What are my qualifications for writing this blog you may ask
Well, I can spell Rugby, and I’m a girl
- I once, briefly, coached a rugby team of 7 or 8 year-old boys
- My husband coached a team ( Shirley Club)
- Buck Shelford is my by marriage cousie-bro (for the curious; his grandfather and my mother-in-law were twins)
- I am a one-eyed Cantabrian and an All Blacks supporter
- My younger son played for Shirley, and Canterbury in the lowest grade (before a major motor-bike accident)
- I opposed the Springboks playing in NZ and was even arrested in 1981 for protesting
- I’m opinionated and love fun – and these are my best qualifications to write this blog
How to pick the best team to follow
If you don’t have a particular local team to follow during the world cup colours are a great way to choose one.
Find the team whose colours suit YOU best and become their fan. If black makes YOU look cute, follow the All Blacks. If green and gold are your favourite colours well it’s the Australian team for you as that’s their sporting strip. There are many stripes of red, blue and white.
When the forwards get into a huddle to fight for the ball the technical term is a scrum. Sometimes the “other team” behave badly when in this pack, (cluster or huddle) and have to be sent to the sin-bin.
Learn history: NZ Rugby started in Nelson – it originated in the mid-1800s, in the UK, when some cheeky bloke called William Web-Ellis picked up the ‘foot’ ball and ran with it: or so I believe!
For your information: touch judges never touch anyone, and hookers are not REAL hookers – they are very import in the scrum as it’s their job to ‘hook the ball’ away for the ‘other’ team. When they do that they become happy-hookers, although this is not an official rugby term.
Use Numerology Pick the player to support and follow by his number ( which as you know equates to his position on the field) For me that would be an easy choice, as my local team, (Canterbury/Crusaders ) and the All Blacks #7 is the world’s #1 (Richie McCaw )
Learn the rules and rugby-speak. That will amaze the boys (and other girls too I guess) then pick a team (or player) and support them totally: remember they can do no wrong! A sign at the Christchurch Central library – ‘books with balls’ – Well, rugby is a game with balls! The commentators often make (inadvertently) funny comments when talking about balls and you can too.
Crouch, touch, pause, engage. This is a rugby term used when the forwards get into a huddle to fight for the ball. It can be used as a timing strategy in many situations that need a few seconds countdown. A friend uses it daily in her to get in and out of her apartment
The three biggest men are put in the front row of the scrum, and the next two biggest get behind (they call these men ‘the tight five’ because they hang onto each other tightly) them and try to push the other team backwards. In the ‘olden days’ supporters would call out ‘weight weight’ meaning put more weight into the big shove. My mother embarrassed me by saying “No, don’t wait.’ She needed a guide like this!
The ‘backs’ have mathematical terms for some position names – for someone lousy at figures it is not strange that my teenage love played as ‘fullback’ or #15 rather than one of the five-eights. Other names such as ‘centre’ #13 and ‘wing’ (11 & 14) are self-explanatory
The ‘tight-five’ is a dangerous place to be especially for ears. Many people don’t like cauliflower, and no-one wants their ears to be called that but many front-rowers have them because of repeated hits to the ear. Once this happens, the person’s ear may look lumpy forever. Some wise players try to prevent this by wearing headgear.
Read rugby history … this link is about the 50 greatest All Blacks … knowing this will impress your rugby-head mates