Talking with Daryl Halligan about goal kicking

Daryl Halligan gives All Blacks fly-half Andrew Mehrtens a goal-kicking lesson. Ross Land/Getty Images

Throughout his time in the NRL with the North Sydney Bears and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Daryl Halligan became widely regarded as the greatest goal-kicker of all time.

With 855 goals at a 79.31 percent success rate, accruing 2034 points, Halligan played in three grand finals and won a premiership with the Bulldogs in 1995, serving as their primary goal-kicker.

He has since been succeeded by some of the elite modern-day goal kickers, however, with Nathan Cleary currently boasting an impressive a success rate in the mid-80s across his five seasons in the NRL.

Adam Reynolds meanwhile, considered to be among the game's goal-kicking kings along with Cleary, has maintained an an above 80 percent success rate during his nine-season long career.

Make no mistake, however, neither would have seen this success without the trail Halligan blazed for them.

He transformed the skill in rugby league, mastering the craft through intense commitment and sharing his secrets with his contemporaries.

Since his playing days, Halligan has since gone on to serve as a specialist goal-kicking coach to some of the game's most successful and talented players across both rugby league and rugby union.

"It's nice to be able to pass on some skill and pass on your thoughts - you're not always right, but you sort of go through what you fundamentally believe and you learn along the way," Halligan told Talking with TK.

"I actually still enjoy it - I'll still sit and watch a game of footy and look at that kicker and feel nervous for him, but also feel confident that this kid's put the work in and deserves to kick this.

"If you don't feel like that when you watch it then you don't generally have the passion for it."

Perhaps his most impressive student is former Roosters and Sharks premiership winner, and NSW State of Origin winner, James Maloney.

Known for his unique follow-through and incredibly successful goal-kicking in high-pressure games, it is with Halligan that Maloney mastered his craft.

"He's a challenge to goal-kick coach, Jimmy Maloney," Halligan laughed.

"He's got a different technique, and even guys like Nathan Cleary are getting close to that technique now.

"What they basically do is they run out on top of their kick foot - so they'll strike the ball with their kicking foot and instead of having their plant foot shift with them, they just fully extend out and run on top of it.

"In essence it's a bit quicker through the ball than a plant and skip method or a plant and travel method but not much can go wrong with it.

"Height doesn't vary too much, you always exit out the front... you're in the direction of where the ball's going.

"Jimmy's a very accomplished goal-kicker... and it's off the back of a very simple technique - and he makes it look easy."

Between his outstanding playing career, tireless work in specialist coaching across several clubs and his career in the media, Halligan is an absolute asset to the game.

Without him, we would not be graced by the incredible skill of today's goal-kickers.