Tips and techniques to analyse your game

Analysing the game by numbers has become fashionable, with computer technology and enhanced reporting on the television helping to add value to your viewing.

Of course American football and basketball watchers will be very familiar with the myriad of information on gains, yards, field goals, defence and other match statistics. Here we show you how you can use video analysis to enhance your understanding of your team’s performance.

How to gather stats using a digital or video camera

These days more and more sides have access to a digital or video camera. To make the best of this facility try the following tips:

  1. Make sure the camera is zoomed in on the play as much as possible.
  2. Get some height. Stand on a chair or table if you cannot get into a stand, or get on top of the clubhouse.
  3. Filming is pretty boring, so try to get more than one person to take charge of this duty.
  4. The ends of the pitch can offer a better view because it is less likely that spectators will be in the way.
  5. The side of the pitch offers a better view of body positions and momentum.
  6. Stop and start the filming at each breakdown. This reduces the amount of useless time watching the film at a later date.
  7. Set the clock to display throughout the recording.

Analysing the film

1. Though an 80-minute game has probably only 25-35 minutes of actual game time, it will take a great deal more time than that to make a full blown assessment of the game. Though you have the luxury of rewind, limit your game analysis to the key areas.

2. Zero the clock or counter on the PC, DVD or video machine, or make sure you film with the clock or counter showing. Then you can note key incidents and so, when you play the film back to the team, you can access them quickly.

3. A shortcut to analysis is to watch the film with the players, making them identify the details. I have used this a number of times when I have not had time to watch and quantify the film. The players enjoy checking off what they have done well and skills they’ve used, and checking that their team-mates have been pulled up for their mistakes!

4. Feedback the video with a flipchart or large piece of paper with some of the key points from the game. It is amazing what obvious conclusions the players can work out for themselves when they realise how many rucks they have lost because of poor body positions.

Checklist tips


  • Ball into contact: won v. lost.
  • Passes made: successful v. unsuccessful.
  • Tackles made: completed v. missed.

Team (attacking and defending)

  • Rucks: won v. lost.
  • Mauls: won v. lost.
  • Lineouts: won v. lost.
  • Scrums: won v. lost.

This article is taken from the Rugby Coach Weekly e-newsletter.

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