How North Harbour Rugby Union Uses Hudl at Every Level of Competition

With the goal of developing rugby at every level of the game in their region, North Harbour Rugby are utilising video to bring teams in their union closer together.

Maintaining contact with the numerous amount of clubs in a region can be a challenge and QBE Harbour Mitre 10 Cup head coach Tom Coventry sees real value in using Hudl to communicate with club coaches throughout the area.

“It brings all the clubs together. Coaches will ask me questions, they can share their game clips with me, and I can send the feedback through the app in return,” Coventry said. “It’s proven to be an easier way of being able to communicate and when I’m sending clips back to the teams, we can communicate via something that’s right in front of us rather than just doing it verbally.

“One session from a head coach to a club side is only just a drop in the ocean really as to how you can assist them so what we want to do is not just make it a once off so we try and keep that communication open.

“It's pretty huge for us and without it we would be floundering around, in my opinion.”

Performance analyst Alistair Beeton has overseen the use of Hudl at QBE North Harbour and has already seen it increase engagement in self-learning from grassroots to the elite level.

“By using Hudl, we intend to benefit the whole union, not just the Mitre 10 Cup level, and we have taken this to another level by increasing from around half the clubs to eight out of 10 using the advanced platform this season,” Beeton said.

“The biggest challenge is the level of interest between club players and those players that were involved with the Mitre 10 Cup where the latter were really motivated to use it and really realised its importance within the professional rugby space.

“Now that we have got Hudl in the community rugby space, we have been able to include newer players who are maybe just starting their career, or come out of school who are now able to tap into it. The amount of clubs now using the platforms shows the growing interest.”

“By using Hudl we intend to benefit the whole union, not just the Mitre 10 Cup level."

As a result of video analysis resources being put into place at club level, Beeton and his staff have noticed that an educational uptake from clubs has begun to be put in practice on the field.

“Hudl has taken things to another level in terms of getting better quality of rugby because now we (as a union) are a lot more educated on the game and how we make decisions to influence outcomes and transitions from game to game,” said Beeton.

“You see teams now instead of just approaching the game with the same tactics week in week out are able to manipulate how they play relative to their opposition by having had the ability to scout their opposition, look at their video content to deliver and develop game plans that will relate to what they would want to do for their future matches.

“Coaches are also better connected to QBE North Harbour Rugby, so there has been more education amongst the community and this has formed part of the transition from where we were in the past to where we are now.”

Beeton explained the effect of video analysis being used at senior levels had a trickle down effect on age groups, women’s teams and referees beginning to come on board.

“We’re not really leaving any part of the union untouched. It trickles down to our under 19s high performance program and our QBE women’s Farah Palmer Cup side are tapping into it also.

“We found to some extent that the women’s team engage more with it than the men and there’s a genuine excitement as they have access to a tool they otherwise wouldn’t have had.

“Then we’ve got our second grade teams that are on the platform which tells the club community that this product is accessible to everyone in our union".

“We’re not really leaving any part of the union untouched. It trickles down to our under 19s high performance program and our QBE women’s Farah Palmer Cup side are tapping into it also."

“What you also find is the coaches who look after these clubs can go on to look after representative teams, so they bring their experience with video along with them.”

Referees are an extremely valuable resource for a provincial union and this is another area where video analysis is helping to develop an extremely important part of rugby.

“Referees are quite often the first ones to ask for game footage, through that we’ve been able to see the development of referees, with some now involved at Mitre 10 Cup level,” said Beeton.

“A big part of that I think is how we educate and review through the platform.

The next step is to get our schools involved in what we’re doing here with video analysis.”

To learn more about how Hudl uses analytics to fuel the modern game, you can sign up for one of our online classes or take a look at our other professional rugby case studies from Premiership Rugby team Leicester Tigers and Top 14 Rugby’s Stade Rochelais.