One word: rugby. It’s the most aggressive sport there is and I know this from experience. I played rugby for 2 ½ years here at St. Bonaventure and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. Even though it is a physically demanding and high-intensity sport, if you ask any rugger if they enjoy playing this sport, everyone will most likely say, “I am in love with it.”
Rugby is a well-known sport worldwide, however, some people don’t understand how big it really is. In Europe it is absolutely huge, kind of like how football is here in the United States, but over in Europe and other parts of the world it is even bigger compared to football.
It may be hard to understand at first, but once you get it, it’s like you can’t get enough of it. If I were to explain the game it would probably take me an hour, so think of it this way:
Rugby is like football and soccer combined, however, the rules are different. The one thing that normally throws people off the most is passing backwards. No one understands why, but it helps us gain yardage. You may be thinking, “Why not just throw it like football?” I don’t really have a solid answer to that, but I think of it like so: in football you have one chance to throw the ball each play to get a touchdown. In rugby you can continuously pass the ball down the wing until you get a try or a change in possession.
It’s hard to explain it through words, but this video shows you the gist of it!
Like any sport there is a rugby championship. Football has the Super Bowl, soccer has the World Cup, and rugby has the Rugby World Cup (or RWC), and it happens every four years. This year, it is being held in London, England and I am super jealous because I was just there for the Oxford program this summer and I would have loved to see a match. The first set of matches began on September 12 and will conclude this weekend on October 31.
There were 20 nations that qualified for the World Cup, including teams from the U.S, Australia, New Zealand (my favorite team), and Japan. From there, the teams are placed in their official rugby rankings and then are drawn into a pool. The top 12 nations automatically make it in to the World Cup and the remaining eight are placed based on their ranking from the last World Cup in 2011. Once 20 teams are selected the pooling process begins.
Here teams are randomly drawn and placed in a pool (or section). Officials divide the 20 teams up into four pools with five teams in each. Each team will play every team in their pool once. For example Pool B might have Japan and they would have to play a match with every team. After every game, each team is given points: four points for each game won, zero points if there was a loss, and two points for a tie.
After the pooling process, the teams with the most points continue onto the quarter finals. The pools and picking the teams are the most confusing part, but now it is easier to understand because it looks like a bracket for any sport.
Below is the bracket for the World Cup:
After the points are added together the top two winners form each pool move on.
The finals are this weekend between New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand All Black is no. 1 in the world and they are an amazing team. Australia is also a great team and they are ranked no. 3. This final game will be an extremely good match. So, if you are near a computer or a television try to tune in to watch the final game! It will be playing on October 31, at 12 pm ET.
– Julia Rodriguez