The Game of Rugby for Beginners

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HAPPY FRIDAY: Vertaan jy rugby? Do you understand rugby?

WE’RE going to have to explain some of these to our non-South African friends. When the Rugby World Cup comes around many struggle to get to grips with how the game of rugby works. It’s a strange and spiritual sport that may need some explaining.

South Africa’s rugby team are called the Springboks (see image below for pronunciation) which is a cute little piece of fauna found in South Africa that has the widest eyes when your car lights shine onto its face. Here are some more things you may not know about South Africa and the traditional game of rugby.

South Africa’s Rugby team are called the Springboks


It is pronounced thusly-wise (more or less).

Rugby for Beginners

Drop kicks

A “long drop” is a foul-smelling outdoor toilet. It’s basically a shack built over a hole in the ground. You may recall that scene in Slumdog Millionaire where that little Punjabi boy jumps down a long drop and gets covered in you-know-what.

Verstaan jy Balsak?


This is clearly just an innocent sack of balls minding it’s own business. However, in Afrikaans “balsak” is used as a derogatory term. It refers to the male scrotum (ball sack) in which the testicles are kept. So one wouldn’t call the Arch Bishop a “balsak” for example.

Verstaan jy Fly-Half ?

Fly Half

Someone is clearly taking the piss here by presenting us with a fly that has obviously be sliced in half by a series of unfortunate events. But in the game of rugby the “fly-half” is quite an important position. I don’t really know where they stand on the rugby field but I do know that they can run like the wind!

Pat Lambie

Pat Lambie

Pat Lambie is one of our shining stars on the rugby field. He’s the one that kicks the ball a lot. He gets a lot of attention as you can see above and whenever he has an ‘off day’ or bad game newspapers seize the opportunity to use the cliche headline “A Lambie to the slaughter” or some similar dribble. Pat has had a haircut since this photo was taken.

Loose Forward Loose Forward

I don’t really know how to explain this one. Some poor soul has clearly dislodged his fast-forward button on his remote. Forwards in rugby are the players at the front. Why they would be “loose” I’m not too sure. I’m not really that qualified to offer much wisdom on rugby at all to be honest. Perhaps some of our more hardcore fans could explain this one?

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