Image credit: Dyan Tjhia/SportSG
There’s no one specific way for players to kick the ball in a game of rugby. In fact, players have a variety of kicking techniques to choose from, depending on the situation. From the drop kick to the up-and-under kick, here are some of common types of kicks in rugby.
Used to kick-off and restart games, the drop kick is one of the most frequently used kicks in the game. The player drops the ball and kicks it as it bounces upon contact with the ground. If the ball doesn’t touch the ground between the drop and the kick, it is not considered a drop kick. Additionally, when using the drop kick to restart the match, it has to travel at least 10 meters before it is considered a successful kick. This is also one of the ways that players can score in rugby. If the player does manage to drop kick and score, it is worth three points.
Also known as the bomb or Garryowen kick, the up-and-under, when executed correctly, is a useful tool to breach a strong opposition defence. The up-and-under is executed by the player holding the ball vertically across his chest, with one hand under the ball and the other above it. Next, he should bring the ball up to shoulder level and drop the hand at the bottom of the ball, before bringing his kicking foot upwards to make contact with the ball. As the name suggests, these high kicks behind the opposition defence allows the attacking team to get behind and compete for possession of the ball.
This move is normally used when the player is near to the opposition’s goal-line, as a form of attack. The grubber kick is a low kick, and is commonly used in order to get the ball behind the opposition so that they are forced to turn away from you. It is executed by holding the ball vertically at waist level, with one hand on top and one at the bottom. Next, the player removes the bottom hand so that the ball drops, and the player steps forward to kick it.
Also known more informally as the chip kick, this is yet another short distance kick. This kick also resembles the up-and-under, and many players use this kick when they are faced by opposing players. However, a chip kick does not have as much airtime and height as the up-and-under.
To execute the chip-and-chase kick, hold the ball vertically across your chest with both hands around the ball. Drop the ball by removing the supporting hand and moving your leg upwards to kick it. However, be sure not to expand too much force into this kick as it is meant to be a short
distance kick. Ideally, the ball should only just stop behind the opponents that the player is facing. Once the player kicks the ball, he should immediately move and run towards the ball, or the direction that he was moving in before the kick.
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