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First was GPS. Then calves blood extract. Now rugby league’s top innovator has taken another trailblazing step into high performance nirvana.

 

JOSH MASSOUD writes in the Daily Telegraph revealing Bulldogs coach Des Hasler enjoyed an edge on his rivals last season, thanks to a pair of special cameras that were installed behind the goal lines at either ends of ANZ Stadium midway through 2013.

 

In a move that’s set to take real time analysis of sport to the next level, Hasler was privy to a live feed that captured defensive and attacking formations from the best seats in the house.

 

Beamed directly to his analyst’s laptop, the vision effectively meant Hasler — perched above the tunnel on halfway — could simultaneously analyse the match from three separate angles as play unfolded.

 

ANZ StadiumBetter still, his assistant — Luke Gooden — was able to pause and rewind the live feed to download critical moments onto his laptop.

 

Incidents such as defensive misreads could then be replayed to the players responsible during half-time, enabling them to see exactly how they’d erred.

 

The technology is the brainchild of ion Sport, a company Hasler has relied on for several years to equip Belmore Oval with similar cameras and software that enable performance to be analysed via iPads in real time at training.

 

Most NRL clubs are now using the similar technology at training, but last year was the first time it had been introduced on game day.

 

The ANZ Stadium feed was launched at Canterbury’s Round 19 clash against Parramatta, with Hasler given exclusive access for remaining home games in exchange for introducing the venue to ion Sport. The cameras were affixed to the gantry at the southern and northern ends at Canterbury’s request.

 

ANZ CameraANZ Stadium now intends open the feed to all other NRL clubs — South Sydney, Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra and Parramatta — who will call Olympic Park home in 2014.

 

A stadium spokesman stressed there was no contravention of the NRL’s broadcast deal because the cameras were only being used to analyse performance, rather than capture vision for wider dissemination.

 

The Bulldogs might also draw comfort from the fact they requested the cameras to be installed while Todd Greenberg — now second-in-charge at the NRL — was club CEO.

 

“To this point it has only been used by the Bulldogs as we went through a testing phase,” a stadium spokesman said.

 

“However, following a new fibre upgrade of the system during the summer we will now be in a position to offer this service to other home clubs.

 

“The end-on cameras are being used as a performance analysis tool only.

 

“We are not aware of any potential to use these images elsewhere inside the stadium or externally, and this would be a matter for the NRL, Telstra and the broadcasters.”

 

The Daily Telegraph spoke to Hasler about the cameras last night, but he declined to be interviewed. iOnSport confirmed the vision had been used for no purpose other than to analyse Bulldogs matches.

 

The company is working on a similar installation in Singapore for the inaugural WICL cricket tournament in September.

 

However, the technology opens possibilities that go beyond the coach’s box. Bulldogs officials have discussed plans to have it streamed live into corporate areas, giving sponsors and VIPs a unique vantage point.

 

Source: Daily Telegraph Australia