After much rugby-playing in school
, I feel I should pass on my knowledge
of how to survive rugby
to the next generation
The first trick is: Be able to run fast. Not amazingly fast (although this helps) but just fast enough to outrun the less fit half of the class.
Next thing to be sure of is: Have no knowledge of the rules. Hopefully, this will qualify you for the less fit game if there are several. This is where running will come into it’s own.
Next thing to remember is for the first fifteen or twenty minutes, try to stay back and defend the try line. If anyone from the other side comes within a third of the pitch of you, run towards them and try to grab their shirt. Do not let go. Pull on their shirt, then apply all the weight you can to their upper body. Now push, trip and shake until they fall down. If this happens, grab the ball, run a little way down the pitch and pass it off to someone else.
Now, in the later half of the lesson, people will be tired. Hopefully, you will not be, on account of you not doing anything but defending. Now, come forward and get the ball. Tell team members to pass to you if you want.
When you have the ball, you have to take stock of the situation. If the other people are tired, they will not move around much. Look at the people on the other teams and run for the largest gap between people you can see. Try to avoid the edges of the field, where you can get forced out easily.
When you have chosen your point of attack, run towards the line of opposing players. Some will probably move to stop you. This is where you need to push the attack; If anyone gets near you, make some effort to dodge. You don’t have to be right away from them, but don’t run directly into them. Now put your strong hand out flat, and strike it into their upper chest. You won’t knock them right over, but hopefully you’ll push them away. Once you are past them, run as fast as you like towards the line; they’ll be too tired to follow. If your push with the hand doesn’t work, throw the ball to the nearest person on your team. Now you need to commit yourself to the attack; Drive as hard as you can into the person in your way. Grab them in a bear-hug type manoeuvre, then stop trying to hold up your own bodyweight. Your aim now is to drag them to the ground.
In summary, wait until people are tired, then try to run through the defenders’ lines without too much contact.
If you find yourself in One Big Group with all the big, macho fit people, you need a new tactic: Ignore the rules, and deny all knowledge of them.
Find the fittest people in your group, and if you get the ball, pass it off to them.
If someone from the other team has the ball, try to grab onto them and not let go, trying to pull them over. If you’re near an edge of the pitch, try to push/pull them over it. If they get past you, you can chase them if you think you can catch them. If not, you may as well stay around and safe.
If the person past your defences is, in your estimation, not likely to make it all the way to the line, look for any strong people from the other team running to reinforce them. They won’t be expecting it, so tackle them. It isn’t very fair, but if that’s a problem, don’t do it. Nobody gets hurt (much) so I don’t find it’s too much of a problem.
The next suggestion is for if someone from your team has the ball. Run along, a bit behind them in case they need to pass to you. If someone runs to tackle them, run forward and tackle the tackler. This is against the rules, but no-one much cares, if you make yourself a reputation for violence and feign ignorance of the rules.
That’s about all you need to know. One more thing: Before entering physical contact with anyone, shout a loud Aaaarrrr!!! Not only will this confuse the person and help your reputation as a violent madman who will tackle anyone, but it also forces you to breathe, which is useful.