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The squib or grubber kick gains popularity as offenses attempt to penetrate the straight, flat line of defenders. With more loose play seeing defenses drop back, knowing the other team will gain or already have possession, attacking ball movements make but a few yards a la Rugby League play before a swarm of tacklers halts the action.
The grub kick tends to be unpredictable and erratic, the bouncing ball often hard to handle, and sometimes, a knock-on arises. The kick then becomes a strategic method to regain possession, hoping that a miscue will result in a knock-on, or even turning the ball over, a better result.
A good example occurred in the Scotland versus England 2018 Calcutta Cup, when, at the 16th minute, Scottish Center Huw Jones kicked on Finn Russel’s grub kick, pouncing for a try after the English Fullback failed to gather in the ball. Watching a replay of Russel’s initial kick is to witness a ball that seems to curve inward along the ground, surprising the England defender. Jones could follow the path of the ball as it swerved toward the try line.
Grubber kicks can bounce or roll, each version can be successful creating a hole in the opposition’s defense formation.
A quick grub kick how-to can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFGJHEEBpgE