Figure 1. Simulated Team-Game Protocol modified from Bishop et al. (2001) (not to scale). Both CON and NCON involved four sets of 15-min of intermittent running around a circuit replicating the movement patterns observed in team sports, with three maximal sprints, an agility section; walking, jogging, striding and a deceleration to a stop immediately prior to a vertical jump. The only difference between CON and NCON was a tackle bag to be taken to ground every three circuits, together with bump pads to provide three standard contacts to each side of the legs at the end of each set. The circuit was completed in pairs on a staggered start so that one participant could hold the bump pads while the other received the “contact ”before swapping. Each circuit took ~50 s; allowing ~10 s rest before the next circuit (on 1 min) with 15 circuits performed per set.