Tackling in a professional rugby league

Austin, Damien and Gabbett, Tim and Jenkins, David (2011) Tackling in a professional rugby league. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25 (6). pp. 1659-1663. ISSN 1064-8011


During the course of a rugby league match, players are involved in multiple physical collisions, predominantly in the form of tackles. The purpose of this study was to describe the nature of, and circumstances relating to the various types of tackles completed by various playing positions in professional rugby league competition. Time-motion analysis was used during 5 competition matches; 1 player from 3 positional groups (hit-up forwards, adjustables, and outside backs) was analyzed in each match. Tackles were assessed by recording the sequence of involvement (e.g., whether a player was the first, second, or third player to engage in the tackle), the area of initial body contact on the player being tackled (e.g., high- above waist or low-below waist) and the type of tackle (e.g., front-on tackle, side-on tackle, and tackle from behind). The hit-up forwards, adjustables and outside backs averaged 166, 89, and 41 tackles, respectively, a game; the majority (46%) involved the observed defender being the first physical contact in the tackle. The present data show that the first defender generally makes a front-on tackle, either low or high, whereas the second player performs a front-on high tackle. If a third player is involved in a tackle, he or she makes contact with the player from the side and above the waist. The most frequent activity immediately before tackling is striding, followed by sprinting. The development of strength-based wrestling for individual playing positions should be an integral part of physical conditioning for rugby league players. The development of tackling skills at various movement intensities should also be considered.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published ArticleFirst version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 22 May 2017 05:20
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 02:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: collision; conditioning; contact; time motion analysis; wrestling
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
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181da781c
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32362

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