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Rugby Kicks

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Rugby Kicks: How to Master Kicking Scenarios of The GameEverything you need to know about rugby kicks

Have you ever wanted to perfect your Rugby Kicks?

Knowing the different types of kicks in rugby is just the first step to becoming one of the best

The next part is practising all of them over and over again until you have got them down to a TEE

But all the training in the world won’t change the amount of pressure you will be under on the field

Whether it be the pressure of letting your team down if you get it wrong and slice the ball

Or being in front of all those rugby fans watching your every move

And the worst pressure of all…

That 20 stone Centre running at you at full speed with fire in his eyes and built like a brick shit-house

Obviously, there are certain times when you can kick the ball without anyone running towards you

But the pressure is always there, isn’t it?

Top 10 Rugby Kicks Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens if The Ball Goes Into Touch From a Kick-Off?

How Far is a Conversion Kick in Rugby?

How to Kick a Rugby Ball Further?

How to Kick a Rugby Ball Off a Tee?

How Many Points For a Drop Goal?

How Many Points For a Penalty or Conversion?

Can Only The Number 10 Take The Kicks?

What is Fly Hacking in Rugby?

How Far Must The Ball Travel From a Kick-Off?

What is The Best Way to Drop Kick a Rugby Ball?

What is Classed as a Legal Rugby KickLegal areas on the leg that you can kick a rugby ball with

Well, This explanation is straight from the Official IRB Rugby Rules

A kick in rugby is legal when the ball makes contact with any part of the lower leg, except the heels, from the toes to your knees, not including the knees.

A kick in rugby should be seen to move any distance along the ground or in the air out of your hands.

>>> Download The 2018 World Rugby Law Book PDF For Free Here <<<

Different Types of Rugby Kicks

Now depending on the scenario in a rugby game and of course where you want the ball to end up

There are a few rugby kicks to choose from but you have to make that decision in a split second normally

So you need to know before you even get that ball in your hands what you will be doing with it

Different types of rugby kicks and where they are taken on the field

Here Are The Kicks…

Conversions/Penalty KicksTaking a rugby conversion

What Are Conversion And Penalty Kicks?

These are known as “Placed Kicks”

Where the ball is placed on something to keep it steady and still ready to kick over the Rugby Posts

Like sand or mud like they used to use in the old days

Or nowadays rugby players will use kicking tees instead

On some occasions when it is really windy and the ball keeps falling

A teammate is allowed to hold it in place for you

>>> See The Best Rugby Kicking Tees in 2019 Here <<<

Where Are Conversion And Penalty Kicks Taken?

Conversions are taken from whatever distance from the try line the kicker wants to take it

But it has to be in line with where the ball was put down for a try

Penalties are taken from wherever the foul was committed on the field

How to Take a Conversion or Penalty Kick in Rugby

  • Put the ball onto a tee or whatever you will be using in an upright position but angled towards the posts and make sure it’s in the correct position on the field to take the kick
  • Have a bit of a stretch to prevent any injuries that might occur in your legs
  • Step back to a position and line up the shot where you can comfortably run up and take the kick
  • Keep focused on the ball and where you want it to go
  • Start the run and try to land your non-kicking leg close to the ball
  • Shift all your weight onto the leg you won’t be kicking with and swing the other leg through to hit that ball
  • You want to be hitting that sweet spot with your instep on the ball which is about a 1/3 up from the bottom of the ball
  • Then keep that foot following through the ball pointing towards where you want the ball to go for maximum height and distance

Watch This Short Video Here on How It’s Done

Providing you strike that ball successfully, for you to get the points

You need to get the ball between the oppositions upright posts and above the horizontal crossbar

If you hit any of the posts and the ball bounces back onto the field,  you will not get the points

Sticking with these types of kicks for a minute

Once you have put your ball in place on the tee ready to kick

You only have 1 minute to take the shot or you won’t be able to take it at all

All your teammates must be behind the ball when it’s being hit and the opposition must be behind their own try line

But be careful as they are allowed to charge at you as you start your run up towards the ball

One last thing on this…

If after you place your ball ready to be kicked and you haven’t started your run-up, and the ball falls

The ref will call you to replace the ball and start again

But if you have already started your run up and the ball falls over then you have to either kick it as it lies

Which I wouldn’t recommend

Or you can pick it up and take a drop goal attempt, now that one I WOULD recommend to go for

QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE A CONVERSION OR PENALTY: Get the ball positioned upright and in the right place, warm your muscles, step backwards, focus, non-kicking leg close to the ball, shift your weight and swing the other leg, hit that… Click To Tweet

Up-And-Under KicksTake an up and under kick

What Are Up-And-Under Kicks?

Sometimes referred to as the “Gary Owen Kick”

It’s a kick used for the ball to go high into the air but not gain much distance

In the hope that you can win the ball back, gain some ground, and beat a tough defensive opposition

Where Do You Take An Up-And-Under Kick?

Usually taken in your own half if you having trouble gaining ground or getting through a strong defence

How to Take an Up-And-Under Kick in Rugby

  • Hold the ball out in front of you with 2 hands, vertically across your chest, 1 hand on top, and the other underneath
  • You then lift the ball to shoulder level and then move the hand that’s underneath
  • As you are lifting the ball to your shoulder height, your kicking leg should be getting ready to make contact with the ball
  • As the ball is dropping, bring your leg upwards to meet the ball keeping your leg straight to make the ball go upwards into the air and not forward

Just Watch This Explainer Video of How You Can Perfect The Kick

QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE AN UP-AND-UNDER KICK: 2 hands on the ball out in front, drop the ball down in front of you, direct the ball into the air, keep your leg straight, follow your leg through the ball, don't stop your foot as you make… Click To Tweet

Grubber KicksTake a rubber kick

What Are Grubber Kicks?

These kicks are when you hit the ball low making it go end over end across the floor in a forward direction

Where Do You Take A Grubber Kick?

These are generally used to get past the opposition if you are close to their try line

Hopefully, yourself or one of your teammates will get to the ball first, pick it up, and dive over the try line with  and score a try

How to Take a Grubber Kick in Rugby

This type of rugby kick is always in a situation when you are under pressure so keep calm and get it right

  • Firstly you have the ball at waist height in 2 hands and the end of the ball pointed towards the floor
  • You then need to drop the ball towards your kicking foot
  • With the instep of your boot, you need to strike the ball at the top of the ball closest to your body
  • Follow through with your leg and direct where you want the ball to go keeping it low to the floor

See How The Grubber Kick is Put Into Action on The Field

If you didn’t know already that a rugby ball has its own mind when bouncing around so it might not end up where you want it to

But you can generally get it close to where you want to

QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE A GRUBBER KICK: Get the ball waist height, point it towards the floor, strike the ball near the top, follow through with your leg Click To Tweet

Chip-And-Chase KicksTake a chip and chase kick

What Are Chip-And-Chase Kicks?

Basically, it’s a chip-kick that is again used for getting past your opponent’s defence to get some ground and closer to their try line

Players will then run after the ball hoping to pick it up and gain control of the game

Very similar to the Up-And-Under Kick without the hight and time that the ball is in the air

Where Are These Kicks Taken?

These can be used anywhere on the field but usually used similarly to the Grubber Kick near the oppositions try line and out wide on the wing

Just make sure you don’t get tackled while performing this kick

How to Take a Chip-And-Chase Kick in Rugby

Taking this kick requires similar methods to both the Grubber and the Up-And-Under kicks but with a more precise direction and force that you hit the ball with

  • Start with the ball vertically across your chest out in front of you holding it with both hands
  • Face the direction you want it to go and drop the ball towards your kicking foot 
  • Raise your leg towards the ball and in the direction you want to place it
  • Make sure you hit it with enough force to get it to where you want it to, which should just be behind your opposition
  • Once that ball has left your foot you need to run as fast as you can chasing it so you can be the first one there

Watch This Chip And Chase Demonstration Courtesy From Global Rugby

A good teammate will know what you are doing and get there before you and the opposing team

QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE A CHIP-AND-CHASE KICK: Get the ball vertical in front of you, face the direction where you want to kick it, raise your leg towards the ball in the right direction, gauge the force you want to hit it with, chase… Click To Tweet

Drop KicksTake a kick off or drop kick

What Are Drop Kicks?

These rugby kicks are when you drop the ball in front of you and strike it as it makes contact with the ground

If your foot makes contact with the ball before it bounces then you are just kicking the ball and not taking a Drop Kick

Where Are Drop Kicks Taken?

There are 2 situations where you will be taking these kicks

The first one can be anywhere on the field

But is usually taken close to the oppositions try line where you have to score and in front of the posts

This is where you would try to get the ball over the posts to get points for your team

The second situation would be when you have to kick off the game for 1st and the 2nd half into your oppositions half of the field

But it has to pass the 10-metre line within the marked out gameplay area (in both situations)

Or the opposing team can choose whether you take the kick again or go for a Scrum on the centre spot

And when a team scores a try and attempts to take a conversion

The opposing team takes what they call a “Re-Start Kick” from the centre of the field again

And the same rules apply here as the main kickoffs

How to Take a Drop Kick in Rugby

There’s only one situation here that you will be under pressure so this kick needs a lot of practice

I’m not saying the others don’t but keep practising the kick-off scenario and it will feel natural when it comes to drop-kicking in front of goal

  • First, you want to hold the ball out in front of you vertically in both hands on the sides of the rugby ball
  • Next, you need to drop it in front of your kicking leg so it lands on the point of the ball
  • When the ball is falling make sure you hit it in the sweet spot which is a 3rd of the way up the ball
  • As it hits the ground you will need to strike the ball straight away as it will probably bounce away from you if you leave it too late
  • Follow that leg through making sure you direct it where you want it to go

Just Take a Look at This Drop Goal Demonstration From The Legendary Rugby Player, Dan Carter

A kick-off drop kick should be high in the air to give your teammates enough time to get to it before the opposition

A dropkick at goal should be aimed at the posts and have some distance on it

Depending on where you are on the field

QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE A DROPKICK: Hold the ball in both hands vertically in front of you, drop the ball with the point down in front of your kicking foot, hit the ball just as it makes contact with the ground, follow the leg through… Click To Tweet

Kicking From Your Own 22Kicking from your own 22

This is is a bit tricky when it comes to whether or not you should kick the ball

There’s no certain kick that is needed here but most Full-Backs tend to just try and kick it away from danger and get it up the field

If the opposition has taken the ball into your 22 and you happen to get it back

You can either kick it up field keeping within the marked out pitch

Or kick it directly out of touch but you will be giving a line-out to the other team wherever it went out of the sidelines

But if your own player takes it back to your 22 and you kick it directly out

Then the line-out for the opposition will be wherever the kick is taken from

Now here comes the tricky bit

If your own team took the ball into your own 22 and a maul, scrum, or ruck happened in the same passage of play

Then if you kick the rugby ball away into touch then the line-out would be taken from where the ball went out of the touch-lines

So Be Careful With That One

Top Rugby Kicks FAQs

1. What Happens if The Ball Goes Straight Into Touch From a Kick-Off?

If the ball goes straight out then the opposing team chooses one of the following

  1. Scrum
  2. Line-Out
  3. A Quick Throw
  4. Then Kick to be Taken Again

2. How Far is a Conversion Kick in Rugby?

The ball can be placed at any distance from the oppositions try line as long as it’s in line with where the ball was put down over the try line to score

3. How to Kick a Rugby Ball Further?

Getting familiar with where the sweet spot is on a rugby ball so that you can send it further is should be your main focus

Find that spot, and follow through with your foot instead of stopping your leg once you have made contact with the ball

Keep practising and see what works best for your style of kicking

4. How to Kick a Rugby Ball Off a Tee?

Place the ball at the angle that works best for you, most players will have the ball pointed directly at the posts and hit it at the pointy end of the ball

Always follow your foot through the ball for maximum height and distance

5. How Many Points For a Drop Goal?

Your team will receive 3 points for a Drop Goal

6. How Many Points For a Penalty or Conversion?

Your team will receive 3 points for a Penalty Kick

If your team scores a try and you successfully convert it you will get 2 points for the Conversion Kick

7. Can Only The Number 10 Take The Kicks?

Over the years it has been the outside half or fly halves job to take the penalties and conversions

But that is only because that is what they have been trained to do

It’s not the law that they have to but it just means they are the best players for the job

So the answer is NO any player can take them providing they are the best player to do so

8. What is Fly Hacking in Rugby?

Fly Hacking is when a player kicks the ball when it is loose on the floor in open play

Check with your referee before the game to see if they will allow it as some don’t

9. How Far Must The Ball Travel From a Kick-Off?

The ball has to land past the oppositions 10-metre line for gameplay to carry on

10. What is The Best Way to Drop Kick a Rugby Ball?

Hold the ball vertically out in front of you in both hands, drop the ball so that the point makes contact with the ground, as it is hitting the ground you need to strike the ball with your best-kicking leg, and follow your leg through the ball for maximum height and distance

Anymore Rugby Kicking Questions?

I have answered so many questions about kicking a rugby ball here for you today

But if there are any others you need answers to that haven’t covered

Please feel free to reach out in the comment section below and I will get right back to you

Or if you have any other tips and tricks that you think would benefit all the kick-takers out there

Then just get involved in the discussion and share your knowledge with others

I would love to hear all your ideas


Have any Questions or Comments?

10 comments on “Rugby Kicks

Hi Mathew
This is a great and comprehensive article about Rugby, It is very beneficial because you explained different types of Rugby Kicks. I have some friends who played Rugby so I will share your article with them. By the way, your theme is amazing. I love it
Wishing you great success in your business


That would be great if you could share this post with your friends so more prugby players can get the extra knowledge that might help them improve their rugby game 🙂


WOW, any tips and tricks for you, well I did have but you have already covered them. Coming from a part of the UK where rugby is the key game, I didn’t realize there was so much that you could learn. We all think we know certain sports but when you lay it all out like you have then it’s clear that we know very little. We have some great teams around here for youngsters and I have some good friends who turned pro and this article for any budding future rugby stars would be a godsend. Thanks for the sharing.


Well, I have been a Rugby coach in the UK for 6 years now so it makes sense for me to help others understand the different types of Rugby Kicks and how & where to implement them.
Thanks for dropping by and leaving this great comment
Keep coming back for more of the same 🙂


Wow – really comprehensive explanation of the different types of kick – for someone like me that doesn’t understand rugby, this explains a lot, thank you.

One thing that has always fascinated me is something I hear in commentary but never understood properly.

I will hear “it goes into touch on the full” – I have never understood that and what the consequences of that are?  Are you able to explain what that is all about?


I can’t say I’ve heard them say ‘on the full’ but if the rugby ball goes into touch it means that it has gone out of the gameplay area so a lineout (free throw from the sideline) is awarded to the team that didn’t send the ball into touch

Bo the Webguy

I have always thought rugby was like our American football, but without any pads and a lot less rules. I have watched it a few times, but never really understood everything going on. It is fun to watch. You have done a great job explaining what is going on in the sport. Being in the United States, Rugby is not as popular on the TV, so you really have to seek it out to find a game. The next time I run across a game while channel surfing, I will know more about what is going on thanks to this page and other pages on your site.


You will love watching a rugby game, once you have figured out the rules, lol


Rugby is not a big sport here in Canada, but there are ‘pockets’ in my province where it’s popular. Our largest city, about 60 minutes away from us, has a rugby field close to the perimeter. I have often wondered what the differences are between Rugby and other sports like soccer and our North American football. You have explained Rugby very well. It looks very complicated to me. Is Rugby a rougher sport than lets say, soccer or our football? Is it harder to learn?


I wouldn’t say its harder to learn and it is certainly rougher than soccer that’s for sure


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