From the Actrix Online Informer October 2011

Rugby rugby rugby!

by Rob Zorn

It seems there is little more to talk about at the moment than rugby. It's almost unusual to hear a conversation that doesn't mention last night's game or an upcoming match. Some say fair enough too. Our country is hosting the third most popular sporting event on the planet, and even some of the most ardent anti-fans are finding something to talk about. So we thought we'd continue the trend with a breakdown of some of the best websites to do with rugby and the World Cup.

The best place to start is the official Rugby World Cup 2011 website. Here you'll find everything you need to know about the tournament. Is Russia ranked higher than Georgia? Which is the only team making its world cup debut? If New Zealand loses to Canada, who will they meet in the quarter-finals? It's all here, from post-match breakdowns to live commentary and video highlights.

Once you've got your head around the dynamics of the tournament, it's time to become a master of the game itself. Here are two sites to help you understand the "beautiful game". The first is a short video from 2005 which gives a simple breakdown of how the game is played and what the basic rules are. So if you're not sure you know your loose-head from a lineout or a punt from a prop, check this video out.

Then head to the official IRB (International Rugby Board) website where you'll find a complete list of the rules and regulations of the game. Is Ritchie McCaw really a cheat or are the Springboks just jealous whingers? What happens when someone tries to kick a conversion with a different ball than the one with which the try was scored? If you don't know the answers, they'll be here.

So now you know the rules, it's time to learn a little history. The Rugby Football History site has everything you need to know about how the game originated, how it has changed over time and who influenced the changes. It discusses ancient games that were played by the Romans and Greeks that have made rugby the game it is today. This site is a "must visit" for any self-professed rugby fan!

Have you ever wondered who Web Ellis was and why he's so important (he's the guy the World Cup trophy is named after)? Can you remember who won the last few times? Who was it that first thought grabbing an inflated piece of pig skin and running down the field with it would be a good idea, and how was rugby introduced to New Zealand? See Wikipedia's Rugby World Cup, Rugby and All Blacks entries to find out. These days, if you're wondering about anything, Wikipedia should probably be your first port of call.

Once you know the ins and outs of the sport like the back of your hand, why not try that hand at the game itself? Here are two ways you can prove your rugby prowess without having to make a tackle. The first is Rucking Rugby, a site dedicated to rugby gaming. From simple 2-dimensional kicking tournaments to reviews of the latest Xbox games, it'll take you a while to master everything on offer – but you should have a lot of fun!

The second is Jimungo, where you can select the scores to upcoming games and earn points depending on your picks. Invite your friends to play and have your own Rugby World Cup. It might be a bit late to get anywhere in this World Cup, but Jimungo runs competitions for the Super 15 and provincial rugby, not to mention rugby league and football too.

And when you've mastered that, it's time to sit back and enjoy the game played at its very best. RugbyDump brings you the most up to date videos around, from highlights of the latest games to compilation of big tackles, try savers and rib breakers. There are a number of categories to choose from, including Plays of the Week, Funnies, and even Big Hits and Dirty Plays. If it's not on RugbyDump, it probably didn't happen.

And lastly, we all love a sing along at the rugby. If you don't know the words to all those foreign anthems, or even your own, then have we got a site for you! Rugby Songbook works online or with mobiles (so you can download the words right there in the stand) and has all the national anthems for all 20 teams at the Rugby World Cup, even the New Zealand Haka. Now there's no excuse not to sing along.

And yes, there's more to life than rugby.



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