Know their kicking game: boxes and bombs

By reading their specific kicking cues, your players can be in position to receive different types of kick. Know the signs for high ball kicks from their 9 or 10 and be ready to counter.


  • LEFT HAND SIDE: A flanker comes from the back of the lineout
  • RIGHT HAND SIDE: The 9 stands at the front of the lineout to pressurise the right-footed kicker

Where do they use it from:

  • In their own 22m, normally from a lineout, but also from rucks inside the 15m lines.
  • Also their 9 might use it from a turnover with a ruck close to the touchline.

Watch out for:

  • The positioning of 9 at base of ruck – his foot placement, body angle and line of vision.
  • Their forwards acting as blockers in place around ruck.
  • The blindside winger up flat and ready to chase the kick.

Many teams like to use a landed lineout with a pop back to the 9 once the catcher has landed on the ground. This allows a much more controlled pass back to the 9 than a tap off the top. It also allows 9 to maintain distance behind the lineout to stay back from kick pressure.

Some teams will use an immediate low top-spin box kick if they think the offensive wing and 15 are involved in the wide ruck that has been turned over.

Also teams will use a high box into your half in bad conditions.

Defensive tips

From a left side (defensive) lineout against a right-footed box kicker, your 9 can start in the 5m channel and use his speed to anticipate and pressure the kick after the pass back to the kicking 9 from the lineout catcher.

From the right side of the field it is more useful to nominate a back row forward towards the back of the lineout to pressure the 9 kick as the player coming from the 5m channel has a poor angle to block a right-footed box kicker.

The blindside winger can read the positioning and set up of their 9 preparing to kick. It will look different from a 9 setting up to pass on the run from a lineout.


  • PLAY: 10 is flat with attacking line ready to take a pass.
  • BOMB: 10 is in the pocket near or behind the ruck, and deeper than normal. The outside backs are flat, ready to chase.

Where do they use it from:

  • Any set piece or phase play, mainly into your half of the field.

Watch out for:

  • Their 10 in the pocket from phase play, which is deep and nearly behind the ruck.
  • Their centres up flat to chase.

Defensive tips

This kick can be executed from set piece but a key cue is that the 10, to maintain control, will be much more static on this kick than for a running option or a kick on the run.

Your wing and 15 must connect quickly so that the non-catcher can communicate whether the catcher has time or not to jump, or can stay down. Also the non-catcher should be close enough to clean after the catch under pressure.

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