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Ruck Frequency as a predictor of success in the 2007 Rugby World Cup Tournament


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An evaluation of the 2007 Rugby World Cup was conducted to establish if ruck occurrence could predict successful performance. These data were compared with the 6 Nations and Tri Nations competitions of 2007. There were 117 (range 65 – 172) rucks per match. The knockout stages had a greater number of rucks per game (121 range 71-164) than the pool stages (116 range 65-172). 66% of rucks occurred in the midfield zones, 28% in the attacking and 7% in the defensive zones. Comparisons with the 6 Nations and Tri Nations revealed that there were 20% fewer rucks during World Cup matches. Matches during the pool stages were won (58%) by teams with the highest number of rucks. This was also observed during the 6 Nations and the Tri Nations. In the knockout stages the team with the fewest rucks won 100% of the matches. These data suggest that during International rugby competitions and pool stages of a World Cup, the greater the number of rucks that a team creates, the more likely it is to win the match. This strategy was not effective during the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup; here the avoidance of rucking was associated with success.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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