Are the Canberra Raiders actually good this season?

Could the Canberra Raiders be a smokey for a top four spot in 2024? That would seem utterly insane considering their difficulty in beating the NRL’s only winless team on Sunday evening. However, I’ve got some numbers that say they might be. Before you close the tab and think I’ve lost the plot, please at least hear me out. It sounds unlikely but all I’m asking is for you to read through the analysis below before disagreeing. It might not be as crazy as it sounds. There’s some data provided below from their performances this season that suggest they have...

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Who is the straightest ball runner in the NRL? Plus Round 5 advanced stats

Most of the NRL media appears to be writing obituaries for South Sydney’s 2024 campaign this week. And to a lesser extent the Titans, although they never had any real hope of competing this year to begin with. I’m not going to join them as I’ve got very little to add on from last week’s post. It was very clear that both sides fell into the “incompetent” quadrant of my efficiency charts, although incompetent may have been too nice given their respective performances in Round 5. Maybe I need a new descriptor for sides as abysmal as Souths and the...

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March NRL efficiency update – which teams are over and under performing one month in?

It’s hard to believe we’re already one month into the NRL season. It feels like only yesterday we were all laughing about the escort advertising behind Buzz on NRL 360, but it’s been four rounds and five weekends since the opening weekend in Las Vegas. Over that month we’ve had plenty of upsets, some incredible finishes and even more impressively the game has continued to build on the momentum created by the Vegas launch. Round 4 culminated with topped off by a thrilling one point victory by the Tigers over the Eels yesterday, which topped off a record round for...

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Are end of set options changing this season? Plus Round 3 advanced stats

There’s been a lot of talk about how short dropouts have become more prevalent in the NRL this season. The rule change this season has somewhat promoted that as well, reducing the punishment if you do kick a drop out on the full or less than 10 metres. Teams are preparing for them now. Anthony Seibold mentioned recently that Rugby Union was more about contestable events, and how do we create more of those contestable events in rugby league? Short drop outs are one way to create them. Friend of the site Jason Oliver from Rugby League Writers put together...

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Did the NRL width revolution continue in Round 2?

Last week on the site I noticed that in Round 1, NRL teams were playing slightly wider than they were in previous seasons.  This week I’m going to have a slightly deeper look as to why that is happening, which teams are driving it and where the changes are happening on field. Before we get into that, a few quick plugs. Friend of the site AJ Mithen has his usual great recap of all the big talking points from last round on the Roar, with a look ahead to this weeks upcoming games if you need to catch up on...

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Are NRL teams starting to play wider? All the Round 1 advanced stats

Round 1 of the 2024 season was full of upsets that stumped many tipsters, and with some low scoring games it was a stressful fortnight for NRL Fantasy and Supercoach players alike. Thankfully the Eye Test is here to get to the bottom of some of the numbers from Round 1 and try to make sense of it. Let’s take a look at how close the games were to start with. The average margin after 80 minutes for round 1 was 14.6 points, which is very similar to the opening of the 2019 season where the margin was 14.4 points,...

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