Super League’s Top In-Play Kickers of All Time

Rugby League’s Greatest In-Play Kickers

In-play kicking is an essential part of the rugby league game. The sport’s top kickers have an uncanny ability to find the smallest patches of open space in the opponent’s backfield, keeping the ball under their spell. Over the years, the Super League has been blessed with some truly exceptional kickers who always seem to know where to put the ball when their side needs it most.

A skilled kicker can control the tempo of a match, whether through a pinpoint kick to the corner to pin the opponent deep in their own half, a defence-splitting bomb from deep in their own territory, or a pressure-relieving 40/20. An average team can become great with the right kicker, while an otherwise talented side becomes ordinary without one. In honour of these influential in-play kickers, here is a rundown of the five best to have graced the Super League.

Lee Briers

By any metric, the Warrington Wolves stalwart is one of the greatest kickers in Super League history. Across his illustrious 16-year career, Briers’ trusty boot lifted his side to victory time and time again. He still holds the record for the most drop-goals in the competition’s history with a remarkable 70, with second-placed Marc Sneyd lagging far behind. Briers’ masterful performance in Warrington’s 2010 Challenge Cup final triumph over Leeds Rhinos, where he won the Lance Todd Trophy, encapsulated his game-defining kicking ability.

Kevin Sinfield

One moment that epitomises the Leeds Rhinos legend’s kicking prowess came in the 2015 play-off semi-final against St Helens. With 15 minutes remaining and Saints leading 13-8, Sinfield produced a clutch 40/20 kick to spark a remarkable Rhinos comeback, eventually winning 20-13. Sinfield’s precision kicking was crucial to Leeds’ Golden Generation, consistently pinning opponents in their own half and allowing the Rhinos to build pressure.

Marc Sneyd

Salford Red Devils’ resurgence this season has owed much to the consistency of Sneyd, one of the Super League’s great kickers. Since making his debut for the club in 2010, the half-back has proven himself at Castleford Tigers and Hull FC, winning back-to-back Challenge Cups in 2016 and 2017. Sneyd’s left boot is a true wand, giving him complete control of the ball when kicking out of hand.

Danny Brough

Despite never playing for one of the competition’s traditional powerhouses, the journeyman’s kicking talent is undeniable. Brough amassed over 500 first-team appearances for the likes of Dewsbury, Hull FC, Castleford and Wakefield, instrumental in Hull’s 2005 Challenge Cup triumph over Leeds. The 2013 Man of Steel winner was also named in the Super League Dream Team in 2013 and 2015, cementing his status as one of the best in-play kickers.

Sean Long

While Briers was a prolific scorer of drop-goals, Long had a knack for delivering clutch one-pointers when it mattered most. No moment encapsulated this more than his match-winning drop-goal in the final minute of the 2002 Grand Final, securing the title for St Helens. Long’s kicking game was also crucial to Saints’ 2006 Challenge Cup triumph, with teammate Jon Wilkin hailing him as “one of the best players in the world” due to his ability to relieve pressure with the boot.

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