A Comparison of Physical and Technical Performance Profiles Between Successful and Less-Successful Professional Rugby League Teams.

Human Kinetics
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2017, 12 (4), pp. 520 - 526
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This was the first study to examine differences in physical and technical performance profiles using a large sample of match observations drawn from successful and less-successful professional rugby league teams.Match activity profiles were collected using global positioning satellite (GPS) technology from 29 rugby league players from a successful team during 24 games and 25 players from a less-successful team during 18 games throughout two separate competition seasons. Technical performance data were obtained from a commercial statistics provider. A progressive magnitude based statistical approach was used to compare differences in physical and technical performance variables between the reference teams.There were no clear differences in playing time, nor absolute and relative total distances or LSR distances between successful and less-successful teams. The successful team had possibly to very likely lower higher-speed running demands and likely fewer physical collisions than the less-successful team, although they likely to most likely demonstrated more accelerations and decelerations and likely higher average metabolic power. The successful team very likely gained more territory in attack, very likely had more possession and likely committed fewer errors. In contrast, the less-successful team was likely required to attempt more tackles, most likely missed more tackles and very likely had a lower effective tackle percentage.In the present study, successful match performance was not contingent on higher match running outputs or more physical collisions, rather proficiency in technical performance components better differentiated between successful and less-successful teams.
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