How to plan and execute exits from your 22m area

How do you “clear your lines”? In other words, how do you “exit”?

An exit is a jargon term for a team in possession of the ball leaving their own 22m area. Leaving can be by kicking or running with the ball.

It could be argued that you should play what’s in front of you, not where you are on the field. If there’s space to run, run, or gaps to kick into, kick.

However, defences tend to add more pressure as you attempt to play, knowing that a small mistake can be more costly since the ball-carrying team might lose the ball close to the try line. Hence, you might want to work on specific tactics to reduce risks and set up a controlled kicking situation. The kick can either be to touch, be contested or kicked into space.

These sessions, thoughts and tactics aim to take all these ideas into account.

Exit 22 develops a play where you bring their defence up in a line, leaving spaces behind to kick into.

To work on the skills needed, you could use our Recycling activity, which helps players identify their roles in retaining the ball for a number of phases.

However, you don’t always need to kick. If there’s an opportunity to pass and run, take it. Read Never say never in your own 22 to see why.

And if you want a play to use from a lineout, then Scotland 6-man crash might just do the trick.

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