EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Social distancing practice: Playing wide through kicking to the corners

Playing to the corners is part of a territorial game. Tactically it applies pressure on the opposition, can force turnovers or gain field position as the defence struggles to clear.

WHEN TO PLAY TO THE CORNERS

  1. Against a flat defensive line. It can give some good go forward if the support players are in a good position to chase.
  2. When there is a ruck in midfield, it is difficult to defend because the field is “split”. The defending full-back has spaces either side of him to kick into or you can kick to an unprotected space if he has favoured one side. Having kickers either side of the ruck assists this process.
  3. Following a turnover there are players out of position with lots of space.

KEY TECHNICAL POINTS

It is important that the kicker engages the defenders and brings them onto him. He engages them by being in motion, moving forward, as well as carrying the ball in two hands and “showing to pass”. Static, flat kickers are liable to be charged down.

The aim is to either kick the ball between defenders or over defenders towards the touchline and goal line and into space.

Technically the ball should be kicked as a grubber (where the top of the ball is struck) or as a spiral kick for accuracy. If attempting a cross-kick to regain possession then a drop punt is more effective.

TACTICS

By keeping the ball in field and getting a good chase you can force the opposition to kick to touch or overpower them at the tackle – this can force a repeat possession set.

Kicking the ball into touch helps to run down the clock, relieve pressure on your team and get your forwards moving forward and to challenge the lineout.

PRACTICE

  • Put a passer and kicker about 10m away from a defender, with some tackle tubes to act as static defenders (like in a backline).
  • Another defender stands about 10m away from a target area (which would be the corner of the pitch).
  • Another attacker acts as a charger who runs to the target area after the kicker punts or grubbers.
  • Aim to make sure the charger arrives before or at the same time as the defender.
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