Rugby Primer
Tactical Kicking
Munster's Ronan O'Gara in action during the Heineken Cup Pool One clash with ASM Clermont Auvergne and Munster at the Stade Marcel Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand,France on December 7 ,2008.
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Most tactical kicks by the fly-half will be to advance the ball upfield and into touch. He will take this option most often to clear the ball during heavy pressure.

He can also kick the ball forward expecting a fast charging back to recover the ball before the opposition. Any person chasing a kick must have started the chase from behind the kicker or have been previously overtaken by the kicker or someone who was behind the kicker. Thus anyone in front of a kick is offside until put onside by the kicker or someone who was behind the kicker.

Another important aspect of tactical kicking is that a kick to touch from behind the 22 metre line is marked at the point the ball left the pitch. A kick taken in front of the 22 metre line must land in field or a touch a player on the field before going into touch, otherwise the line-out is awarded at the location of the kick and not where it went out. A penalty kick in front of the 22 is allowed to be kicked directly to touch.

Other tactical kicks include a drop goal kick, an up-and-under, chip and grubber kicks. When a team is putting good pressure on the opposing side's tryline, a player can decide to attempt a drop kick at goal for three points. The ball must be dropped and touch the ground before being kicked through the goal posts to be awarded. An up-and-under is a kick placed very shallow and very high.

The idea is to put the receiving opposition players under incredible pressure and give your own players the time to get underneath the descending ball. A chip kick is best utilized in an open field situation by a runner who is about to be stopped. As a player cannot be tackled without the ball in hand, a runner can kick the ball just over an onrushing defender allowing the runner, or supporting runner, to go past untouched hoping to recover the kick. A grubber kick is in principle much the same as a chip kick, but is kicked along the ground


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