TRY SCORING IN THE 2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP AND 2010/11 WELSH PRINCIPALITY PREMIERSHIP
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Try scoring is fundamental to success in rugby union (Laird and Lorimer, 2004; IRB, 2011). Therefore the intention of this study was to understand which variables are consistently involved when try scoring occurs at different competition levels. The performance indicators analysed were derived from previous literature (Sasaki et al., 2007; Laird and Lorimer, 2004), and clustered into grouping variables including the quality of try scoring and opposition teams, origin and area of initial possession, changes in possession, final origin and area, the number of phases, passes, offloads and kicks as well as the total and final possession length. 250 tries from matches in the 2011 Rugby World Cup (n=48) and an equal number of tries from 2010/11 Welsh Principality Premiership matches (n=41) were analysed in lapsed-time using SportsCode Elite software. Intra-operator reliability tests were conducted on the labels mode template designed, with all variables establishing very good strengths (>0.8) of agreement from Kappa and Weighted Kappa tests. Parametric statistical testing found that there was a significant difference (p<0.01) in the mean final possession time between competition levels. The study identified that coherent with previous research, the lineout was the predominant origin of possession (36.4% World Cup and 28.4% Welsh Premiership). The Market Basket Analysis data mining technique was undertaken to ascertain which groupings of variables provided the best prediction for try scoring. In both the competitions the combination of less than 3 phases and passes, with the initial possession originating from the orange area had significant strength of agreements and high supporting samples (0.976 and 26 samples World Cup and 0.978 and 25 samples Welsh Premiership). The research concluded that higher strength of agreements for offloading and kicking variables were found for the World Cup competition than in the Welsh Premiership. There were a variety of multivariable combinations that increase the probability of a try being scored in both competitions, however there was not a guaranteed combination of variables that would lead to a try in either competition.
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