Rugby is physical but there is little complaining …
“Football is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans. Rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.”Oscar Wilde
Someone who has not yet studied rugby will probably shake his head at this quote. But if you take a closer look at the game, you begin to understand what is meant. For one thing, it’s about the background of most rugby players. It is a typical college sport, so in fact a large proportion of the players have a university education.
I must confess, my love of rugby has been awakened since I watched the Six Nations, which is a kind of annual European championship of the six best European teams, in an Irish pub in Mauritius.
The rugby rules also seemed very complicated to me at first, but once you get to grips with them a bit, it works.
Rugby in my Captain Pieter Strauss novels
So I quickly decided to let my “Captain Pieter Strauss” play rugby.
Because rugby is important in South Africa. It is a national sport and the games of the “Springboks”, as the national team is affectionately called, are real street sweepers and the players national heroes. The rugby played in my forthcoming crime novel is the rugby union’s version of so-called fifteen-a-side rugby, where a team consists of fifteen players.
Rugby is a game with many rules
The rules of rugby seem complicated at first sight and the game seems brutal when viewed superficially. However, when you look into it more closely, you realise that it is different. There are very precise rules that, for example, prevent a player from being brought down in a dangerous way by the opponent. Even the restarting of play after a foul through the so-called scrum is done according to a precise choreography that is supposed to ensure that serious injuries do not occur.
No complaining to the referee
The referee plays the decisive role in this process and his word is absolute law. There are no discussions with the referee on the pitch and the referee almost always only talks to the respective team captain.
It is also always noticeable when you follow big tournaments how relaxed the fans of the teams are with each other. There is no need to form blocks to separate them. The fans stand next to each other and if the opponent manages a good action, it is also honoured.
This article gives a good idea of rugby and the most important rules:
For those who want to dig a little deeper into the rules of the Rugby Union, or fifteens rugby, this Wikipedia article is a good place to start.
Maybe one or the other of you will want to take a closer look at this sport. Maybe by reading my new South African crime novel …