THE DIFFRENCES IN THE IMPORTANCE OF PERFORMANCE INDICATORS TO PERFORMANCE BETWEEN PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR RUGBY UNION
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this study was to compare performances indicators at two different levels within rugby union, which would help understand the difference between the levels of performance and give useful feedback to coaches in order to assist with the coaching process. A total of twenty games from the 2011/12 Divison One West and the Rabo Direct seasons were analysed in lapsed time. A coding template was created using Nac-sport Scout coding software to analyse the origins of teams possessions, the amount of phases within each possession, any Linebreaks that occurred, how the team’s possession came to an end and whether it ended positively or negatively. The related sample test (Wilcoxon signed rank test) highlighted significance between gaining possession in the amber opposition area (p<0.05) and the red area (p<0.01) and winning and losing teams. Additionally, significant differences were found between winning and losing teams and teams that went through more than 10 phases (p<0.05). There were no significant differences between the origins and outcome of possession and winning and losing teams but it was established that the results were significant in a coaching context, with teams gaining most of their possessions from kick receptions and most tries occurring from set piece within 1st phase. It was also found that there were more scrum origins in the amateur sample, suggesting a greater error count. To conclude it was established that both possession and territory are important indicators, with more influence to the professional game. It was also suggested that an amateur team who minimise error and concede less scrums would place themselves at an advantage of winning. Linebreaks was also found to be highly linked to tries with professional being more clinical than amateur teams. In terms of coaching context, it was suggested that coaches should spend more time on practicing kick receptions rather than a set piece as well as attempt to gain possession in opposition half through territorial tactics.
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