Scotland’s top amateur rugby league is to be enhnaced with a professional video analysis service for all teams in the BT Premiership, which could include GHA rugby club next season if they win promotion. All action will be filmed from the five-game fixture list every Saturday, with a fully-coded match analysis available to coaches and players the next evening. Coding allows games to be broken down into specific and searchable parameters that can be exported into stat sheets. This allows teams to identify and analyse behaviours and positive and negative plays quickly, which can in turn help teams adapt and improve their preparations and performances.
The funding for the initiative comes as part of Scottish Rugby’s Player Improvement Fund that was allocated to the top ten BT Premiership sides at the beginning of the season.
Scottish Rugby’s Lead Performance Analyst, Rob Holdsworth, is behind the idea, which made its debut at the start of the New Year.
He explained: “This technology will play an important part in improving our top amateur clubs by resourcing them with a readily available and speedy analysis service.
“All ten teams will be able to look at different elements of their games and their opponents’ performances, with the likes of lineouts, scrums, restarts, line-breaks and tries being grouped together in Coach Logic, using video analysis software NACsport.
“The detail recorded will be in line with what our professional and national teams receive.
“Some clubs were already using video analysis software and filming games, however it can be a long and burdensome process. So, we hope that this initiative will prove valuable to the BT Premiership clubs.”
A team of video analysis students, from Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities, provide this service with the support of Scottish Rugby’s Performance Analysis department, with former GHA flanker Calum Forrester – the current Ayr rugby coach - already seeing the benefits.
Forrester, a former Hutchesons’ Grammar School pupil, said: “Our league is in a unique position as we develop players for the professional game on a weekly basis through the pro-player draft.
“Part of our role is to provide match footage and analysis that can be used by players, coaches, Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh Rugby, the BT Sport Academies, international age-grade coaches and referees.
“This new integrated system ensures broadcast quality coverage that can be used for these groups and even marketing purposes.
“This is a major step forward and like the professional game there is now access to all matches and opponents. This will enhance player development and the standard of competition.
Scottish Rugby linked up with Coach Logic after a number of the BT Premiership clubs started using the service, as well as the Edinburgh based company being willing to tailor their service to the exact needs of the league.
NACsport software is one of the industry’s most powerful yet affordable performance analysis tools because it can run on Windows computers.
Coach Logic Founder and Currie coach, Mark Cairns, said: “This is an exciting partnership for us because it has allowed us to develop our software and to work with a professional outfit like Scottish Rugby, an area we hadn’t initially planned for.
“This is also helping us strengthen relationships we have with sportscotland and West Ham United Football Club.
“The exciting part is that we have created a hub for everyone to access in-depth analysis of BT Premiership matches.
“This service will help coaches develop their game plan and scrutinise their opponents, week-on-week, and it will improve the standard of the league, which can only be good for the Scottish game.”