Analysis of tries scored during the 2018 and 2019 super rugby tournaments

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Greef, Gabriel Pieter
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University of the Free State
Introduction: The last few years, the professional rugby union defensive system improved and lead to teams scoring fewer tries. The growth of professionalism in sport has aided this with many teams now having a performance analysis staff to support the coaching process. Part of their job is to analyse performances of their teams and conduct analysis on opposition teams to then share this information with the management and support team. Analysing and understanding the performance indicators pertaining to tries can assist coaching staff with information to develop and rethink attacking strategies. Aim of the study: The primary aim of the study is to analyse the try scoring profile of the 2018 and 2019 Super Rugby competition. Methods: The current study included all the Super Rugby matches that was played during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Video footage of all Super Rugby matches were supplied by the South African Rugby Union technical department. All videos was then analysed according to set performance indicators using Nacsport Scout+ video analysis software. All data was captured using data Microsoft Excel software. Results: The current study revealed that tries were responsible for most of the modes of scoring and points for both the 2018 and 2019 rugby seasons. The results indicated that during 2018 the percentage points contribution of tries was 65% (4,570 out of 7,069) and during 2019 it was 46% (811 out of 1,779). When looking at zonal locations where the tries orginated from the results revealed that 75% of the tries for the 2018 and 2019 seasons originated from the attacking half of the field (Zone A & B) and 64% Channel 1. Lineouts were the set piece origin for 37% and 39% of the tries for 2018 and 2019. Turnovers won were the general play origin for 22% of the tries for both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Conclusions: In summary, tries were scored originating from all over the field, but more tries were scored in Zone A and B. Tries originated from several different possession platforms, where set pieces: lineouts and general play: turnovers won were the main ones platforms in both 2018 and 2019 seasons. Fundamentally, coaches and specialist attacking coaches will be able to use these try scoring profiles to improve technical and tactical skills and develop a framework to plan and execute effective plays and tactics in training to score more tries and concede less tries in matches. The results found in this study can be used to guide further research around this topip. Future studies should compare the findings with that of other professional rugby tournaments for the example the United Rugby Championships, Top14 and the newly formed Super Rugby tournament. Lastly, research should focus on the try scoring profile in women’s rugby to see if similar trends are evident.
Dissertation (M.A. (Human Movement Sciences))--University of the Free State, 2021, Rugby Union, Performance indicators, Mode of scoring, Tries