Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Friday, May 28, 2010

So - what's this Rugby League, then?

Things looking pretty good for our getting a team together for at least one of the first two festivals - and maybe some of the others too - so its maybe worth looking at what this version of rugby is like, or more to the point what the main differences are... 'cause there are a few...

First - the obvious, and maybe cosmetic, ones. League is 13-a-side - no flankers, essentially - and, for some reason, the players are numbered in reverse (1 is the full back, while the scrum numbers from 8 to 13). Most positions have roughly the same names - except our "No. 8" becomes League's "lock". You also only get four points for a try, two for a penalty (or a conversion), and one for a drop goal.

Other than that...

There aren't any. Replaced with a scrum, 20m in from the line.

Uncontested, five-player affairs. The team given "head and feed" always wins - and most of the time the ball seems to be fed straight to the second row!

There aren't any. Apart from one-on-one tackles, you cannot steal the ball from the ball carrier. If more than one defender tackles an attacker and takes the ball then that is a penalty!

There aren't any (well, not as we know them). If an attacker is tackled to the ground, or just held so they cannot go forward, then that is a tackle and play stops for a "play the ball", which you will all recognise from playing Touch. However, the area where the "play the ball" is happening is (confusingly) called a ruck.

The same, but obviously you do not release the ball after a tackle - and after six tackles you hand over the ball to the other team. You cannot deliberately "go to ground" in League, but you can shoulder charge an opponent - barge them over, in effect. You can also use your legs to bring someone down once you have grabbed hold of them. If you are tackled near the line you cannot reach forward and put the ball down - this is a "double movement".

Other oddities

  • The markings on the pitch (right) are very different - more like American Football
  • You can throw the ball into touch
  • If a player is fouled as they score, they get two kicks at goal - one for the conversion followed by another for the penalty (an "eight point try")

Those seem to be the major rule differences, but overall the key difference is that in Union territory - where you are on the field - is the key, while League is all about possession - gaining as much ground as you can while having he ball, and restricting any gains the opposition may make while defending. In Union you can almost always compete for possession - in League you generally cannot. Obviously there will be quite a few tactical differences as a result - for example, from a restart the kicking team will  normally try to kick the ball as long down the field as possible.

So... that is what you will be getting yourself in to...

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