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Team performance indicators as a function of winning and losing in rugby union.

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The construction of a valid and reliable methodology for the analysis of team performance indicators within rugby union is presented. Twenty matches were sampled from the domestic season of a professional male rugby union team and notated using a computerised behavioural analysis system. A comprehensive list of twenty-two team performance indicators were developed via expert coaches and analysts. Examination of each indicator using Mann-Whitney U analysis revealed statistical differences between winning and losing performances for only two of the identified team indicators (lineouts won on oppositions throw and tries scored). Practical differences were visible within other indicators including increases in the percentage of turnovers won (mdn= 71.88, 95% confidence limits= 88.89 and 33.33 when winning, and mdn= 47.25, 95% confidence limits= 72.22 and 30 when losing). The findings highlight a number of team factors which contribute to winning matches. Subsequent combination of these variables may be used to develop a model to predict future performance within rugby union.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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