It’s time to look at another advanced statistic for NRL Round 7, which is Involvement rate. Involvment Rate combines Run % and Tackle % to give a more wholistic view of player workrate. The idea is that the indiviudual Tackle % and Run % metrics are skewed by position, and combining them flattens that somewhat and also shows those players who are equally as strong on both sides of the ball
An example from my article explaining Inolvement Rate shows why combining them is important:
“Firstly, it reduces how involved Hookers are for Tackle %, since their roles are primarily about defensive and distribution with very little freedom to operate out of dummy half. It also increases involvement for edge players and fullbacks, especially those who take a lot of early hit ups bringing the ball out of their own area after a kick.
To put the numbers for Round 7 in perspective, the chart below shows the involvement rate by position for the last 6 seasons.
Now that we know what to expect, here’s how Round 7 looked for Inolvment Rate.
The 1a and 1b of Involvement Rate are back, with Christian Welch and Daniel Alvaro taking the top two spots. Alvaro in particular was a machine in previous seasons, holding three of the top four seasons from 2014-2019. Welch would have joined him if not for a number of severe knee injuries preventing him from playing enough minutes to qualify. Sure they both played less than 10 minutes, but they still were involved in 30%+ of their teams plays while they were on the field.
Limiting the list to those who played at least half a game, and Jesse Bromwich takes top stop thanks to his huge effort defensively (see this weeks Tackle % post). Jaimin Jolliffe is looking like a major star of the future with his numbers, as current starting prop Moeaki Fotuaika was routinely at the top of these charts in 2019 (despite playing with a fractured wrist). Fotuakia still makes this list regularly even with an increase in minutes this season.
Lastly we have the Involvement Rates for the the 2020 season, with a minimum of 160 minutes played (20 minutes a game). Anyone over 30% is procuding huge efforts week to week, contributing a completed run or tackle in three out of every ten plays.
The Titans players who played through some one sided defeats are still clogging the Involvement Rate leaderboard but will drop out in a few weeks, although Erin Clark and Jolliffe will hang around as they’re still in the side. Blake Lawrie and Toby Rudolf are also having excellent seasons, while Lindsay Collins will play an important part for the Roosters with two major injuries to their pack. Like with Tackle %, I’d expect Nat Butcher to show up here from next round as he takes over at lock.