Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation of Scoring Opportunities by South Africa in World Cup Rugby 2003.

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Abstract:

The scoring opportunities of the South African team (SA) during the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup were evaluated from videotape recordings (n = 5 matches) to determine the location of the field (i) where the points were scored from, (ii) where the movement that lead to the scoring opportunity started from, and (iii) the net direction across the field that the ball was moved. These data were analysed using Chi-Square tests to determine if scoring opportunities occurred from different areas of the field. The duration of SA possession of the ball before the points were scored was also determined (this included play leading up to and following a penalty, if appropriate). The data were also categorised into 1st or 2nd half scoring opportunities and analysed with a t-test. There were significant differences between the areas of the field where the points were scored from (P<0.01). The scoring opportunities resulting in points were most frequently scored inside the opposition's 25 m area (86%) with the two wings accounting for 34% (right) and 31% (left). Scoring opportunities began more frequently from the attacking midfield area (between half-way line and opposition's 25 m) 50%, attack 26%, defensive midfield 18% and the defence 5%. The scoring movements were more frequently initiated on the right attacking midfield area of the field (24%) compared with the left (13%) or central area (13%). The net direction of play was most frequently from the right to left direction (34%). Left to right play only accounted for 17% of the scoring opportunities however, net play in the right channel was more frequent (23%), with the rest of the play occurring in the central (9%) or left (17%) channels. SA's mean duration of possession of the ball before scoring was longer in the 1st half (25.52 ± 6.5 s) compared to 2nd half (18.34 ± 8.8 s). In conclusion, in the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup South Africa most frequently started their scoring opportunities on the right side of the field between the halfway line and the opposition's 25 m line, tended to move the ball in a right to left direction and required more time in possession to secure points in the 1st half compared to the 2nd half.

Keywords: RUGBY UNION; SCORING OPPORTUNITIES; SOUTH AFRICA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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