An Alternative Test of Tackling Ability in Rugby League Players

Speranza, Michael J. A. and Gabbett, Tim J. and Green, David A. and Johnston, Rich D. and Townshend, Andrew D. and O'Farrell, Brett (2018) An Alternative Test of Tackling Ability in Rugby League Players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 13 (3). pp. 347-352. ISSN 1555-0265


This study investigated the relationship between 2 tests of tackling ability, muscle strength, and power in semi-professional rugby league players. Thirty-one players, 19 first-grade and 12 second-grade, underwent tests of muscle strength (1-repetition maximum bench press, chin-up, and squat) and power (plyometric push-up and countermovement jump). Tackling ability was assessed via video analysis of under-and-over-the-ball tackle drills. The first-grade players had significantly greater scores in both the under-the-ball (P = .03, effect size [ES] = 0.84, 95% CI 0.07-1.50) and over-the-ball tackling-ability tests (P < .001, ES = 1.86, 95% CI 0.83-2.52) than the second-grade players. A large, significant relationship was found between under-and over-the ball tackling ability (r = .55, 95% CI .24-.76, P = .001). Lower-body strength (r = .37, 95% CI .02-.64, P = .04) was moderately associated with under-the-ball tackling ability, whereas over-the-ball tackling ability was moderately associated with plyometric push-up performance (r = .39, 95% CI .04-.65, P = .03). This study found that over-the-ball tackling ability was significantly associated with under-the-ball tackling in semi-professional rugby league players. Furthermore, it was found that, compared with the second-grade players, the first-grade players had superior tackle ability in both tackle drills. In this study it was observed that plyometric push-up peak power was significantly related to over-the-ball tackling ability and absolute lower-body strength was associated with under-the-ball tackling ability. These findings provide skill coaches and strength and conditioning staff a greater understanding of elements that contribute to effective tackling ability.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2021 02:40
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 04:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adult; Athletes; Athletic Performance; Cross-Sectional Studies; Football; Humans; Male; Muscle Strength; Physical Fitness; 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
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