eye, it appears quite simple, but to play you need to listen to the wingers, fullback, and the halves.

League is much harder on the body as you are generally an individual running at multiple players who want to kill you. The impact of each hit is harder.

Union is more like 'gang warfare' with an organised approach to the defensive line. However, opperating as a pack makes the game a much bigger 'endurance' sport for the forwards - weight is important, not so much speed.

Being able to 'hold' the ball in a tackle makes the biggest difference, but instigates more "whiteline fever" amongst players to make their own break (as opposed to running away from their support play and risk losing the ball).


Rugby League is more 'mindless' than Union.
The rules are "simplified" and knowing that you will retain possession does make the game more 'crash and tackle'.

Straightline 'crash balls' are to draw the defense in before moving the ball wide through the backline....... or if held on your try line to move a defensive line back to get room to kick the ball further down play.

Most other strategies are not any different to Rugby Union (re: moving the ball across field - but this burns up tackles and wastes your time with possession, hence moving forward and gaining ground makes more sense).



I'll say it again - I prefer Union to watch, I played both and loved playing both equally. League is easier to explain to other people.
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Old 24.10.2011, 17:09
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Re: Rugby League.....would somebody care to explain?

Rugby League used to be a classic part of the British Saturday afternoon TV experience in the late 60s and 70s, somewhere between Football Focus and Final Score. My memory may be playing tricks, but I seem to remember there being a live game most Saturdays. I wonder if that regular, national TV coverage made it more widely known and appreciated as a sport than it is nowadays ?
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