Tackling in a professional rugby league

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.
© Copyright 2011 The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. National Strength & Conditioning Association. All rights reserved.

Subjects: rugby attack technique
Notations: sport games
Tagging: Tackling
DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181da781c
Published in: The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Published: 2011
Volume: 25
Issue: 6
Pages: 1659-1663
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced