An aggressive and barbaric fight or an organized meeting between disciplined athletes? Rugby is somewhere in between these two definitions. The better you know the sport, the more you can enjoy it. Therefore, pay attention to these four things when you visit a rugby match. The sport will entertain you more than ever.
A full contact team sport with hard tackles, lots of action and a physical fight. Rugby is a spectacle to watch. As you start to watch rugby, you will be impressed by the physical elements and the dynamics of the game. Perhaps a bit reckless and dangerous at first glance, but if you look more close, you see a true tactical spectacle. Those who know the rules and the techniques will read a match as a combination of strategy, control and skills.
Every player has his own qualities and role in the bigger picture of the team. The strong forwards fight for the ball in the front line, for example during scrums and lineouts. The backs are used for their speed, which they use to create chances for their team or prevent danger from the opponent.
Through good organization and coordination, the players come to a plan together. For eighty minutes, two teams of fifteen players fight against each other to determine who is the strongest. With multiple ways to score points, the game is diverse and entertaining. You can score by kicking the ball or by breaking through the defense and grounding the ball behind the goal line. A lot of action! As a viewer you will not lose your attention.
The teams on the field compete as if their lives depended on it, but there is no real hostility. Respect for your opponent is of huge importance in rugby. Teams face each other during the match, but afterwards they make a guard of honor for the opponent to thank them for the nice meeting.
Supporters of different clubs sit side by side in the stands without any problems. They cheer when their team scores and make jokes at the opposing team. Only because this happens with a lot of mutual respect, they can accept the teasing from each other. It even happens that fans of a team applaud when their opponent shows great play. A nice signal from one group of rugby fans to another.
One last good example of the friendly atmosphere in rugby is the respect for the referee. Aggression or insults towards the referee will not be accepted. Disrespect against him will be punished during the match, for example with a penalty or sending a player of the field. Other sports can take an example of that!
The rugby we see today has a long history. To discover the roots of rugby, we have to go back in time, to the 19th century in England. From the Middle Ages there was plenty of football in England, but a schoolboy in the town of Rugby, in the middle of the country, thought it would be more fun to use his hands. And so it happened that in 1823, William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a school football game and started running. The sport of rugby was born.
Today, rugby is a global sport, played by more than six million people. Since 1987, the best players in the world play against each other in the Rugby World Cup, which is held every four years. New Zealand and South Africa have won the most titles; both three. Since 1995 there have been professional players in major rugby countries such as Australia, England, France, New Zealand, Canada, Papua New Guinea and Wales.
A famous and respected annual rugby tournament is the Six Nations. This league started in 1883 as the Home Nations with four participants: England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Later France and Italy were added. The tournament has had several winners in recent years. It remains exciting, because teams get the chance to take revenge every year and keep challenging one another.
The six best teams in Europe play each other in all participating countries. They visit the most beautiful stadium: from Stade France in Paris and Stadio Olimpico in Rome to Twickenham Stadium, “the home of rugby” in London. The game is of a high level and the supporters create a passionate, but respectful atmosphere, as it should be in rugby. For every fan, new or experienced, the Six Nations is an event for on your bucketlist.
Whether you want to visit a rugby match for the first time, or have already been a hundred times; the Six Nations is an event you want to experience! The passion, the drama, the violence, the emotions and the brotherhood of rugby are shown here on the pitch and stands. P1 Travel gives you the opportunity to be there. View our rugby tickets and hospitality packages here.