The Difference Between Rugby Union and Rugby League

Rugby Union and Rugby League ball games have similar basic rules and use the same shape ball. The goal of both games is to score more points than the opposing team during the 80 minutes of play via tries, conversions, penalty goals, and drop goals. In this blog, we will look at some of the similarities of both games and then shed some light on the differences.

Similarities Between Rugby Union and Rugby League 


Scoring Goals 

Goals are scored in both sports when the ball is kicked between the two posts and over the crossbar. This can occur during the game or because of a penalty. After scoring a try, the team has the opportunity to score a goal.


Passing the Ball 

The ball can be moved forward in Rugby Union and Rugby League in three ways: by kicking it, running with it, or as a result of a set piece. Teammates can also pass the ball from hands to hands, but only backward or sideways; it cannot be passed forwards, but it can be kicked forwards. If the ball is thrown forward, it will cause a scrum, effectively restarting the game.


 Difference Between Rugby Union and Rugby League 



The main difference between Rugby Union and Rugby League is that Rugby League has abandoned some of its rules for contested possession. In Rugby League, when the ball goes into touch, the play is restarted by a scrum, whereas in Rugby Union, it is contested by a line-out. When players are not focused on contesting possession, the fewer stops of play there are in Rugby League. 


Rugby League Possession 
Possession can change in a variety of ways in the Rugby League. The opposing team is awarded a scrum if the ball is taken out of play. If a player goes for a one-on-one tackle, the tackler has the legal right to strip the ball from the attacking player if the referee has not called a foul. An automatic handover occurs when the team in possession runs out of tackles, or a knock-on occurs on the sixth tackle. 


Rugby Union Possession 
Possession occurs in Rugby Union when the ball is out of play, and the opposing team is given a line-out. On the other hand, in Rugby Union, the attacking team can also lose possession in a scrum, line out, maul, ruck, or other situation.


Scoring Points

Both games have the same method of scoring points, but the points awarded differ slightly. While a trial is the most common way to score in both sports, a try in Rugby Union is worth five points, and a try in Rugby League is worth four points. In Rugby Union, a drop goal is worth three points, whereas, in Rugby League, it is only one point. Penalty goals in Rugby Union are worth three points, but only two in Rugby League.


Above are only a few significant differences between the two games. However, if you look deeper into each sport, you will notice that other rules differ as well, even if only slightly.

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