The comparison of line breaks between the attacking and defensive lines in elite rugby.

Welch, Liam (2017) The comparison of line breaks between the attacking and defensive lines in elite rugby. Undergraduate thesis, University of Chichester.

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The ability to score more tries than the opposition is a key factor in winning a rugby union game. Studies have showed that 51% of line breaks lead to a try making it a detrimental area to study in performance analysis. The study aimed to further investigate the comparison of the attacking and defensive lines in elite level rugby union line breaks. An ideological approach on a team from the 2015-2016 AVIVA premiership resulted in analysis of 22 games, in which 96 line breaks were coded. Performance indicators were created to analyse both the attacking line, defensive line and outcomes in order to identify key characteristics of a rugby line break. With an average of 4 tries a game and 45% leading to a try, the current study underpinned the importance of line breaks. Line breaks more commonly occurred when the ball carrier was a back [74%, (x2(1) = 20.042, p = .0001)] running at either a slow or moderate defensive speed [50% & 45%, (x2(2) = 34.563, p = .0001)]. A combination of three attacking player strategies was the key factor when creating a line break [43%, (x2(5) = 53.250, p = .0001)] which either involved an attacking build-up of a short pass 39%, none 24% or a pop pass 20% (x2(11) = 63.000, p = .0001). A slow line speed lead to a no defensive shape being seen and a moderate speed lead to a straight line shape [x2(4) = 29.678, p = .0001, Cramer’s v = 0.556, strong]. When a slow defensive speed was used, there was either no attacking build up or a short pass and when the line speed was moderate a short pass was utilized to create a line break [x2 (6) = 14.059, p = .029, Cramer’s v = 0.387, Moderate]. To stop line breaks from occurring defensive lines should focus on having a straight and fast line speed to shut down attacking players quickly and prevent attacking build up. To create line breaks the attacking side should focus on playing quick fast rugby in the first phase of play, shifting the ball to the backs using short passes after drawing the defensive line to create space for an attacking player to utilise evasive manoeuvres to break the line.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV201 Physical education and training
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Departments > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Undergraduate Dissertations
Depositing User: Ann Jones
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2017 13:33
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2017 13:33

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