What to analyse

By the end of this section, participants should be able to:

  • Identify common actions to code in training or matches
  • Prioritise those actions based on their own game plan or time available
  • Establish outcome and quality indicators for common actions.

Rugby is a game for all shapes and sizes, and can be played in any number of ways, which means there can be any number of things to analyse as part of your review. Your analysis could include team and individual tasks, set piece and shape, contact and connection, on-ball activity or off the ball efforts.

What you choose to focus on will depend on the resources available to you, including:

  • Time
  • Tools
  • Transfer Methods.

The time you have available will determine how much you can analyse in matches or training, and what your priorities will be. Will it be team focussed on set piece and shape, or will it be at the individual level looking at skill and execution?

Some of these decisions will be made by the tools you will be using. Will you have one camera or multiple angles? Will you have analysis software and a sharing platform, or will you be using free tools and sharing methods?

Finally, how will your analysis fit into your feedback? Will you provide statistics and charts to plot performance, or will you focus on footage to show strengths and opportunities?

Elements which could be prioritised and provide the most value to your team are analysing what your competition looks like, and how you want to play the game. Understanding the features of your competition will give you insight into planning for your sessions and season. How many scrums and lineouts are there on average? How many contacts and rucks are there per match? And how long is the ball in play on average?

Armed with the knowledge of the shape of the competition you play in, your analysis can support the planning for and structure of training, and inform how best to play the game.

Focussing on the game plan, how you want to play and what you need to do to achieve that, will also provide direction for your analysis. What elements of the game do you need to track to show if your game plan is working, and your players are improving?

Finally, when you have determined what to analyse as part if your game, it is important to decide if you want to record just the action, or analyse outcome and quality of those actions. Again this decision will come down to how much time you have available and what is important to your team. The table below outlines some of the common actions you may wish to analyse, along with examples of outcomes and quality ratings.

Action Outcome Quality Rating
Scrum Won/Lost/Penalty Clean/Messy
Lineout Won/Lost/Penalty Clean/Messy
Pass Caught/Dropped/Forward Accurate/Inaccurate
Tackle Made/Missed Dominant/Neutral/Passive
Ruck Won/Lost/Penalty Fast/Slow
Kick Touch/Ground/Caught