So forward passing is not allowed but kicking the ball downfield is?
Like football, kicking is done to establish field position and as alternate method of scoring.
There a few different types of kicks and each has a different application.
First the scoring:
After a penalty, the team can elect to "kick for points". They place the ball on a tee and boot it through the uprights from where ever the penalty occurred worth 3 points. They could also choose to dropkick, but that is rare. The defending team has to be 10 meters away from the ball, but the ball is live after the kick so they'll position to receive it in case of a miss.
After a try score, the scoring team gets a conversion kick perpendicular from where the ball was grounded in the try-zone. They can be as close to the try-line as they wish, but the opposing team is allowed to rush the kick in an attempt to block it (ball is not live). This kick can be teed up or dropkicked and is worth 2 points.
Lastly, anytime during play the ball may be dropkicked through the uprights for 3 points. This is usually attempted when a scrum or line out is won in the opponent's half but the opposition's defense is not yielding any ground.
Now, the field position kicks:
During play, the team possessing the ball will punt the ball to open space or out of bounds to get the ball out of their half. Inside their 22-meter line, the punt may go directly out of bounds. Outside the 22, the ball must bounce in bounds before traveling out. If an open play punt goes directly out of bounds, then the resulting line-out occurs at the spot of the kick instead of where it went out negating any gain in field position. The line-out following an open play kick always goes to the opposition.
On a penalty, the team may elect to punt the ball to gain field position. If the ball goes directly out, then they still maintain possession for the line-out and there is no "inside the 22" restriction. Sometimes you'll see a team that needs a try to gain the lead, kick a penalty out of bounds even if they are right in front of the uprights. This is because they feel their best chance to score is from a line-out close to the try-line.
Now, there are couple strategic kicks teams will use to put the ball behind the defense in an effort to score. They do this because the defense is facing them and would have to turn to chase the ball, whereas the offense is running full pace to where the ball is kicked giving them a great chance to get to the ball first. These kicks come in two forms. A "pop" kick is where they put it over the defense. A "grub" kick is where they put it on the ground. The defense employs a fullback like a safety to cover these kicks, so the offense needs to be accurate with the kick and selective of when to use them.
Just watched Italy-Wales on the DVR from Saturday. Wales has a great team. What happened with the France game on Sunday?
We layed an egg.
The setup for the tournament was perfect where our last game in Wales would have been for the grand slam (either Wales or us). Wales is arguably playing the best rugby the past 2 years in Europe, and has a serious beef with the French after losing by 1 point in the semis in the World Cup this year in a game where they should have won while playing a man down for about an hour. Then we went on and lost by 1 point in a final we should have won .
Anyways, we fell behind early against England who's in full rebuilding mode after a few turnovers. We were down by double digits, stormed back in the 2nd half and fell short 24-22 after a last second drop goal died a few inches short. Still, we're way too inconsistent. We did the same thing against Ireland: started slowly, fell behind early and had to fight back in the 2nd half.
Now we shat the bed, the build up for the Wales game won't be as great. Should still be a good game to watch. Plus Wales will be playing FTW.
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Originally Posted by RaoulDuke
Well deserved Grand Slam for Wales
On Saturday I watched the England - Ireland match. A little full for the most part, and then England poured on the points toward the end.
That being said, I really enjoyed watching Rugby Union coverage, I wish it was on tv more here in the states. I've seen something called Rugby Sevens on a few times, but I didn't really like that as much.