• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

Tactics

Mallll

Academy Player
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
1
I seek enlightenment. Why so much use of the 'up and under' kick?

This gives possession to the opposition almost every time.

Also why has the drop kick at goal become so unfashionable? I see many opportunities just ignored.
 

big ginger 8

Hall of Fame
TRF Legend
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
10,333
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Leinster

I seek enlightenment. Why so much use of the 'up and under' kick?

This gives possession to the opposition almost every time.

Also why has the drop kick at goal become so unfashionable? I see many opportunities just ignored.

It's such a contestable kick that you usually either win the ball back or the opposition are tackled immediately and are usually in their own half. It's very hard to counter-attack off of and if the opposition make any mistake you get the ball in a great position. I'd argue modern rugby is more about territory than possession and when it's executed properly it's a very useful tactic.

The drop kick, is mostly because it's a difficult skill and 5/7 is more than 3. As a missed drop goal is only a 22 arguably we should see more of it, but I'd say those are the main reasons we don't really see it.
 

Yulia

Academy Player
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
431
Country Flag

Russian Federation

Club or Nation

Russia

The drop kick, is mostly because it's a difficult skill
It doesn't look like a difficult skill though,hmm.
Although, just watched Dan Carter showing how to do a drop kick (on YouTube) and he also said it's a difficult skill (because of "balancing" as far as I understood)

Just search Dan Carter: rugby drop kick on youtube
 

BPM

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
2,491
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Harlequins

It's such a contestable kick that you usually either win the ball back or the opposition are tackled immediately and are usually in their own half. It's very hard to counter-attack off of and if the opposition make any mistake you get the ball in a great position. I'd argue modern rugby is more about territory than possession and when it's executed properly it's a very useful tactic.

The drop kick, is mostly because it's a difficult skill and 5/7 is more than 3. As a missed drop goal is only a 22 arguably we should see more of it, but I'd say those are the main reasons we don't really see it.
Agreed on all of this.

The other thing to mention on the ‘up and under’ is that it is usually prompted by a lack of progress from a ball in hand POV.

In elite rugby the defences are so well organised and the line speed is so quick that a 9 or 10 will usually elect to kick if their team hasn’t broken the gain line within 3 or 4 phases. In effect, if you’re not breaking through a brick wall you need to find another way to get past it.

It is a bit of a lottery, but a 50/50 (probably better with a good kicker and good chasers) is better than the comparative certainty that you’ll eventually lose possession if you’re up against a defence that is stopping you on the gain line.

It doesn't look like a difficult skill though,hmm.
It is a very difficult skill. Try for yourself. Even slotting a drop kick from the 22 in the middle of the posts with no-one trying to charge you down is not that easy. When you’ve got a bunch of defenders in your face, you have very little time to pull it off and lots of pressure.

It’s probably fair to say it’s under-utilised but it’s not that hard to see why.
 

Yulia

Academy Player
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
431
Country Flag

Russian Federation

Club or Nation

Russia

It is a very difficult skill. Try for yourself
Yes, actually also thought that I have to try to do it once :) don't want to try any other thing from rugby,but would try to do a drop kick,just out of curiosity. Have you ever tried (in amateur's level I mean)? Not sure if someone does such complicated things in "amateur rugby", just curious
 

BPM

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
2,491
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Harlequins

No. I have not tried to do it in a game, but I’m a flanker so it’s not really something I’d expect to find myself in the position to do.

It does exist in amateur rugby. I have played in a few games where either my team or the opposition have tried it. Probably about a 50% success record.
 

Kiwiwomble

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
4,054
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Otago

Yes, actually also thought that I have to try to do it once :) don't want to try any other thing from rugby,but would try to do a drop kick,just out of curiosity. Have you ever tried (in amateur's level I mean)? Not sure if someone does such complicated things in "amateur rugby", just curious
100% is in the amature game, my team just a couple of weeks ago (pre lockdown). 2 points down and get a penalty on 79 mins...misses but because the lock isn't up and they dont want to kick it back to us they run it out of in goal, we turn it over straight away and so spend 3 mins trying to score...go for the droppie...off the post...gutted
 

Old Hooker

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
4,294
Country Flag

England

Ford 2 in 77 tests.

Farrell 3 in 97.

St Jonny of Wilkinson 36 in 97. And it’s not like the Eng team of that era didn’t run.

The game’s changed, but scoreboard pressure’s still an important thing and tight games still happen. It baffles me that for all the analysis and planning teams restrict themselves in this way…..if nothing else it gives defences something else to think about. It’s not an easy skill, but it’s not impossible either….given they’re from open play and with a lower success % than place kicks, maybe make them 4 points if outside the 22.
 

paddybrown

Academy Player
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
68
Club or Nation

Ulster

I blame the four-try bonus point. Back in 1999 Ulster didn't score many tries - they won the Heineken Cup on Simon Mason's penalties and David Humphreys' drop-goals. Nowadays everybody kicks for the corner and tries to set up a rolling maul at every available opportunity.
 

BPM

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
2,491
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Harlequins

Not every team just goes for maul tries. Although, under McFarland, I’d say that’s a big part of Ulster’s armoury.

Generally speaking, I’d much rather see more tries than more drop goals.
 

Umaga's Witness

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
1,828
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Hurricanes

The first question: to add to what's already been said,
to elaborate on the territory aspect, the up and under allows time for the defensive line to advance in unison, whereas if you kicked it along the groond the opposition would have a chance to run back, assess their options, link with their other players, and attack a disorganised defensive line.
Also, its not just that this kick happens when the attack, agaunst good defence, hasnt succeeded, its that it tends to occur when the kicking team is in their own half, where, at the elite level, if they give away a penalty they could concede 3 points.

on the second question: two points
First, often if you dont go for a drop goal you have a good chance of winning a penalty anyway, and penalties are easier than drip goals.
Second, sometimes it really is just the culture, teams just get stuck in their ways. Take kicks for touch off penalties as an example. For the most part teams have been very conservative in this aspect during the 30 or so years ive been watching top rugby, until recently (maybe the last 5 years, not sure). This whole time, untik it changed, i had been sitting there dumbfounded asking why? Why nit attempt to get more territory? You can get 20 metres extra on average by reducing the probability of making touch from around 100 to around 90 percent. Almost always thsts going to be worth it. Ok i get that teams are better at attacking mauls these days, so there's even more to gain, but it was always the case that after weighing up the risk and reward that teams should have been going for more territory, and practicing more.
in terms of the skill required, this differs per person. Personally i find it easy, though i cant drip kick far. Same with the chip over the top and regather at pace. There are players that can do these things relatively easily, but i do think coaches aren't recognising and encouraging it. We should be seeing more of it than we do.
 
Last edited:

ncurd

Hall of Fame
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
11,070
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

Ok i get that teams are better at attacking mauls these days, so there's even more to gain,
You have to remember post 2003 WR basically neutered the maul as much as possible for sometime because England used it to great effect and it basically couldn't be stopped legally. It's taken some time for it become a real effective force in rugby again.
 

Umaga's Witness

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
1,828
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Hurricanes

You have to remember post 2003 WR basically neutered the maul as much as possible for sometime because England used it to great effect and it basically couldn't be stopped legally. It's taken some time for it become a real effective force in rugby again.
I Cant remember what changed in the laws/interpretation, do you?

Its pretty hard to stop it legally now too, to be fair. Although it would be harder, in open play not near the line, if the laws were enforced (as refs allow the defensive team to collapse mauls in these situations), and easier when near the line (because the refs allow the attacking team to collapse the maul in these situations)
 

ncurd

Hall of Fame
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
11,070
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

I Cant remember what changed in the laws/interpretation, do you?

Its pretty hard to stop it legally now too, to be fair. Although it would be harder, in open play not near the line, if the laws were enforced (as refs allow the defensive team to collapse mauls in these situations), and easier when near the line (because the refs allow the attacking team to collapse the maul in these situations)
Use it or loose it was introduced, there was brief legal collapsing for stalled mauls, I think there were a couple of others.
 

Umaga's Witness

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
1,828
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Hurricanes

Use it or loose it was introduced, there was brief legal collapsing for stalled mauls, I think there were a couple of others.
Use it or loose it makes sense to be fair, for other reasons. Specifically, you wouldn't want a team to wind down the clock by holding the ball in a maul forever.
 

NZbloke

Academy Player
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
51
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Hurricanes

I seek enlightenment. Why so much use of the 'up and under' kick?

This gives possession to the opposition almost every time.

Also why has the drop kick at goal become so unfashionable? I see many opportunities just ignored.
Yeah, the up & under or box kick is a pretty low percentage option, so amazes me why teams way overuse it... even when it's an accurate box kick the opposition still have a much better chance of winning it in the air as they're moving forward to the ball.

Reckon that the drop kick is a very important part of the game, the more quality skill sets a team has the better the chance of winning a match, the drop goal is no different to any other skill, to be able to execute it well it has to be practiced over & over again heaps of times, then it will become second nature... like the box kick don't like to see the drop goal overuse too, use it in important situations like extending a lead past 7 in a tight game, or having a droppie to win near the end of a match.
 
Top