Kicking Plays from Line Outs:
One of the key issues with line out kicking plays is understanding the reason and the context.
If you’re looking to kick from your own lineput you need to consider:
- You should not kick defensively from off the top ball, as the opposition defence will have a big forward momentum and will pressure the kick.
- If you want to kick defensively a catch and hold, followed by a short sharp drive places the defence on the back foot and gives the kicker more time, a vital split second.
A really good example of good kicking from line put plays is the Blue Bulls. They have a very refined and clearly defined method- a catch and drive folioed by the half back (9) not box kicking, but using more of a ‘round the corner’ drop punt, thus getting massive power and distance with forward momentum.
Understand the box kick needs follow up too, but despite virtually every English side favouring this, the maximum advantage is around 30 yds! Even if it goes back to the 10, the 30 yds holds true as he is 15 yards behind the line out, with the opposition having direct access to the kicking line.
If you’re attacking from a line out, the best kicking option comes from the 13 channel. If he takes a mis-pass at pace, moving forward he will have covered 10 or 20 yds and can gain big distance kicking to the openside. Mike Tindall used this many times to great effect in the Woodward era.
Other options depends on the defence employed- for instance a grubber or chip and collect against the blitz is very effective, as is the cross field kick to the openside winger.
In summary, remember that the line out enables a lot of defence organisation, the ability to stay on ones feet to defend, and the time to blitz up in the faces of your opponents. Therefore shrewd kicking options are needed to make any gain of note. Good kicking from line outs gives space or relief rather than good attacking intent.