Statistical Review and Match Analysis of Rugby World Cups Finals

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Luis Vaz, Sharief Hendricks, Wilbur Kraak

The aim of this study was to describe the game related statistics and match analysis of rugby world cups finals from 1987 to 2015. Video recordings of all (n = 8 matches) rugby world cup finals were used for the purpose of this study. Games were analysed using the video analysis software (Sports code V8.9, Sportstec, Australia) and supplementary data were collected from the official reports published by the International Rugby Board and from webpages of Rugby World Cups. Magnitude of differences between the winners and losers was assessed mechanistically. Only 5 tries in total were scored in the last 8 rugby world cup finals. The main two modes of scoring points were penalty kicks and drop goals. Winning teams attempted more penalty kicks, yet seemed to miss more. The number of drop goals was similar between winning and losing teams. These findings highlight the significance of having an on form place-kicker and from a defensive perspective, conceding fewer penalties in kickable positions. Winners of the Rugby World Cup final won more scrums and lost few line-outs, emphasising the importance of winning the set-pieces. Further establishment of these variables and their influence on performance may be used to evaluate team performances and plan more effective tactical approaches to competition.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2018-0061
Key words
rugby union, game related statistics, performance team profiles

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