An Idiots Guide to Rugby Positions and Terminology
Front Row: Without a doubt the manliest men on the pitch. Large, often hairy, beer swilling carnivores that can and will smash anything in their path. Reveling in the violence inherent in the scrum, they are rarely considered "nice" people, and in fact to some they aren`t even considered humans at all. Front rowers tolerate this attitude far and wide because they recognize their role at the top of the food chain and are used to suffering the fools that surround them. Accused by some of simply being dumb, I prefer to think of this group as "open to unconventional ways of thinking."
Locks: Slightly below the front row on the food chain. As with front row players it is inadvisable to put an appendage you wish to keep near this group`s maw when they are in the feeding mode. This group of large, often foul-smelling brutes is also more than willing to relish the finer points of stomping on a fallen opponent`s body and will gleefully recount the tale ad infinitum. While they tend to take the tag "Powerhouse of the Scrum" a little too seriously, they can be useful if inured with the proper hatred of their fellow man. While members of this proud fraternity like to think of themselves as "open to unconventional ways of thinking"- they are usually just dumb.
Back Row: These are fine, fit fellows who, like a bunch of hermaphrodites, are confused as to what their role in life should be. While they know they are undeniably linked to the forwards, there are those among them who long for the perfect hair and long flowing gowns that come with being a back. Some relish the forward role and will do anything to win the ball and there are others within this group that will break the prime directive of the forward and do anything to prance foolishly with the ball. Generally, these guys are not all bad, but I, personally, have to wonder about any forward who brings a hairbrush and a change of clothes to a game.
Scrum Half: Some like to think of this back as an honorary forward. I myself tend to think of the No. 9 as half a fairy. While the toughest back almost always fills this position, this idea is almost laughable - kind of like the hottest fat chick. The scrum half`s presence is tolerated by the forwards because they know that he will spin the ball to the rest of the girls in the backline who will inevitably knock the ball on and allow them the pleasure of another scrum. The No. 9 can take pride in the fact that he is the lowest numbered back and that as such he can be considered almost worthwhile.
Fly Half: His primary role is the leader of the backs - a dubious honor at best. Main responsibilities as far as I can tell are ability to throw the ball over people`s heads and to provide something soft for opposing back rowers to land on. Expected to direct the prancing of the rest of the backline - the fly half, like any good Broadway choreographer, is usually light on his feet. While some may argue that these girls must be protected, I find it hard to support anyone whose foot touches a rugby ball on purpose.
Centers: Usually come in two varieties: hard chargers or flitting fairies. The hard charger is the one to acquire, as he will announce his presence in a game with the authority rarely found above No. 8. The flitting fairy is regrettably more common and will usually attempt to avoid contact at all costs. The flitting fairy is also only one good smack away from bursting into tears and leaving the pitch to cry on the shoulder of his inevitable girlfriend. Both types will have extensive collections of hair care products in their kit bags and will be among the best dressed at the post-game festivities.
Back 3: While some people refer to this group as two wingers and a fullback, I swear to God I can`t make out any difference between them. They are all bleeping bleeps if you ask me. How these three guys can play 90 minutes of RUGBY and stay clean and sweat free is beyond me. I know for a fact that their jerseys sometimes go back in the bag cleaner than when they came out. These ladies are fond of sayings like "Speed Kills" and "Wheels Win" - how cute. Well, I have a saying too: it`s "You`re a bleeping bleep!!" These guys will be easy to spot after the game because they are the finely coifed, sweater wearin`, wine sippin`, sweet-talkers in the corner avoiding the beer swilling curs at the bar. On the whole, I really don`t mind this group because in the end, they sure are purty to look at.
More Rugby Positions
A complete unbiased look at the different rugby positions:
The Pack: Eight handsome burly guys whom you`d want to marry your daughter. They are intelligent, elegant, sensitive and sweet. Truly the ideal men.
The Backs: Seven guys who will take advantage of your womenfolk, and all tubular household objects. Often dine on quiche, brie and wine. Regularly take blow dryers on road trips and wear bikini underpants.
Prop: Short but stout, these strapping men support the hooker, but no money ever changes hands and the act is never specifically named.
Hooker: Often identified by a balding spot atop the head, these vertically-challenged but talented men stand between the two props and secure the ball for their team during scrummages.
Second Row: These tall powerful men are the driving engines not only of the scrum, but of the entire game. They can be found working their magic from deep in the scrum, behind the front row, or lofting high above the line outs pulling balls from the air.
The Back Row: Usually the most handsome and intelligent, these three men of stamina and strength are often considered the Renaissance men of the rugby field. They not only control ball, but the entire pitch. Remember, the back row defines the whole team`s style of play. "They are the game."
Scrum Half: The point guard of the rugby team, the scrumhalf distributes the ball, runs hits and kicks. The scrumhalf is only half as handsome and burly as the pack members.
Fly Half: The first of those back guys, and the first of the offensive chain. Often confused with an insect, may be referred to as the man with "the foot."
Centers: Another pair of those back guys. Either power runner or annoying scampering guy usually found in the opposite order, but whose only purpose is to get the ball to the wing.
Wings: Ideally the fastest men on the team. Their job is to "score with the ball," but they often confuse it with "get tackled with the ball." Aslo an excellent snack when smothered in hot sauce and deep fried.
Fullback: The last line of defense. A back even the pack can appreciate, often viewed as a back row in the larval stage.
Idiot`s Guide To Rugby Terminology
One refs don`t play enough. He allows play to continue after a foul if stopping would disadvantage the non-offending team.
Spectacular when they work, but in reality a last-ditch effort by an out-paced player to tackle an opponent by diving and slapping his ankle.
Play one badly and you`ll be in tears. In polite terms, it`s a kick where it really hurts.
Not your alter-ego after too many beers, but the playing area nearest the touchline and next to a scrum, maul or ruck. Domain of loose forwards and scrumhalf.
Move over Elephant Man. A deformity of the ear caused by repeated blows and rubbing of the head in a scrum, particularly in the second row. Also rugby parlance for selective hearing by your rugby mates.
A defender faced with a marauding charge by rampaging forwards manages to stop his knees from shaking long enough to boot the ball as far as he can into touch.
No, not a bad pass that`s wildly astray. Rather, it`s a feigned pass to deceive the opponent on defence.
Good pass for settling scores with a team-mate you don`t like. Ball lands into the hands of you mate in imminent proximity of a direct hit.
No act of affection. Unless you are Irish. Commonly known as a Head Butt.
Struggle among players for ball that has not touched the ground.
Contrary to other drug laden sports, another word for the ball
Like a maul, but ball is on the ground and heeled back into possession by players. Despite the rules, it`s not alway the ball that gets heeled back either.
Where the oxen of rugby love to be. A way of restarting play after an infringement. The eight forwards from each team pack down in tight formation and the ball is served into the tunnel and heeled back for possession.
Blink and you won`t see it. That`s the idea from the player of the team awarded the penalty who takes it. The kick is barely nudged forward before it`s caught and either passed, kicked, or moved on the run.
Up and Under
A punt kick by a player on the attacking side where the ball is sent high into the sky over their opponent`s head. This gives teammates time to, at least, scare the living daylights out of defenders as they charge down on the ball. Commonly called a Garryowen.
Borrowed from The Australian Oct 99