box kick - good tactic or giveaway?

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by seve gee, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. seve gee

    seve gee Junior Member

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    Over the last few years, the box kick has become a standard play but, I'd like someone to explain to me, why?
    Watching the latest (April 2019) Bath v Gloucester game, the Exeter game and earlier this year, the 6 nations and [almost] without exception the outcome was... the box kick -
    1. gave away possession
    2. gained no ground
    3. established the opponent's point of attack for them
    I'd say this was true in more than 90% of the cases. What am I missing?
    thx
     
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  3. ragerancher

    ragerancher Senior Member

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    The box kick is definitely a viable tactic and can be used to great effect. The problem is too often it is used as the go-to option with no real thought as to if it would work and a kick is only as good as its chase. Most 9's can do a box kick clearance from their own 22 pretty reliably but many fail to use the box kick as an attacking weapon. A box kick can be used to kick the ball into space behind an onrushing defence, allowing your winger to challenge for the ball while running forwards against a back who may be out of position or static.

    The reason so many box kicks are bad is they are often the last resort tactic when a team basically decides they don't know what to do any more and it becomes a "sod it, let's see if this works" tactic. Most of the time it doesn't then work.

    It's the same with a 1 out pass from the base of the ruck. 90% of the time it achieves very little with a forward running into multiple forwards and being stopped on or behind the gain line. It's done when a team don't know what else to do and don't have the confidence to try anything else.
     
  4. TobyBeastTeague

    TobyBeastTeague Senior Member

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    Like any kick, it gains territory.

    The reason a box kick can be more effective than other variations is that due to the angle that the ball is kicked at it's easier to get more height on it, so the ball remains in the air for longer while travelling the same distance. This makes it much easier for your own players to contest the kick and win back possession.
     
  5. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    It's reliant on pinpoint kicking by the scrumhalf/flyhalf, but also good chasing by the winger/fullback.

    It is a great weapon to use if you execute it correctly and have quality players who can compete for it in the air.

    But it's being abused by mediocre scrumhalves when they don't know what else to do as an exit strategy, and 80% of the time its a meaningless way to give the ball back to the opposition.
     
  6. seve gee

    seve gee Junior Member

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    Hi, I understand & appreciate the theory but, really only has a chance when used in the appropriate part of the field / in an attacking play (also to make sure your forwards are not put offside if a kick to touch doesn't go out - like a couple of Johnny Sexten's kicks in the last game against Wales) and there are player there to compete for the ball but as 'rangerancher' and TRF-H observed... it's being used (abused?) as a get-me-outa-here; ofttimes from within the 22, staying in the defender's own half and ramping up the pressure on themselves. imho
     
  7. TobyBeastTeague

    TobyBeastTeague Senior Member

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    I completely agree, the box kick is overused by teams who don't have the personnel to make it effective. I was just explaining that, when used correctly, it is a very useful tool.
     
  8. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    And here I blame World Rugby for it. The way they changed the laws surrounding contest in the air for "player safety" has caused the abuse of the box kick. Remember the days when Fourie Du Preez would execute a bomb to perfection, and have Brian Habana or JP Pietersen chase it down and even collect and score a try from it (2007 RWC). Now, teams know whether their opposition's players are good or not in the air, and abuse this tactic to the point that it is just frustrating to watch.
     
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