Video Analysis of Tackles in Professional Rugby League by Player Position, Tackle Height and Tackle Location
This paper describes the nature, height, site and direction of tackles seen in professional rugby league. Retrospective observational analysis was conducted using videos of 80 rugby league matches from 2008. There were 50,019 tackles recorded representing 701 ±64 tackles per match. Nearly 50% of tackles involved tacklers from behind the visual fields of the ball carrier, most tackles involved either two or three tacklers and most tackles involved contact with the mid-torso and hip-thigh region of the ball carrier. Significantly more players were involved in the tackle in the first, than the second half of matches (χ2=4.3, df=1, p=0.038). Significantly more tackles were recorded in the defence than the attack side of the field. Forwards were more commonly involved in the tackle than backs. Forwards were significantly more involved in tackle events than backs but when viewed in player groups, adjustables were involved in significantly more tackle events than outside backs and hit-up forwards. Coaches should focus on getting players to practice correct tackle technique during tackling with two or more players involved in the tackle and especially, when making a tackle in the ball carriers blind vision area.