Rugby is a brutal sport. I decided to go out and shoot our local Rugby League, the Jacksonville Axemen. This was a self project as I wanted to experiment a little with my Canon 5D Mark 3 camera. The 5D3 was linked up to a Canon 400mm L, IS, 2.8 lens. The combination proved to be very effective. I think what I was really looking for was to see if I wanted to add the Canon 1DX to my equipment for my sports work. The 1DX is a 5D3 on steroids but with a cost of near $7k and that is money on steroids. This is not my first outing with this combination as I shot the Jaguars and FSU last year with it. The Rugby photos have some huge crops, more than I might normally do, but I needed to see how the files would hold up. Here are some images from the match:
I haven’t shot Rugby since the mid 80’s but I figured if I can shoot American football and soccer this shouldn’t be too difficult. This comes under the category of ice hockey for me, I just don’t understand all the rules.
What I did figure out was that when a player is tackled the defensive player tries to hold the runner down on the ground as long as he can and by any means he can until his defensive players get back in position. A finger to the eyes/face seems routine as seen in above photo.
Most every play is a running play except when they punt. They get 6 downs but a punt before the 6th down is like a pass. If the punt goes forward and out-of-bounds the offensive team get to move up to where it went out, but if it gets intercepted before the punt goes out-of-bounds then that is a turnover. I could be wrong but that is the way I figured it. Every running play starts usually with a lateral or series of laterals to running backs. No whistles stop the play when a player goes down so the action is constant.
Like I mentioned earlier these photos have some pretty heavy crops and from what I can tell the file holds up pretty well. I just need to get a 1DX in my hands for comparison.
I plan to study the rules a little more before the next outing so I do a better job of anticipating the action. Hope you enjoy the photos of a sport I really know nothing about.
You can view the full gallery at www.grayquettiphotography.com.