Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $107.00

1 year subscription

USD  $142.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $203.00

2 year subscription

USD  $265.00

This study investigated the relationship between 2 tests of tackling ability, muscle strength, and power in semiprofessional rugby league players. Thirty-one players, 19 first-grade and 12 second-grade, underwent tests of muscle strength (1-repetition-maximum bench press, chin-up, and squat) and power (plyometric push-up and countermovement jump). Tackling ability was assessed via video analysis of under-and over-the-ball tackle drills. The first-grade players had significantly greater scores in both the under-the-ball (P = .03, effect size [ES] = 0.84, 95% CI 0.07–1.50) and over-the-ball tackling-ability tests (P < .001, ES =1.86, 95% CI 0.83–2.52) than the second-grade players. A large, significant relationship was found between under- and over-the-ball tackling ability (r = .55, 95% CI .24–.76, P = .001). Lower-body strength (r = .37, 95% CI .02–.64, P = .04) was moderately associated with under-the-ball tackling ability, whereas over-the-ball tackling ability was moderately associated with plyometric push-up performance (r = .39, 95% CI .04–.65, P = .03). This study found that over-the-ball tackling ability was significantly associated with under-the-ball tackling in semiprofessional rugby league players. Furthermore, it was found that, compared with the second-grade players, the first-grade players had superior tackle ability in both tackle drills. In this study it was observed that plyometric push-up peak power was significantly related to over-the-ball tackling ability and absolute lower-body strength was associated with under-the-ball tackling ability. These findings provide skill coaches and strength and conditioning staff a greater understanding of elements that contribute to effective tackling ability.

Speranza, Johnston, and Townshend are with the School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Australia. Gabbett is with the Gabbett Performance Solutions, Brisbane, Australia, and the Inst for Resilient Regions, University of Southern Queensland, Ipswich, Australia. Greene is with the School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, Australia. O’Farrell is with the Parramatta Eels Rugby League Football Club, Parramatta, Australia.

Speranza (mjsper001@myacu.edu.au) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Gabbett T, Kelly J. Does fast defensive line speed influence tackling proficiency in collision sport athletes. Int J Sports Sci Coach. 2007;2(4):467472. doi:10.1260/174795407783359731

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    van Rooyen M, Yasin N, Viljoen W. Characteristics of an ‘effective’ tackle outcome in Six Nations rugby. Eur J Sport Sci. 2014;14(2):123129. PubMed doi:10.1080/17461391.2012.738710

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Hendricks S, O’connor S, Lambert M, et al. Contact technique and concussions in the South African under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week rugby tournament. Eur J Sport Sci. 2015;15(6):557564. PubMed doi:10.1080/17461391.2015.1046192

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Burger N, Lambert MI, Viljoen W, Brown JC, Readhead C, Hendricks S. Tackle technique and tackle-related injuries in high-level South African rugby union under-18 players: real-match video analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2016;50(15):932938. PubMed doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-095295

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Gabbett TJ. Effects of physical, technical, and tactical factors on final ladder position in semiprofessional rugby league. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014;9(4):680688. PubMed doi:10.1123/ijspp.2013-0253

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Gabbett TJ, Ryan P. Tackling technique, injury risk, and playing performance collision sport athletes. Int J Sports Sci Coach. 2009;4(4):521533. doi:10.1260/174795409790291402

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Speranza MJ, Gabbett TJ, Johnston RD, Sheppard JM. Relationship between a standardized tackling proficiency test and match-play tackle performance in semiprofessional rugby league players. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2015;10(6):754760. PubMed doi:10.1123/ijspp.2015-0044

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Gabbett TJ. Influence of fatigue on tackling technique in rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2008;22(2):625632. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181635a6a

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    King D, Hume PA, Clark T. Video analysis of tackles in professional rugby league matches by player position, tackle height and tackle location. Int J Perform Anal Sport. 2010;10(3):241254. doi:10.1080/24748668.2010.11868519

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Hendricks S, Mathews B, Roode B, Lambert M. Tackler characteristics associated with tackle performance in rugby union. Eur J Sport Sci. 2014;14(8):753762. PubMed doi:10.1080/17461391.2014.905982

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Speranza MJA, Gabbett TJ, Greene DA, Johnston RD, Townshend AD. Tackle characteristics and outcomes in match-play rugby league: the relationship with tackle ability and physical qualities. Sci Med Football. 2017;1(3):265271. doi:10.1080/24733938.2017.1361041

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Gabbett TJ, Jenkins DG, Abernethy B. Correlates of tackling ability in high-performance rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(1):7279. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181ff506f

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Gabbett TJ. Physiological and anthropometic correlates of tackling ability in rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(2):540548. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818efe8b

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Gabbett TJ, Jenkins DG, Abernethy B. Physiological and anthropometric correlates of tackling ability in junior elite and subelite rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(11):29892995. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181f00d22

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Speranza MJ, Gabbett TJ, Johnston RD, Sheppard JM. Muscular strength and power correlates of tackling ability in semi-professional rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(8):20712078. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000897

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Johnston RD, Gabbet TJ, Seibold AJ, Jenkins DG. Influence of physical contact on neuromuscular fatigue and markers of muscle damage following small-sided games. J Sci Med Sport. 2014;17(5):535540. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2013.07.018

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Ran W, Hoffman JR, Sadres E, et al. Evaluating upper-body strength and power from a single test: the ballistic push-up. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31(5):13381345. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001832

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Australian Sports Commission. National Protocols for the Assessment of Strength and Power. Bruce, Australia: Australian Sports Commission; 2007.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Hopkins WG. Measures of reliability in sports medicine and science. Sports Med. 2000;30(1):115. PubMed doi:10.2165/00007256-200030010-00001

  • 20.

    Cohen J. Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. 2nd ed. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1988.

  • 21.

    Hopkins WG, Marshall SW, Batterham AM, Hanin J. Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(1):313. PubMed doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31818cb278

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Gabbett TJ. Influence of fatigue on tackling ability in rugby league players: role of muscular strength, endurance, and aerobic qualities. PLoS ONE. 2016;11:0163161. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163161

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Speranza MJ, Gabbett TJ, Johnston RD, Sheppard JM. The effect of strength and power training on tackling ability in semi-professional rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2016;30(2):336343. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001058

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Speranza M, Gabbett TJ, Greene DA, Johnston RD, Sheppard JM. Changes in rugby league tackling ability during a competitive season: the relationship with strength and power qualities. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31:33113318. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001540

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Baker DG, Newton RU. Comparison of lower body strength, power, acceleration, speed, agility, and sprint momentum to describe and compare playing rank among professional rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2008;22(1):153158. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31815f9519

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 277 277 14
Full Text Views 10 10 0
PDF Downloads 5 5 0