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How Do You Get 2 Points In Rugby

Rugby is a dynamic and multi-faceted sport with a rich history and a complex scoring system that rewards various aspects of play. One of the critical elements of this scoring system is the conversion, a kick that offers a team the opportunity to add two points to their score following a try. While this may seem straightforward, the execution and strategic importance of the conversion delve deep into the tactical framework of the game. This article explores how teams achieve these crucial two points in rugby, the rules governing conversions, and the strategic considerations that teams and players must account for in executing them successfully.


The Basics of Rugby Scoring

Before delving into the specifics of conversions, it is essential to understand the broader context of scoring in rugby. The primary ways to score points in rugby are:

  • Try (5 points): Awarded when a player grounds the ball in the opponent’s in-goal area.
  • Conversion (2 points): A kick at goal that follows a try.
  • Penalty Goal (3 points): Awarded for certain infractions by the opposing team.
  • Drop Goal (3 points): A field goal that can be scored during open play.

What is a Conversion?

A conversion in rugby is a kick at goal that takes place after a team has scored a try. The objective is to successfully kick the ball between the upright posts and over the crossbar of the goalposts. If successful, this kick adds two points to the team’s score, hence the term “conversion.”


The Rules of Conversion Kicks

Several key rules govern conversion kicks in rugby:


Placement of the Kick: The kick must be taken along an imaginary line (called the conversion line) that extends back from the point where the try was scored. This means that if the try is scored closer to the touchline (sideline), the angle for the conversion kick becomes more challenging.

Timing: The kick must be taken within a specified time after the try is awarded. Typically, the kicker has 90 seconds from the time the try is scored to complete the conversion attempt.

Form of the Kick: The kick must be a place kick or a drop kick, though place kicks are more common due to their greater accuracy.

Opposition: The defending team must remain behind their goal line until the ball is kicked.

Techniques for Conversion Kicking

Executing a successful conversion requires a combination of technique, practice, and mental focus. Here are the fundamental techniques that kickers use:

Stance and Approach: The kicker’s stance and approach to the ball are crucial. Most kickers use a consistent routine, aligning their body and aiming with precision. The approach angle is usually around 45 degrees to the ball to generate optimal power and accuracy.

Ball Placement: Placing the ball on the tee correctly is critical. The seam of the ball is often aligned with the target to ensure a clean strike.

Foot Contact: Striking the ball with the right part of the foot (usually the instep) is essential for accuracy. The kicker’s plant foot should be close to the ball to maintain balance and control.

Follow-Through: A smooth follow-through ensures that the ball travels in the desired direction. The kicker’s body should remain balanced, and the follow-through should be natural and controlled.

Strategic Considerations

The placement of a try and the subsequent conversion attempt can have significant strategic implications. Coaches and players must consider the following:

Try Location: Scoring a try closer to the posts makes the conversion attempt easier. Teams often aim to position their attacks in such a way that allows them to score tries nearer to the center of the in-goal area.

Kicker’s Skill: The choice of the kicker is vital. Teams usually have designated kickers who are particularly skilled at conversions. The kicker’s confidence and form can influence the outcome of the game.

Weather Conditions: Wind, rain, and other weather conditions can affect the success of a conversion kick. Experienced kickers adjust their techniques to account for these variables.

Pressure Situations: The timing and context of the game can place immense pressure on the kicker. A conversion kick late in the game, which could decide the outcome, tests the kicker’s mental resilience and focus.

Training for Conversions

Effective training for conversions encompasses physical, technical, and psychological preparation. Key aspects of training include:

Repetition and Routine: Regular practice helps kickers develop a consistent routine. Repetition under various conditions builds muscle memory and confidence.

Video Analysis: Reviewing video footage allows kickers to analyze their technique, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments.

Simulating Game Conditions: Practicing in conditions that mimic game scenarios, including crowd noise and time constraints, helps kickers prepare for real match situations.

Mental Training: Visualization and mindfulness techniques can enhance a kicker’s focus and composure, crucial for high-pressure kicks.

The Role of Technology

Advancements in technology have introduced new tools to assist kickers in improving their conversion success rate. These include:

Kick Analysis Software: Specialized software provides detailed feedback on a kicker’s technique, highlighting areas for improvement.

GPS and Biomechanics: GPS tracking and biomechanical analysis help kickers understand their movements and make data-driven adjustments.

Virtual Reality: VR simulations allow kickers to practice in virtual game environments, enhancing their preparedness for actual matches.

Iconic Conversion Moments

Rugby history is replete with memorable conversion moments that have shaped the outcomes of crucial matches. These moments underscore the significance of the conversion kick in the broader narrative of the game. Some iconic instances include:

Jonny Wilkinson’s Drop Goal in 2003: While not a conversion, Wilkinson’s famous drop goal in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final demonstrates the pressure and skill required for successful kicking under immense pressure.

Dan Carter’s Conversion in 2015: Carter’s conversions during the 2015 Rugby World Cup played a crucial role in New Zealand’s victorious campaign, showcasing his exceptional skill and composure.

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Scoring two points through a conversion kick in rugby may seem a straightforward task, but it encapsulates a blend of skill, strategy, and psychological fortitude. The kicker must navigate a series of technical and mental challenges to add these vital points to the team’s tally. Understanding the intricacies of the conversion not only highlights its importance within the game but also celebrates the skill and dedication of the players who master this crucial aspect of rugby. As rugby continues to evolve, the role of the conversion will remain a testament to the blend of precision and resilience that defines this beloved sport.


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