I'm watching this rugby game (match?) from SpikeTV on 9/18 -- National Rugby League Championship Playoffs, Eels vs. Titans. I don't know diddly about rugby, but I think I'm catching on to the rudimentary basics for the most part. You've got to give the ball away after 5 tackles. Offsides similar to soccer. After you get tackled, you nudge the ball backwards to your buddy. (I'm guessing there are formal rules around this, but that's the general convention.) And dragging the guy with the ball to the ground is good. (Well, good for the defence.)
What I'm trying to figure out is what's illegal. They've called several penalties, & I'm not getting the hang of what was any different about those tackles, as opposed to any of the rest of the tackles that were legal. Clarification please, anybody?
There's another little thing -- that is just darling -- that's got to be a conventional nod to a rule. After an out of bounds on the sideline, they were putting the ball back in play. Somebody rolls it in, one guy picks it up & tosses it back to a teammate. Teammate then quite deliberately touches the ball to his foot, before tossing it back along to the next teammate. What's up with that?
Hi Emma, The game you were watching was Rugby League (as opposed to Rugby Union which is more complex and technical).
Some of the infringements leading to a penalty. This can depend on what the NRL is hot on at the time and can get overly technical, but: Inside the 10 - after a tackle, all except 2 of the defending team must retire 10 meters for the next play.
High Tackle - Shoulders is OK, head and neck is not. If the tackler's arm hits something else first and bounces high, you often get away with it.
Swinging Arm - an extension of the above - WWE style clotheslines are banned
Lifting Tackle - This rule is in response to wiping out the 'spear tackles' of yesteryear. Essentially a tackler would put his arm between the attacking players legs and lift him as if going for a body slam, but would rather drive him head first into the turf. Obviously this was pretty dangerous so the rule was introduced that if a player is lifted past the horizontal, then it is a dangerous tackle. Essentially as soon as a players feet are above his head in a tackle = penalty.
Too long in the tackle - If the referee deems the tackling players are taking too long to get off the ball player after a tackle, he will blow a penalty - this is probably your most common. Every now and again you will hear the referee yell Submission or Dominant tackle during a tackle, this essentially means that he is rewarding the tackling team and they will get a bit longer to get off him. Basically, slowing the next play helps the defence.
Grapple tackle - this was introduced last year after the competition winners the year before used this tactic successfully. They would tackle a bloke to the ground and then put him in a headlock to roll him onto his back, thus slowing the play of the ball. Doing this now will cause a penalty, and most likely a suspension.
Markers not square - After a tackle, 2 blokes guard the tackle position. They are supposed to face directly line to line, and be one behind the other. This is a pretty technical one.
Obstruction - Attacking players without the ball are not allowed to Shepperd or obstruct the defending players from getting at the ball carrier. Usually happens when the attacking player runs behind one of his team-mates
Kicking out on the full from a restart - This happened on one of the games on the weekend, but I can't recall which. Kickoff from the centre carried over the end of the field. Penalty against the kicking side.
Tackle in the air - If a bloke has jumped off the ground to take the ball (such as from a kick) you can't tackle him until he is back on the ground. This is a safety type rule. Bumping is OK.
I think this is a penalty, but attacking players need to be behind the kicker in order to play at the kicked ball. Otherwise they must stay 10 meters away from the ball until the kicker puts them onside by running in front of them.
A forward pass and knock on (fumble) don't lead to penalties, just a scrum with the defending side getting to feed the scrum (essentially leads to possession 99% of the time in league).
The main penalties you see are for inside the 10, slow getting up and high shots.
I'm not 100% on this, but I think the restart from touch (out of bounds is called touch) is technically a short free kick. Some kickoffs like the restarts from the centre or under the posts have to travel a minimum of 10 or 20 meters. The short free kick has no such restriction, so technically, the guy is kicking it to himself to start play. Someone might correct me on this one though.
Big G -- thank you!! That was excellent, exactly what I was looking for, & I think you covered all the penalties in the game I saw!
Yeah, the "Kicking out on the full from a restart" was in the game I watched. I actually quite enjoyed the game, even though the result was a bit of a rout. I suppose I have to be an Eels fan from now on. I have the Tivo set up for whatever game they're showing us next Friday.