What is Going On?? A Lesson on Australian Rugby

Just enjoying the game

Just enjoying the game

-Submitted by Meg Bauer, Abroad101’s Global Ambassador at Griffith University in the Gold Coast, Australia

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to the Gold Coast Titans game vs the Wests Tigers. The Gold Coast Titans are a professional rugby team. The club competes in Australia’s elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership. There are two rugby leagues in Australia. One is the NRL and one is the AFL, Australian Rules Football. Then, there’s the Rugby Union.


The rugby field

The rugby field

The main differences are that in Rubgy you use your hands, and in football you use your feet to control the ball. The AFL, is just like our soccer. The Rugby Union and Rugby League are also very different. The main difference between Rugby League and Rugby Union lies in what happens in the tackle situation. In Union when a player is tackled (Their progress is physically halted by the opposition) the ball is recycled by a ruck (if the ball is on the ground) or by a maul (if the ball is held up off the ground). One recycling of the ball is called a phase and there is no limit to the number of phases as long as a team keeps possession of the ball. In League, when a player with the ball is tackled, the referee will halt play and it is restarted when the tackled player stands, places the ball on the ground and rakes it back with his foot to the player (dummy-half) behind them. The opposition must retreat 10 metres from the play-of the-ball except for two markers who line up in front of the player of the ball. The team in possession can recycle the ball 5 times in this manner but if they are tackled with the ball a 6th time then the ball is handed over to the opposition. Confusing right?



The Gold Coast Titans' Mascot

The Gold Coast Titans’ Mascot

That’s what I said. I went to the Rugby game, and had no clue what was going on the entire time. What I got from the game: Someone kicks the ball to the other side. The team that recieves it must try to score. The players can pass the ball, and if they get tackled they must pass the ball behind them. That’s the game then. There are two 40 minute rounds.


Lucky for me, I got to see what it was like to go into overtime. Overtime is 5 minutes and the first one to score, wins. Unfortunately, the Tigers won. Even though I had no idea what was going on, I really enjoyed the game. It was fun to see what other kinds of sports are out there. Also, the fans were great. They aren’t as rowdy or as crazy as in the states. It was a fun day!



Read about our other Global Ambassadors:

CaitlinMia * Michelle *  Theresa *