This is the site I want to gather data from but I'm really not sure where to start.


  • what data are you looking for, team or player data?
    – magdmartin
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 13:03
  • Player data, they often list all players in a table containing various stats i.e. tackles/meters run etc, from the team that played, that's the table I want.
    – Rugby_fan
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 17:24
  • Are you looking for just the displayed data or a lot more? Are you trying to follow the advice from opendata.stackexchange.com/questions/5676/rugby-union-data
    – user3856
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 16:25
  • I'm trying to scrape the data from the espn site using a script rather than manually copy and pasting the tables presented in the URL I linked. I've done something similar before with curl to download the html source and then with some clever regexp I can get the table. However this site uses something else to display the table, so I was asking if anyone knows how I would be able to just get a text based form of the table.
    – Rugby_fan
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


You can use python, R or other code language as you prefer:

Example for python: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6325216/parse-html-table-to-python-list

Example for R: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1395528/scraping-html-tables-into-r-data-frames-using-the-xml-package

Here just two short examples from stackoverflow. If you want to iterate the process for various tables you can use a for cycle.

  • If I download the page using urllib2.urlopen for instance, it doesn't contain the tables. I think that there is some interaction required on the page i.e. selecting the correct tab for the table. How do I emulate that interaction?
    – Rugby_fan
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 17:37
  • You should check out python's mechanize and scrapy. They're much more advanced than scraping HTML manually.
    – philshem
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 16:34

In python there are many libraries available for web scraping these are some of the important ones scrapy, Beautiful Soup etc. In php we have simple_html_dom.php which can parse data from websites. You need a good programming skills to scrape websites by these programmes.

The best way for non-programmers would be using some online web scraper such as import.io but let me warn you not many sites work perfectly with this tool.

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