Finn Russell Kicking a habit at Rugby World Cup

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Finn Russell Wales' fly-half Rhys Patchell said it is kicking points, not scoring tries, that wins world

Wales’ fly-half Rhys Patchell said it is kicking points, not scoring tries, that wins world cups. (Photo: AFP/Odd Andersen)


(Updated:)

TOKYO: High balls, cross-field kicks and the return of the mighty drop: kicking has been a prominent feature of the early rounds of the Rugby World Cup as teams seek to penetrate increasingly aggressive defences.

The last World Cup in 2015 was dominated by teams keeping the ball in hand, even from deep inside their own territory – and none were better at this than the All Blacks, who sealed a second consecutive Webb Ellis Cup.

But Japan 2019 so far has seen teams revert to the boot to avoid lengthy exposure to ultra-aggressive rush defensive lines that could result in errors.

The two blockbuster matches so far – New Zealand-South Africa and Australia-Wales – both saw exactly 61 kicks of various types, a huge number given t

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