How North Harbour Rugby Use Hudl to Identify and Develop New Talent

With the goal of developing rugby at every level of the game in their region, North Harbour Rugby are utilising video analysis to develop club rugby talent into the representative ranks.

With the Mitre 10 Cup being a semi-professional competition, teams will source a sizeable chunk of their team from standout club players in the region. Being able to effectively identify local talent across the wide range of matches is a challenge that’s made easier for QBE Harbour’s coaching staff with Hudl as a talent identification platform.

“Hudl is huge for our player ID. The resources you have for a Mitre 10 cup team are reasonably limited and we have 5 premier matches going on every weekend which need to be viewed,” head coach Tom Coventry said. “Every club match is captured on video and we do our best to watch the majority of these each week.

“We operate a wider training group which is made is up of academy players plus a handful of boys who don’t play Super Rugby but are contracted to the Union, and we use Hudl to review their games and provide feedback to them every week.

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

Self-analysis and individual learning are key aspects for amateur players looking to make the jump into professionalism. Coventry and his team rely on Hudl to provide a platform for this vital stage of player development.

“The players want us, as coaches, to share feedback with them but we also expect them to be able to modify their own behavior, cut clips of themselves when they’re training and bring them along to share with us,” Coventry said. “It becomes a two-way thing once you step up into Mitre 10 Cup and it’s a high expectation that the boys will come and do their role, do self-analysis, and be able to share that information back to the team.”

“We’re not only upskilling them as rugby players but also in using technology”

“We’re not only upskilling them as rugby players but also in using technology as it’s pretty important for their development. Some operating franchises and provincial unions in New Zealand rugby will use this tool because its crucial moving forward,” said Coventry.

“Like anything in life, education, and knowledge of what you’re using and how you use it efficiently is the way forward.”

Lewis Gjaltema has been part of the QBE North Harbour senior setup since 2016 and Hudl has been integral to his development from club player to being part of a professional environment.

“I want to be the best in my game, so review is a huge part of that and it’s becoming a big part of preparations at Mitre 10 Cup level,” said Gjaltema.

“For me I’m in a professional environment, so it’s every day that I use it. I watch myself for skill execution and there’s always plenty of clips from our coaches and preview footage for our upcoming opponents to study on.

“I have plenty of downtime between training sessions so if there’s something I’m not sure about during the day, I can watch back then get clarity.”

For a current semi-professional player who juggles work or study with training and playing, finding a work-life balance is crucial. Hudl allows Gjaltema easy access to review his performance between studies.

“For me it’s perfect really because I’m in front of the laptop pretty much all day so if someone shares clips of me, it pops up in front of me. It’s always right in front of me at the click of a button.”

Not only is the young scrum half self-learning, but he has also taken a leadership role by taking his knowledge back to his home club East Coast Bays.

“A big part of what we do is being leaders in our clubs and I organise video review for our Tuesday club trainings,” said Gjaltema.

“I organise some cuts of what we did the weekend before and we got a lot from that because it’s something we’ve never done before and boys see those pictures and have that visual aspect of the game, that’s big for us.”

“I want to make a living and career out of professional rugby so I’m going to be doing everything I can these next few years to make that happen and obviously video analysis can be a huge part of that.”

There’s no shortage of motivation for Gjaltema to reach his goal of making a living out of rugby, and it’s clear he believes video analysis is a key component to taking the next step in his career.

“I want to make a living and career out of professional rugby so I’m going to be doing everything I can these next few years to make that happen and obviously video analysis can be a huge part of that. I’ll be watching as much footage as I can to prove myself and give myself the best chance of getting there.”

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