Effect of Speed of Ball on Attacking Opportunities
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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It is commonly believed throughout the rugby community that quick ball from the contact area disorganises the defensive line and ultimately leads to more space being left open to attack. There is little to no literature available at this time which does a clear in-depth study in to what affects the speed of ball, and who produces more of it successful or unsuccessful teams. The aim of this study was to provide evidence for the impact that speed of ball has on performance. The analysis was done on the four most successful teams from the RBS Six Nations; England, France, Ireland and Wales. Five games for each team were analysed from the 2013 and 2014 RBS Six Nations. The data was collected by opening a previously created and tested code window, a new timeline and inserting the appropriate video in to the Studiocode. The analysis focused on the origin of play, instances which occurred during the tackle and ruck whilst also showing the outcomes of play. A Wilcoxon test showed that out of 56 analysed variables five were found to significantly different (P<0.05) between successful and unsuccessful teams. Four of the variables were significantly greater for unsuccessful teams, these were; support drive during contact, not enough support, offload from floor and knock-ons. The last variable ‘try’ was significantly greater for successful teams; this supports previous literature about differences between winning and losing teams in rugby. Speed of ball was shown to be statistically insignificant between successful and unsuccessful teams as well. With the exception of the significant findings of ‘try’ and ‘knock-on’ the data tended to contradict previous research. The data provides evidence that when northern hemisphere teams play each other there may be no impact by the speed of ball produced because of varying factors.
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