Here are my nine skills and technique tips that I used with Leicester Academy players to improve their kicking range from hand. MORE
6 good reasons to kick
Sometimes it is the right decision to kick away possession when you have front foot ball and go against everything you have told your players. Here’s why…
1. MORE TIME, BETTER KICKS
If you have the ball going forward, defences are on the back foot. That means they will not be quickly up in defence (poor defensive line speed). That gives your kicker more time to place his kick. Not being rushed means better execution of the skill.
2. KEEPS THE DEFENCE HONEST
Kicking when you are going forward makes the defence think that they need to keep players in their backfield to cover future kicks. They might drop one or both wingers, leaving spaces in their frontline defence.
3. PRESSURISE PRESSURE POINTS
With defences not in position to attack the kicker and perhaps not in position to defend the front line, kickers can find more gaps which are not adequately covered. That can pile on the pressure because defenders are scrambling back even more.
4. TIME FOR TERRITORY
Even with good possession in this phase, the next phase might be slow. Take advantage now if you are outside your 22m but in front of their 10m line by taking the territory. Kick to the corners and force them to kick out or run back from deep. If they kick back, you will have your backfield players in position to run back.
5. YOU CAN RETAIN POSSESSION
You can use contestable kicks, with your chasing group moving forward onto the ball. Employ chips, grubbers or up-and-unders to give you a chance of catching the ball or putting defences under so much pressure they cough up possession in the form of a knock-on or penalty.
6. KEEPS FORWARDS HAPPY
You cannot underestimate the effort your forwards make in a set piece scrum and a good couple of hard rucks. They will be delighted to see their hard work mean they are running forward, either following a kick or to the next set piece.