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Terminology

ラグビー特集

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12 Rugby Terms

Ruck

A ruck is like a mini scrum that forms after a player is tackled. The player falls to the ground but places the ball behind him. His teammates stand over it to stop opposing players from picking it up. Then they ruck the ball back with their feet.

Knock-on

If you knock the ball forward, you lose possession. You might not catch a pass properly, or you might fumble when trying to catch a high ball. This happens a lot, especially in rainy matches. Nothing is worse than when a brilliant back line move fails because of a knock-on.

Line out

A set play. When the ball goes over the sideline, the opposing team gets to throw the ball back in a line out. The teams make two lines facing the thrower, who must throw the ball straight down the middle between the lines. Players jump for the ball.

Kick for goal or position

In some situations, like winning a penalty, you can kick for goal or position. Your best kicker lays the ball on the grass and is free to kick without interference. A successful kick for goal is 3 points. A successful kick for position can send you deep into opposition territory.

High tackle

Any tackle above shoulder height. These are dangerous because tackles on the head or neck can seriously injure a player. Other kinds of dangerous tackles include any kind of ramming, because you must try to grab the player with your arms.

Advantage

The referee can call “advantage” when a team breaks a rule but the other team gets the ball anyway. For example, a player knocks the ball on and the other side picks it up. The referee calls advantage and play doesn’t stop. Advantage helps the game move faster.

Dummy pass

This is a trick move where you pretend to pass the ball to your teammate but instead keep hold of it. The aim is to fool an opposing player to move in the wrong direction and leave a hole in their defensive line. This crowd-pleaser can fool even the best players.

Up and under

Kicking the ball high into the air. This gives the best catchers on both teams plenty of time to run under the ball and compete to catch it. Up and unders often end in knockons. Some teams rely on this strategy heavily — perhaps too much. Also called a “bomb.”

Spear tackle

When tackling, you grab a player around their waist and bring them down. If you do it hard enough, they will drop the ball. Lifting them up and then throwing them down is a spear tackle and dangerous. You can be sent off for it.

Sin bin

If you break a serious rule, the referee may show you a yellow card and send you to the sin bin. You stay there for 10 minutes. You can’t talk to anyone on your team, including your coach. In the meantime, your team is a player short.

Shielding

If your teammate has the ball and you see someone moving to tackle them, you can block the tackle by putting your body in the way. While this move is common in American football, in rugby it is illegal.

Grubber kick

Kicking the ball fast and low to the ground. Like up and unders, grubber kicks introduce a bit of unpredictability — in this case because of the unpredictable way the ball bounces. Grubbers into

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