An Analysis of the movements, both duration and field location, of 4 teams in the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
A comparative study of English, Australian, New Zealand and South African performances in the 2003 Rugby World Cup was performed from a video evaluation of all matches played by the four teams during the tournament. Each team averaged 43 movements per match comprising 20% point scoring, 56% running play and 24% kicked play movements. South Africa completed fewer point scoring (16%) and more kicked play movements (29%). Differences between the mean movement times for the four teams were not significant. All teams had significantly longer time in possession during point scoring movements than in movements that resulted in a turnover (P<0.05). All teams with the exception of England had significantly longer time in possession of the ball during running play than during kicked play movements (P<0.05). There were significant differences between the locations on the field where the teams scored points. England and Australia predominantly scored between the posts, South Africa scored out wide, but New Zealand scored with equal frequency across the try line. This study also found that semi-final teams (England, Australia and New Zealand) transferred 10% more possession from the defending to the attacking half of the field than did South Africa. In summary this study has shown clear differences between teams reaching the semi finals of the 2003 Rugby World Cup and those knocked out at the quarterfinal stage (South Africa). These differences can be summarized as a greater ability to retain the ball for longer and to move possession from the defensive to the attacking half of the field.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2006-06-01