Rugby League in Ghana: Explaining the rules of the ‘complex’ sport

Driven by the passion for a sport many consider unduly physical, there are young men in Ghana who are grinding through the sport with the kind of athleticism that reminds us of the physical levels required to participate.

Rugby League is a full contact sport involving 13 players on opposing sides, with 7 substitutes on the bench. The game’s bottomline is to score more points than one’s opponent, and points are scored through tries, conversions, penalty kicks and drop goals. At the end of the game, if the scores are level, the game ends in a stalemate.

A player can run with the ball, kick it and pass it on, but passing forward is not allowed. There is a referee, who is aided by two touch judges, one on each side of the pitch to decide how the rules should be applied during a game.

It looks a very interesting sport, easy on the eye when the professionals take to the pitch. Technical Director of the Ghana Rugby League.

Federation Marshall Nortey says the sport has attractive propositions that should get more people involved.

“Rugby League should be a traditional game for Ghanaians because we have the strength, we have character, and we have speed and the intellect to play Rugby League so it is a Ghanaian game.”

The amount of work that goes into the sport is enormous.

Bulls FC player Oliver Puman sheds some light on this.

“Most of the time I go through the normal training and aside from that I join my teammates to train. We go through a lot of drills, we pass the ball around, we learn about the game on the ball. We have our coaches who take us through what to do, the information and tactics which prepares me mentally.”

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There are those who just recently joined the sport. Rosemary Sewornu who’s been playing rugby for a week is already planning to achieve great things.

“I would like to get a personal team in future and the next 5 years and also would like my name to be written in the books of history in Ghana when the sport is mentioned.”

It’s an exciting sport. The stakeholders in Ghana Rugby are garnering support. And after watching them play games for a day, I am sold on this amazing sport.

By David Kofi Tei||Ghana