Ever since I began playing rugby for the Under 7 tag team, at Richmond Rugby Club, I have been passionate about both playing and watching the sport. I have continued to play at this club, and am now playing in the Under 16 Surrey League. From the first age group, our team has improved hugely each year until U12, when we won the ‘Surrey A’ festival, along with four other tournaments, and the following year, in which we won the league, in an unbeaten season.
In the past three seasons, partly due to a large number of boys leaving the club to go to boarding schools, our team has slightly weakened, so has given us a great challenge, to try and reach the top once again. Along with these club sessions, each Sunday, I have also played rugby throughout every year at my current school, Kings’ College Wimbledon, and my last school Kings’ House, all the time, playing in the ‘A’ team, and the 1sts in the top year of the latter. These teams have gained extremely high results throughout, and in U10 and 11 years, were captained by me.
In the 1st team, we reached the semi-final of the national school competition, only to lose to the joint winners by just one try. During this year, I was also the captain of the sevens team, which was entered in various competitions, two of which we won. In my past two seasons, I have been playing in a very high quality team, losing to just one opposition in each of the years. There are main reason why I have chosen rugby, is because it by far and away, my favourite sport. This is down to numerous reasons, one of which being the pure joy you get from winning and the satisfaction that comes with it.
This is the goal though, to win, and everything that must be done to achieve it is also a huge factor in the enjoyment of the sport. It all stems originally from the teamwork of the fifteen of you, and the comradeship amongst the team. This forms an extremely tight group of friends, who will work together on everything, both on the pitch were it is completely necessary, and off the pitch. I believe that rugby is also the greatest team sport, and requires chemistry and fluency among players, and needs everyone in the team to be as good as each other.
It is not just the spirit within your own team that makes the game so enjoyable, but there is almost feeling of a rugby community; players can be as brutal as they like to each other on the pitch, but after the final whistle, players are generally friendly and sociable. Another main reason is the freedom during the game; in almost all other sports, however frustrated, angry, or desperate you are to win, you simply cannot use those feelings to your advantage.
In rugby however, the game is highly physical, and can be largely down to strength and determination, which allows you to flood your anger into the game, in places such as tackles or rucks. This is vital in winning big games, and will greatly further the sense of achievement, after a win. In rugby I play scrum-half, which I believe to be a key role throughout the game. In this position, I create the link between the forwards and the backs, from any scenario in the game, such as a scrum, line-out, or a breakdown.
At each of these places, I can perform a variety of action which involve a simple pass to the backs, which must be fast and accurate in order to give them the time and space to operate different moves, keeping the ball amongst the forwards, by them picking and going, making a run myself if the fringe defence is weak, or putting a box kick in behind the defence. Each one would only be made after I have scanned the defense, and determined any weaknesses, that I help the team exploit.
Also at scrum-half, you can generally control the pace of the game, whether you think it to be better to try and get quick ball out to the backs, where they can beat an off-guard defense, or to keep the game moving slow and steady, in order to gain control of the game. Skills and Responsibilities Passing To me, the most important part of the scrum-half’s game is their passing. It is vital throughout a match, and needs to be almost perfect every time. It is the quality of the scrum-half’s pass which will determine which of the varying options the backs, the fly-half in particular, will take.
If it is accurate and very fast from the ground for example, it will give the backs the ability and time to perform a desired move, or a less pressured kick, before the defensive line have time to close them down. If the pass is bad though, or the scrum-half has taken time to make the pass, the fly-half’s options would be greatly reduced, due to the space being cut down by the defence, and would be likely to result in lost ground. Kicking Kicking is also a key role for a scrum-half, and knowing when to use one.
It can be used by the scrum half to huge effect, especially in attacking play, if there is no-one covering behind a ruck. In this situation, a small rolling kick for the winger to chase would catch the defence, who would be pressurising the fly-half, off guard, and could result in an easy finish of the chaser. In a defensive scenario, a scrum-half could also relieve pressure from the regular kicker, and take it on himself to clear the lines. This can be done by either putting in a high box kick, with a strong chase, to be able to compete for the ball, or long one into space, just to keep the ball out of the half.