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Four things you didn’t know about rugby

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You may have heard about the sport, or maybe even attended a few games, but here are a few interesting factoids about rugby to make your day.

 

Singing national anthems at matches

HSBC Rugby Sevens Singapore 2017, New Zealand All Blacks first Try against Team Canada at National Stadium on 16 Apr 2017. Photo Credit: Stanley Cheah 

Photo: Sport Singapore


The New Zealand All Blacks are famous for starting each match by performing the haka, a traditional Maori war dance. In 1905, the Welsh national team responded to the haka by singing their national anthem, ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’, birthing a new custom to the sport. Since that faithful match in Cardiff, it has become commonplace for national anthems to be sung at the beginning of games.

The first TeamSG squad

The first ever Singapore national U-23 Rugby team was launched in 1971, earning a debut victory on the field by beating neighbouring rivals, Malaysia. The sport continued to gain popularity since then, with the men’s and women’s rugby sevens sides clinching a silver medal each at the SEA Games held in 2017.

No points for Tries

World Club 10s Rugby 2014  Photo: Sport Singapore

 

When the game of rugby was first invented the only way to score points was by kicking a goal, and a try (grounding the ball in the opponents in-goal area) would allow the attacking team to have a free kick at goal without interference from the defending team. Over the years, the number of points awarded for a try was increased, with teams these days receiving five points for scoring a try, which is the maximum number of points a team can score at one time.

Olympic Champions

Whilst most people would name the New Zealand All Blacks as the best rugby team on the planet, the identity of the reigning Olympic champions might surprise you! The sevens version of the game made an appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with the Fiji men’s team and the Australian women’s team winning the gold medals.

Keen to watch a few matches yourself? You can purchase tickets for the upcoming HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens event, which is taking place on 28th and 29th April. Do not miss the opportunity to revel in 20 hours of mind-blowing action by some of the world’s best men’s rugby sevens teams. Get your tickets here!

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