Relationship between a standardized tackling proficiency test and match-play tackle performance in semiprofessional rugby league players

Speranza, Michael J. A. and Gabbett, Tim J. and Johnston, Rich D. and Sheppard, Jeremy M. (2015) Relationship between a standardized tackling proficiency test and match-play tackle performance in semiprofessional rugby league players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 10 (6). pp. 754-760. ISSN 1555-0265


Purpose: This study examined the relationships between tackling ability, playing position, muscle strength and power qualities, and match-play tackling performance in semiprofessional rugby league players. Methods: Sixteen semiprofessional rugby league players (mean ± SD age 23.8 ± 1.9 y) underwent tests for muscle strength and power. Tackling ability of the players was tested using video analysis of a standardized 1-on-1 tackling drill. After controlling for playing position, players were divided into 'good tackler' or 'poor tackler' groups based on the median split of the results of the 1-on-1 tackling drill. A total of 4547 tackles were analyzed from video recordings of 23 matches played throughout the season. Results: Maximal squat was significantly associated with tackling ability (r<inf>S</inf> = .71, P < .05) and with the proportion of dominant tackles (r<inf>S</inf> = .63, P < .01). Forwards performed more tackles (P = .013, ES = 1.49), with a lower proportion of missed tackles (P = .03, ES = 1.38) than backs. Good tacklers were involved in a larger proportion of dominant tackles and smaller proportion of missed tackles than poor tacklers. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that lower-body strength contributes to more effective tackling performance during both a standardized tackling assessment and match play. Furthermore, players with good tackling ability in a proficiency test were involved in a higher proportion of dominant tackles and missed a smaller proportion of tackles during match play. These results provide further evidence of the practical utility of an off-field tackling assessment in supplying information predictive of tackling performance in competition.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 30 May 2017 01:56
Last Modified: 30 May 2017 01:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: collision; contact; defense; football; strength; wrestle; acceleration; adult; athletes; athletic performance; biomechanical phenomena; competitive behavior; exercise test; football; humans; male; motor activity; muscle strength; muscle, skeletal; running; task performance and analysis; time factors; video recording; young adult
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
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