A title like the preceding should give you a clear indication what you can look forward to reading about in this piece – rugby and the Liverpool Buccaneers. Essentially, everything you’ll find on our website will have something to do with one or the other, or both, so it seems fitting to make this bit of content something which incorporates both aspects of the website. First, we’ll give a refresher on rugby and the game’s basic mechanics as well as some finer elements of play, so even veterans might learn something. Then you can read up about our history, like where we come from and where we’re going.
Well, what exactly is rugby? That seems like as good a place to start as any. It’s kind of an older sport, though there are many which have around for far longer. Originating at the Rugby School in Warwickshire, it was a popular version of football even back in the 1800s. There are two different ways to play the game, too. You’ve got your Union and your League styles of play and while the objective is the same – to score – there are some differences in rules between the games, differences which have an effect on scoring and other aspects of gameplay.
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Before we get started talking about rugby tactics, it’s important to note that there are different sets of tactics for the two different ways to play the game. Union mode, where possession is open to contest and aggressive attacking is encouraged, is much closer to the original spirit of rugby than League mode, which features a sort of tackles (or downs, if you prefer) system where the ball is turned over only after a number of tackles – 6 in this case. We’ll spend a little time talking about good tactics to use when playing both types of rugby, so fans of either variant won’t feel left out.
Since the Liverpool Buccaneers play using the League rugby format, we’ll begin with tips for that style of play. Because the defense can force a turnover on tackles, it is important to maintain a strong line of front defenders as well as adequate spacing throughout your team’s side of the field. This is rather a general tactic and good for both kinds of rugby, but in League play where no rucks or mauls are allowed to occur, adequate man to man coverage is even more important. Since the ball can’t be taken forcibly, it is often better to focus on a wider defense rather than attacking certain players or field areas.
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Sometimes we are reminded just how helpless we are in the fact of the Earth’s natural forces. Take darkness, for example. During a recent evening game the lighting system illuminating our field quit on us, interrupting everything. There are few things more dangerous than trying to play rugby blind, but it would have been akin to driving, jogging or operating heavy machinery while wearing a blindfold. Thankfully, there happened to be a construction man among our fans that night and we were able to get the game up and going again, but it didn’t happen automatically. There was much time involved.
It didn’t help that we were playing in the rain either. When the man brought his tractor full of equipment onto the field it got stuck more than once in the turf and the water, but it didn’t stop us in the end. He brought several massive LED working lights along with him as well, and these were actually perfect for providing the lighting we needed along the length of the field. Apparently he used them for night construction projects and I believe it too, considering how bright they made the inside of the stadium where we were playing.
With the lights back and everyone eager to resume playing rugby, we got that generous fellow clear of the field and got back to playing the game we all love. Now maybe it was something about the display of fandom from one of our local Buccaneers lovers or maybe it was the fact we had a good amount of downtime for our opponents to cramp up and start to hurt, we definitely did better after that lengthy break. It’s not that the downtime didn’t have a negative effect on us as well, but perhaps the friendly light had more of a positive effect for us than them, considering the source.
That really was a great game. But getting back to that thing I mentioned before about natural forces, we were all a little humbled by what happened that day. It would have been impossible to continue playing without that helpful fan and it’s great that he showed up to our game. Consider though that there was a time when there was no such artificial lighting. The game would have simply ended, and I’m sure we would have had many unhappy fans as well as players, all mad that the game had been cut short. How would you even judge the winner of such a game fairly? It’s baffling.
With another win under our belts, we’re in good spirits while we wait to take to the field once again. This whole situation reminded me of something else I feel like I should mention though. Just like sports fans need players and games to cheer on and root for or against, players need fans to keep them playing the game. Some of them do, at least. The startling fact is that sometimes, we need them for us to even play the game at all.