Owen, Shaun Matthew.
Match-play demands of a Super Rugby team.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Rugby union is a physically challenging intermittent sport, whose multi-faceted nature
provides players with a range of playing positions, each with various physical traits, roles and
responsibilities. In addition, following professionalisation, the match-play demands of
the game have continued to evolve. There is currently limited literature on the
contemporary match-play demands of rugby union, particularly temporal patterns as a match
progresses, and peak periods of play. This study aimed to provide an accurate in-depth
investigation of position-specific locomotive and contact demands during match-play, which will
provide a basis for optimal preparation for competition, thereby potentially improving performance
and reducing injury risk.
Thirty-four professional male rugby union players (20–32 years old) were assessed during
match-play over two Super Rugby seasons (2014 and 2015). Players were grouped into
Forwards (n = 83) and Backs (n = 124), as well as Tight Forwards (n = 33), Loose Forwards (n = 50),
Inside Backs (n = 60), and Outside Backs (n = 64). GPS and video-based analysis provided locomotive
(maximum speed, sprint count, total distance, walking distance, jogging distance, striding
distance, and sprint distance) and contact (total contact involvements, rucks, tackles, carries,
scrums, and mauls) match-play data that were described through three methods: Full Match
Analysis, Temporal Pattern Analysis, and Peak Period Analysis. A mixed model repeated measures
ANOVA was utilised to draw comparisons between positional
Full Match Analysis saw the majority of locomotive demands to be greater for Backs than
Forwards, and the majority of contact demands to be greater for Forwards than Backs. Further
differences were seen for positional subgroups. Within-group Temporal Pattern Analysis of Forwards
and backs suggest that both exhibit a slow-positive locomotive pacing strategy throughout
each half. A similar pattern was identified for Forwards when measuring contact demands in the
first half, and a flat-line pacing strategy in the second. However, the backs displayed a sporadic
pattern. For the most part, the positional subgroups reflected the findings of each of their
respective positional groups, Forwards and Backs, with some variation observed between
forward positional subgroups. Analysis of peak periods suggest that Backs have more intense peak
locomotive demands, where Forwards have more intense peak contact demands. The Forwards’ and
Backs’ positional subgroups mirror these findings. Equations derived from Power Law are provided
to indicate training drill intensity targets as a function of time, which would best reflect peak
periods of match-play.
Various differences and similarities in locomotive and contact match-play demands exist
between Forwards and Backs, and Tight Forwards, Loose Forwards,…
Advisors/Committee Members: Venter, Ranel, Gabbett, Tim, Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dept. of Sport Sciences..
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Owen, S. M. (2019). Match-play demands of a Super Rugby team. (Doctoral Dissertation). Stellenbosch University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107217
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Owen, Shaun Matthew. “Match-play demands of a Super Rugby team.” 2019. Doctoral Dissertation, Stellenbosch University. Accessed December 02, 2020.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Owen, Shaun Matthew. “Match-play demands of a Super Rugby team.” 2019. Web. 02 Dec 2020.
Owen SM. Match-play demands of a Super Rugby team. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Stellenbosch University; 2019. [cited 2020 Dec 02].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107217.
Council of Science Editors:
Owen SM. Match-play demands of a Super Rugby team. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Stellenbosch University; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107217