Rugby Six Nations is set to kick off soon and we’re looking forward to seeing all the action kick by kick, tackle by tackle and scrum by scrum on our 70 inch screens. However, it has come to our attention that some of our regulars (we’ll name no names, but you know who you are) are oblivious to the nuances of this beautiful game so we thought we’d take the time to explain some of the finer points to help enhance your enjoyment of matches.
The Bowgie Guide to Six Nations
It’s called Six Nations because not surprisingly it is a tournament between six nations: England, France Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
The Game consists of two 40-minute halves. That means it's shorter than football which has to be a bonus!
Each side consists of 15 players divided into eight forwards and seven backs. That means 30 strapping young men in shorts on the pitch at any one time.
To win, you need to score the most points and there are several ways to do this:
- Try. A try is worth five points and is scored when a player places the ball on the ground with downward pressure in the in-goal area between the try line and the dead ball line of the oppositions half.
- Conversion. If a team scores a try, they have the opportunity to convert it for two further points by kicking the ball between the posts above the crossbar. The kick is taken from where the try was scored.
- Penalty kick. If a side commits an offence, a penalty is awarded to the opposition and they can take a kick at the goal where the offence occured. If scored, it’s worth three points.
- Drop Goal. This is scored when a player kicks the ball from hand through the oppositions goal. The ball must touch the ground between being dropped and kicked. It’s worth 3 points.
When the ball is passed in rugby, it must always travel backwards. Once that becomes clear, the whole game starts to make much more sense.
The tackles are the best bit. As long as there are no punches, gouges, stamps or kicks to another player pretty much anything goes (except grabbing someone around the neck or tipping them upside down)
Sometimes they do scrums. This is when the eight forwards from each team bind together and push each other. Each side is trying to make it difficult for the opponents hooker (not a lady of the night) to get the ball. These look like fun and we suggest shouts of 'go on my son' and 'get in there' throughout the duration of a scrum.
Then there are some other complicated bits and pieces like offside, loose play etc which we won’t bother explaining as you probably won’t read it anyway!?
We hoped that’s helped. If not, you can still enjoy watching a field-full of muscly men with thighs of steel on 70 inch screens right here at The Bowgie Inn, Crantock….who cares if you don’t understand what’s going on?!