Practise the skills needed to win back your own kicks. The chip over the top can make a defence think twice about rushing up, with the kicker or a chaser able to regain the ball behind the line and in space.
When the defensive line is coming up fast, there’s an inviting space behind them that can be exploited by a short kick. The chaser can gather the ball on the full behind the front line before the backfield defence can advance.
Put a column of players 5m in front of an upright tackle tube.
Have a feeder pass the ball to the first player as he comes forward.
He drops the ball onto his foot so it lands on the point of the ball, and chips it over the tube.
He races around to catch the ball on the full.
Next, have a ruck-pad holder beyond the tube coming forward to offer passive resistance.
Adjust the distances to suit your players.
Finally, have two attackers coming forward.
One chips the ball over the tube for the other to run onto.
Again, have at least one pad holder ready to advance to challenge for the ball.
Drop the ball onto the foot for the kick – don’t throw it up.
One of the key influences you have on your team is in the hour or so before the match. Learn how to maximise that time to bring the best out of your players and get them flying from the first whistle.