Cross-kick into the danger area

The cross-kick in the red zone has become an essential try-scoring weapon. Practise this routine to exploit an overlap, punish a narrow defence or capitalise on an advantage in height or jump agility out wide.

Good wings should get their hands on the ball often. If their defence is solid close to the ruck, test them out wide by cross-kicking to the wing.

  1. Set up a kicker, feeder, player to charge down the kick, a catcher and support player, and two defenders.

  1. You can start without the defenders when testing it. Have the ball passed out to the kicker, who aims to land a kick in the target area, or close to the try line.
  2. The other attackers aim to catch to score or knock down to score – make sure they’re onside. Initially, the defenders don’t go for the ball but can tackle.

  1. Develop with them aiming to win the ball or stop the try.
  2. You can also start the defenders well inside the 15m line, to mimic occasions when a defence is caught narrow.
  3. In this case the ball doesn’t need to be caught on the full (as sometimes a kicker may choose to land the ball to increase his margin for error).
  4. The catcher either aims to catch and score or tap down for his supporting player.


  • Communicate that the kick is going to happen.
  • Kicker: shoulders square to the target area to help achieve a low trajectory.
  • Catcher: run from out-to-in.
  • Leap with outside arm up.
  • Stay onside!
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