The objective of rugby is the same as in American Football: to advance the ball into the oppositions end zone, called the try zone. While a player scores a touchdown in American Football when he reaches the end zone, in rugby the player has to touch the ball down in the try zone to be awarded a try.
Similar to American Football, a team advances the ball by running the ball up the field and the opposition attempts to stop the advance by tackling the player with the ball. Passing the ball forward is not allowed in rugby. A forward pass, or even a ball dropped forward, results in a turnover and the opposition is awarded a scrum (see below). Much of the game of rugby is aimed at passing the ball backwards until a player has open space to advance the ball in to the opposition tryzone either untouched, or in a one-on-one situation so that player can break the tackle and score.
Blocking is not allowed in rugby!!!
Teams continually try to advance the ball up the field, usually with multiple rucks happening, until they breakthrough for a try, or an infraction is committed.
Rugby may seem a bit complicated, but in the end, all it takes to enjoy the game is time. Be patcient and you’ll pick up on it, it’s very similar to enjoying a football game. There will be great tackles as well as beautiful tries scored through wonderful teamwork, passing, and aggressive running.
We hope this brief description helps the rugby novice understand and most of all enjoy the game!