Turn your kicking game into tactical gold

The tactic: A defensive kick to relieve pressure

A kick into touch to take the ball away from danger areas.

Where on the pitch? A kick from inside your own 22, aiming to get at least outside the 22.

The options: 1. A punt. 2. A "wiper" – that is, a kick from one side of the field to the other. 

The risks: It gives lineout possession to the opposition, probably in an attacking position for them.

The rewards: 1. Your defence gets a chance to regroup and realign. 2. Your lineout might win back the ball.

The tactic: An attacking kick to increase pressure on the opposition

You kick to put the opposition into awkward and challenging situations.

Where on the pitch? A kick into opposition 22, either up the middle or into the corners, and not
necessarily into touch.

The options: 1. A high ball, so the opposition catchers can be challenged or even the ball retrieved. 2. A low kick to the corners, forcing the opposition to turn and giving them little time to react.

The risks: 1. It can reduce the pressure on the defence, because they are no longer required to tackle. 2. It can reduce your attacking momentum.

The rewards: 1. It can be a good way to gain ground quickly. 2. Once used, it forces the opposition to consider keeping players back in defence to cover these kicks. You therefore create space elsewhere. 3. It can turn wingers and other defenders allowing your chasers to challenge for possession.

The tactic: An attacking kick to improve your field position

You kick to exploit your strengths, for example your lineout or fast wingers.

Where on the pitch? A kick into the tramlines inside the opposition half.

The options: A low kick to run into touch or to force the opposition to gather and kick into touch.

The risks: Inaccurate kicks can be returned with interest or allow the opposition to launch counter attacks.

The rewards: This kick is best used to vary your attacking tactics and keep the opposition defence guessing.

The tactic: An attacking kick to develop scoring opportunities

You kick to enable your attackers to score tries.

Where on the pitch? A kick within the opposition 22, into or just before their goal area.

The options: 1. A grubber in between defenders. 2. A chip over the defence for the centres to chase. 3. A cross kick for the wingers to catch.

The risks: 1. The kick could waste valuable possession. 2. Miscues could go over the dead ball line.

The rewards: Statistics show that up to 80% of kicks into the goal area lead to tries.

Get more tactcial gold like this from my Match Day Tactics manual. Click here for more details.