An alternative test of tackling ability in rugby league players

This study investigated the relationship between 2 tests of tackling ability, muscle strength, and power in semiprofessional 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 semiprofessional 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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Subjects: test performance capacity attack rugby
Notations: sport games
DOI: 10.1123/ijspp.2016-0701
Published in: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Published: 2018
Volume: 13
Issue: 3
Pages: 347-352
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced