Place kick

You use a place kick in rugby for conversion attempts and penalty kicks at goal. When you are a skillful kicker you earn extra points for your team.

Place kicking

Basics for a shot at goal

Kicking in general is easier when you have good handling. It`s not as important for this kick as for those when you have to hold the ball. But you will feel more confident when you handle well.

Even placing the ball on the kicking tee requires skill.

It`s probably worth going over the rugby kicking basics. That page contains valuable information about place kicks.

When you do it

You can earn additional points for your team in certain circumstances when you are a skillful kicker.

After a try has been scored it can be "converted".

Extra points are awarded for a successful conversion.

It involves kicking the ball both over the opposition cross-bar and between their posts. For more details see rugby tries.

Points are also awarded for doing the same from a penalty kick.

The attempts may be made using a drop kick but you would rarely do that because place kicks tend to be more accurate.

How you do it

You prepare the ball, ready for the kick.

Rarely these days, it is placed vertically, directly on the ground.

Usually it is laid on a small mound of sand or on a specially made small plastic mound called a'kicking tee'.

You make sure it is pointing at the goals.

I like to have one of the seams right on top, pointing directly at the black dot on the goal post cross-bar.

Measure out a run up. I need a fair run up for longer kicks!

Then run up and kick the ball between the uprights of the posts and over the horizontal bar (crossbar)..

But it is slightly more complicated because there are two main styles or methods used.

Toe method

Toe place kick of a rugby ball starting position Toe kick, start

Toe place kick of a rugby ball finish position Toe kick, finish

Place the ball on the kicking tee, sloping upwards towards the target.

Move back from the ball for a run up to the ball prior to kicking.

Find the exact distance by trial and error and remember it may vary depending on the length of kick required.

Approach the ball in a direct line so that when you kick straight it will send the ball straight towards the target.

With the toe of your boot you strike the point of the ball.

Instep method

Instep place kick of a rugby ball starting position Instep kick, start

For this kick place the ball upright as in the image or sloping, usually back away from the target.

Use trial and error to find which you prefer.

Move back from the ball to allow paces or a run up to the ball prior to kicking.

Move at an angle to the ball finishing at roughly 45 degrees away from the ball.

Find the exact angle and distance by trial and error and be aware it may vary depending on the length of kick you have to make.

Instep place kick of a rugby ball finish position Instep kick, finish

Approach the ball from your position to the side of the ball swinging your leg round in an arc.

Aim to strike the ball with your instep when your foot is traveling directly towards your target.

Play about and find out what method suits you best. Then practice to improve your skill.

Practice place kicks, follow through

No matter which method you choose, start off right in front of the posts.

Short kicks will to build your skill, style and confidence.

Work up to longer distances and more difficult angles when you are consistently successful with the easier kicks.

This gives you plenty of information about how well you are kicking in terms of how accurate you are and how well you are doing for distance.

Follow through for either method. This is extremely important for both your accuracy and distance.

Main points

  • place the ball carefully and exactly
  • ball must be pointing at the target!!!

  • kicking tee appears to improve performance
  • follow through with the kicking actions and run up

There are plenty more kicks that are used in rugby. You can find out how you do them and when you would use them in a game. Just follow the link.