top of page
  • Josh Bryan

Rugby League Analysis – Bradford Bulls Academy

Reading time: 5 minutes

How does a Rugby League side analyse their performances? How much detail do they go into? Does an Academy side receive the same level of analysis that you would expect from a senior team? Who does the analysis and how do the team use it?

I’m glad you asked those questions because this blog will look to give you those answers!

We have been really pleased to work with the Bradford Bulls Academy and their video analysis processes for the last year and are happy that the team continue to progress their workflows with using Nacsport and KlipDraw.

The Bulls U19s and U16s teams started their Nacsport journey back in May 2017 after receiving funding from BullBuilder, the Bradford Bulls Supporters Trust, who are focused on attracting, developing and retaining young talent in the Bradford Bulls Academy. This first post from BullBuilder shows the plans that John Bastian (Head of Youth Development) had for using Nacsport in the Academy and we are delighted to be able to use this blog to share more insight into the fantastic processes that the team use.

Coach Mark Dunning has provided this insight into how the team use Nacsport and KlipDraw to help educate their players and provide them with detailed feedback:

Our game is filmed and usually transferred to the coaching staff the same day, ready for us to start working on it to fully analyse the content. This is done in two key stages:

Stage 1 – Individual Coding

As coaches, myself and Leigh Beattie sit down and register each individual player’s involvement throughout the whole game. This is done using one of our Nacsport templates and is very in depth.

The template used creates clips of everybody’s actions that are then easy to review and gives us the information needed to populate our Quality Stats. The breakdown of each action is in depth. For instance, if a player was to take a “carry”, then off the back of that there are numerous other actions and outcomes to register. These include the following; meters gained, play the ball win/loss, break, offload (to player, to ground, poor offload), left man on floor etc. As you can see, each individual action can have multiple outcomes and this all goes towards creating the final resource of a categorised personal video file for each player.

Once all this is completed, which normally takes around 5 hours, the matrix of data is exported into our Excel spreadsheet that formulates our quality stats and provides each player with a print out of their involvements, which also gives them their Game Score.

Stage 2 – Team Review

As a coaching team, we then sit down and go through the whole game again, this time registering the highlights/areas of improvement from a team perspective with a different template.

The clips are normally put in to Offence and Defence categories and are then put into a Presentation Window in the order that the head coach wants to present them in. This varies on what the aim and end-result wanted by the head coach is for the final Presentation to the players. Sometimes we organise the clips in chronological order and sometimes it is shown in blocks that relate to each other (like Offence and Defence).
To add to the detailed analysis of clips that make it into the final Presentation Window, we include drawings and animations with the KlipDraw tools to further show our key coaching messages. The Presentation will be shown in a video review session to the whole squad and can often be a base of what we need to work on for the following week in training, to either fix up or further enhance what has been good.

Once all this is done the players will have their individual clips loaded onto the central shared drive, which provides them with access to review themselves and their clips personally and on a 1 to 1 basis with the coaches.

Recently, I caught up with Mark, Leigh and John to review their Nacsport and KlipDraw processes to see the areas where we could help to speed up workflows and maximise their processes. We looked at using their Tag&go app on their iPhone to register key moments during a game, so they have moments ready to review when linked back to the game video in Nacsport.

We looked at some tips for reordering registers to create Presentation Windows quicker and the latest KlipDraw tools that were released. One thing that will save Mark a lot of time was using the Matrix preset order setting in his template. By ordering the categories and descriptors in the Matrix preset, it ensures that whenever Mark or Leigh use the template from now on, their Matrix will always show data in a set order. This makes reviewing in Nacsport easier and means that once the data is exported into Excel, there is less moving around of columns and rows to make it match up with the formulas in their final Excel file.

I love meeting up with users and learning more about their processes, as I always see a different way that people use our tools that I can share with others (with consent of course!) and always endeavour to show users some different tools and tricks they can use to save even more time, as it all adds up throughout a season!

John Bastian (Head of Youth Development) had this to say about how the Academy use Nacsport and their recent training day:

Nacsport helps us break down games so that individual players are assessed. Each player gets a points total and Nacsport helps us to look at attacking play, defensive play, kicking and other facets of the game. It helps us to point out the good things players do on the field and areas for improvement. We were very lucky to be able to host Josh recently, who spent a day with Leigh Beattie and Mark Dunning helping them advance their skills. Josh has a wonderful way of teaching, he’s invested a lot of patience and time and is delighted with the progress Mark and Leigh have made. The Nacsport analysis we do gives a real goldmine of information for players who want to improve their game. It’s not just a tool for coaches. Players can take advantage of it by assessing the information and working with coaches to understand how they can get better. The game rewards those players that go the extra mile in improving themselves and Nacsport provides them with the opportunity to do that. It’s important for players to recognise that they must assess their footage and take ideas to the coaches. Smart proactive players will do this and benefit from the learning process.

It’s great to see the Nacsport processes continually progressing at the Bradford Bulls Academy. The detailed analysis that Mark and Leigh provide to the team is of a fantastic standard, ensuring that the junior players’ development and understanding of their game can advance well. We are proud to be supporting the Bulls and their coaching staff and are also very thankful that they took the time to share their processes and experiences with you all.

Related Content:


bottom of page