When Joe Schmidt announced his Ireland team for the Chicago game against the All Blacks many were surprised by his choice of Rob Kearney at full back. Continue reading
It came as a surprise to many when Stuart Lancaster was named as the senior coach at Leinster at the start of the 16-17 Pro 12 season. Continue reading
As Gordon D’Arcy looks set to leave centre stage he has one message for the next generation of rugby players, “There is no substitute for hard work”. Continue reading
LineoutCoach Rugby Rules looks at how to make your kicks count.
Place Kickers have a tough task. As if having the pressure of converting crucial points with your team, the opposition, and the crowd all watching wasn’t enough, you have to take on the elements too. The weather is one of the biggest factors that impacts on kicking success rates, specifically the wind, and this is one of the best examples of Mother Nature playing her part in a game.
I caught up with my former team mate Felipe Contepomi for the rugby coaching book I’m writing and it reminded me of a key incident when he was kicking for Leinster which was responsible for a law change in the game.
Conditions were awful for the game between Connacht and Leinster held at the Galway team’s ground in 2008. The kicker for the visitors, Argentinian Felipe Contepomi was an experienced player and even though the penalty kick was only 18 metres in front of the posts he took every precaution in the windy conditions, getting a team mate to hold the ball in place incase the wind blew it over.
As the video showed he was right to worry about the wind blowing the ball back as his successful kick was returned to earth on the wrong side of the posts. A Connacht player scrambled for the ball and kicked it clear but the referee George Clancy correctly blew for the score.
As amazing and rare as this incident might appear it, is covered by the rugby laws, specifically 9.A.2 (b) which states
‘If the ball has crossed the crossbar a goal is scored, even if the wind blows it back into the field of play.’
While knowing this law is unlikely to gain you many points, unless you are kicking into the wind at Connacht on a blustery day, it is worth refreshing your knowledge of the laws around place kicks. Having a team mate hold the ball which Contepomi took advantage of or knowing time limits for kicks or understanding the laws on charging could make a difference in your next match.
When is a Kick at Goal a Kick at Goal
Refer to Law 9 of the IRB Laws
9.A.2 Kick at goal – special circumstances
(a) If after the ball is kicked, it touches the ground or any team-mate of the kicker, a goal cannot be scored.
(b) If the ball has crossed the crossbar a goal is scored, even if the wind blows it back into the field of play.
(c) If an opponent commits an offence as the kick at goal is being taken, but neverthless the kick is successful, advantage is played and the score stands.
(d) Any player who touches the ball in an attempt to prevent a penalty goal being scored is illegally touching the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick
9.B CONVERSION KICK
9.B.1 Taking a conversion kick
(a) The kicker must use the ball that was in play unless it is defective.
(b) The kick is taken on a line through the place where the try was scored in the field of play.
(c) A team mate may hold the ball for the kicker to kick.
(d) The kicker may place the ball directly on the ground or on sand, sawdust or a kicking tee approved by the Union. No other form of assistance may be used.
(e) The kicker must take the kick within one minute and thirty seconds (ninety seconds) from the time a try has been awarded. The player must take the kick within one minute and thirty seconds even if the ball rolls over and has to be placed again.
Sanction: The kick is disallowed if the kicker does not take the kick within the time allowed.
9.B.2 The kicker’s team
(a) All the kicker’s team, except the placer, must be behind the ball when it is kicked.
(b) Neither the kicker nor a placer must do anything to mislead their opponents into charging too soon.
(c) If the ball falls over before the kicker begins the approach to kick, the referee permits the kicker to replace it without excessive delay. While the ball is replaced, the opponents must stay behind their goal line.
If the ball falls over after the kicker begins the approach to kick, the kicker may then kick or attempt a dropped goal.
If the ball falls over and rolls away from the line through the place where the try was scored, and the kicker then kicks the ball over the crossbar, a goal is scored.
If the ball falls over and rolls into touch after the kicker begins the approach to kick, the kick is disallowed.
Sanction: (a)-(c) If the kicker’s team infringes, the kick is disallowed.
9.B.3 The opposing team
(a) All players of the opposing team must retire to their goal line and must not overstep that line until the kicker begins the approach to kick or starts to kick. When the kicker does this, they may charge or jump to prevent a goal but must not be physically supported by other players in these actions.
(b) When the ball falls over after the kicker began the approach to kick, the opponents may continue to charge.
(c) A defending team must not shout during a kick at goal.
Sanction: (a)-(c) If the opposing team infringes but the kick is successful, the goal stands.
If the kick is unsuccessful, the kicker may take another kick and the opposing team is not allowed to charge.
When another kick is allowed, the kicker may repeat all the preparations. The kicker may change the type of kick.
Why not test yourself on the rugby laws and take the online IRB exam today.
I can also recommend signing up for the IRB Coaching website which is a great resource and their monthly newsletter keeps you up to date with any changes.
Gavin Hickie, USA Rugby Collegiate All-Americans Forwards Coach, is a former Ireland A & 7s, Leinster and Leicester rugby player now Head Coach of Dartmouth Rugby. He writes for RugbyToday.com and other publications when not coaching and blogging on lineoutcoach.com
A new series on LineoutCoach, Learn from the Pros, will highlight insights from professional players and teams that can help you reach your rugby potential. Continue reading
This is the first in a series of articles celebrating the classic rugby moments that capture the essence of the gentleman’s game. Sponsored by Royall Lyme, each blog will focus on a player, team, coach, try or game that reflects the core values of the sport. Continue reading
Shane Jennings talks exclusively to LineoutCoach.com
USA Rugby Press Release
USA Rugby Junior All-American Staff for 2012 Junior World Rugby Trophy named by coach Lawrence
• Gavin Hickie named forwards coach
• Vaha Esikia to focus on individual skill development
BOULDER, Colo. – Scott Lawrence, the USA Rugby Junior All-Americans Head Coach, has announced his coaching staff leading into the 2012 Junior World Rugby Trophy – an international Under-20s tournament featuring the future stars of rugby from eight nations – in Salt Lake City in June 2012.
Lawrence’s staff consists of high school, college, and senior club coaches and all claim successes at their respective levels. Input to Lawrence from different viewpoints in tantamount to the long-term development of the USA Rugby Junior All-Americans.
Lawrence is the defense coach of Life University’s Rugby Super League team and has been heavily involved in the development of USA Rugby’s High Performance programs over the last five years. A former Eagle himself, Lawrence believes his role as Junior All-Americans head coach is one of the most enjoyable and one of the most crucial in the player pathway.
The two changes from Lawrence’s 2011 USA Rugby JWRT staff are the additions of Gavin Hickie and Vahafolau Esikia.
Hickie has played professionally in Europe for, among others, Leicester, Leinster, and the London Irish. He has taken the helm of Belmont Shore Varsity side and led the squad to a SoCal High School Varsity Championship this year.
Hickie has also begun leading USA Rugby coaching clinics with a specific focus on forward play and lineouts. Fittingly, he will be the forwards coach for the JAAs.
Hickie said, “I am honored to be working with Scott Lawrence and all of the staff at USA Rugby. Coaches are students of the game and I feel very fortunate to continue my rugby education within USA Rugby’s infrastructure. I look forward to working with the team in the Junior World Rugby Trophy and beyond.”
Esikia is a former Eagle and longtime club player from San Mateo, Calif. After moving to Las Vegas from California he founded the Las Vegas Rugby Academy in 2009. The Academy has grown to four full-contact sides and a touch league. Esikia is responsible for individual skill development with the USA Rugby Junior All-Americans.
Justin Hickey, Head Coach at Clemson University, will remain the team’s manager. Hickey was previously the High School All-Americans manager and has extensive experience in sports administration and rugby.
Jason Kelly who coaches the Denver Barbarians Rugby Super League team will coach the JAAs backline. Prior to joining the Barbos, Kelly coached the Las Vegas Blackjacks to a Men’s Division I Club National Championship in 2010.
Justin Goonan will be the JAAs Strength and Conditioning coach. Goonan owns a private sports performance business in Boston and works with the Boston College men’s rugby team.
Mike Diamantopolous, head coach of Boston’s Rugby Super League team, will serve as video analyst for the All-Americans.
Dr. Ben Cowin is the team’s medical coordinator and has worked for the NCAA, the St. Louis Cardinals, and various other professional sports.
Luke Gross is stepping down as USA Rugby JAAs forwards coach as he transitions into the role of USA Rugby Player Development Manager, overseeing the international player pathways and serving as a consistent eye for player development across all men’s and women’s high performance programs.
Chris Osentowski has stepped away from his role as scrum coach due to professional commitments.
The USA Rugby Junior All-Americans will assemble on May 19 to depart for a two-match series against the Canada Under-20s in Canada. The two matches will be played on May 23 and May 26 and will serve as tune-ups for the 2012 Junior World Rugby Trophy.
USA Rugby Junior All-Americans/USA U20s 2012 Staff
- Scott Lawrence (Life University) – Head Coach
- Justin Hickey (Clemson) – Manager
- Gavin Hickie (Belmont Shore) – Forwards Coach
- Jason Kelly (Denver Barbarians) – Backs Coach
- Vaha Esikia (Las Vegas Rugby Academy) – Individual Skill Development Coach
- Justin Goonan (Boston College) – Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Dr. Ben Cowin – Medical Coordinator
- Mike Diamantopolous (Boston RFC) – Video Analyst
Brian O’Driscoll set to make an early return for Leinster.
My home Province of Leinster received a great boost to their Rabo Bank Pro 12 and Heineken Cup aspirations with the news that Irish captain, Brian O’Driscoll has made a speedier than expected return from a severe shoulder injury. Continue reading