Technology platform adopted

Jason Healy
Jason Healy
As the game gets more structured and more detailed, the analysis continues evolving and advancing.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has adopted the Play in the Grey analytics platform running on AWS, a cloud computing service, to gain deeper insights into game play in order to improve team performance.

Created with NZR in September 2019, Play in the Grey helps coaches gain insights from game footage to inform strategies and scout for new talent. By automating the delivery of near real-time analytics from match footage the platform provides coaches with accurate game analysis, a statement said.

Play in the Grey applies machine vision and machine learning algorithms to generate over a million data points about players and event patterns for every minute of a game.

By analysing this data, which includes details such as player locations, speeds, proximity and running paths, coaches gain new insights that help teams gain competitive advantages. For example, if a team liked to shift the ball to the edges from set piece, push it infield, then kick to the corners, the coaches could devise strategies to counter this.

NZR performance analysis manager high performance Jason Healy said Play in the Grey’s capabilities were unlike anything teams in black had used before.

"With precise location data for all players throughout an entire game, our coaching team can devise attacking and defensive strategies based on data driven insights."

He said, when contacted, the new technology was evolving all the time.

"You just want to keep an eye on what is going on in the industry and in the marketplace and we are staying on the front foot to see what is going on," Healy said.

"We are continuing to explore what the technology is going on. It is basically a visually based tracing system and collects player movement on the field and gives co-ordinate details in further detail.

"Is it going to give us more information? Yes. Do we know what to do with it? Not really, as we don’t have our full attention on it. It is huge . . . but it is another tool.

"It could be used for all sorts of things. Coaches would get a lot more data and be able to use a lot more."

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