HOW TO MAN­AGE DIF­FER­ENT KICK­ERS

Lions as­sis­tant coach Neil Jenk­ins ex­plains how he works with the con­trast­ing kick­ers on tour

Rugby World - - PROFESSIONAL INSIGHT -

Leigh Half­penny had a 100% kick­ing record in his fi rst two games for the 2017 Lions, slot­ting nine penal­ties and two con­ver­sions against the Blues and Maori.

VIDEO HOME­WORK

“I had to try to get a feel for all the play­ers. From my per­spec­tive, I had to watch a lot of footage of our kick­ers. then I had to look at adapt­ing my own ap­proach, be­cause in four or five weeks to­gether you can­not change these kick­ers too much.”

AWARE­NESS OF TRIG­GERS

“Each player has dif­fer­ent trig­gers. We have dif­fer­ent types of kick­ers, so I will watch them in train­ing to see how they set their mark from the ball, where they are com­ing from, their tempo, tra­jec­tory of ball, height or im­pact of their punt.”

CON­SCIOUS OF TIm­ING

“all kick­ers need to have the right rhythm – not too fast, not too slow. If you have ever tried to smash a golf ball, it won’t go too far. Every­one is dif­fer­ent, and the Lions kick­ers are the best of the best, so we work on sim­ple things to find that rhythm.”

TALK­ING ON THE PITCH

“In train­ing what we talk about de­pends on who we’re play­ing. If the op­po­si­tion close down space quickly, we’ll work on sharp speed to get back and kick. We talk a fair bit on the pitch dur­ing games too (about how to re­act to what is hap­pen­ing).”

ADDING PRES­SURE

“We use a lot of cones in train­ing. We work on kick­ing one step from a cone, then two. also, quickly get­ting the ball in front of the body and hav­ing a con­trolled drop to the foot. De­fend­ers will charge down and we’ll work on ex­its, bring­ing in our left-foot­ers.”

A LIT­TLE VA­RI­ETY

“Keep­ing it fresh on tour is dif­fi­cult – you have dif­fer­ent kick­ers game to game. We have good com­pe­ti­tion and one thing we do use is adding in a tight an­gle, try­ing to hit a post from the 5m line. It’s a chal­lenge but we still try to get through the ball.”

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