The energy was amazing, drinking was plenty, and the stands were full despite the drizzly weather. We watched the first half from the stands.
And the second from behind the try line. I much rather prefer the second view as the players were scoring only a few feet in front of us. You can actually see how physically demanding this game is when you're that close. By the end I finally grasped the basics by asking way too many questions.
It would take too long to explain what everything is called or how it's done, but basically:
- The game starts on a coin toss in the tunnel, then whoever wins gets to pick who gets to receive the ball first.
- Then the opposite guys have x amount of tackles to get the ball back.
- Kicking forward is allowed, as in throwing backwards.
- You cannot tackle anyone unless they have the ball. If the ball goes forward it automatically goes to the opposite team.
- Penalties get solved by either a scrum (guys all hundded together pushing the other teams guys) or a line out (one guy from each team gets picked up to try and catch the ball).
- The referee is king and if a player gets hurt, unless is on the verge of a concussion, he usually continues to play.