NRL Round 12 advanced statistics – Run %

With Round 12 complete it’s time to look at one of my advanced statistics, Run %. For those new to the site, I’d recommend reading this post on Run % which details how it is calculated and how to use it.

To summarise, it estimtes the percentage of runs that a player made during his time on the field, adjusted for an estimate of how many times thier team had the ball. After all, you can only run the ball if you team possesses it. More possessions usually equates to more runs.

The idea behind it is that most statistics about runs are volume based, so you will only ever see high minute players. Adjusting for minutes played and times helps identify those middle and interchange forwards who play with a high motor but don’t play huge minutes. Think Neslon Asofa-Solomona, Christian Welch, Blake Lawrie, Moeaki Fotuaika and Francis Molo.

Here’s the top 20 for Round 12 without a minute limit

To put these numbers in perspective, a Run % between 10-12% is common for middle forwards, ranging from Lock at 10% to Prop at 12%, with interchange players in between. Given that, Toby Rudolf running the ball at 21% in 41 miuntes is a significant effor this week, meaning that he ran the ball just over one in every five plays the Sharks had.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona wasn’t far behind with a Run % of 19% but in fewer minutes (26). Also note that the king of these advanced statistics has returned, as Daniel Alvaro posted a Run % of 15.85% in his first game with the Warriors.

Let’s move on to the 40+ minute top 20

Toby Rudolf takes top spot again for players who spent at least half the game on the field. Again, it’s not uncommon for a player to top both lists, but usually the all minutes chart is dominated by players who play 30 minutes for fewer.

I would like to point out Brian Kelly sitting in seventh spot. In the number of years I’ve been looking at these statistics, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a centre pop up in the top 20, let alone in the top 10. His Run % of 15.65% is over double that of the average centre, which is 6.9%. A huge effort by Kelly.

The Roosters Matt Ikuvalu from the same game also shows up in this list, with his Run % of 14.77% just under double that of an average winger (7.9%). Unlike centres, it is not uncommon to see wingers and fullbacks sneak into the top 20 occasionally due to the number of runs they make returning kicks and taking hit ups out of their own half. James Tedesco, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad are the most common names that show up.

Finally here is the season top 20, with a 200 minute minimum

Andrew Fifita keeps top spot for another week from Nelson Asofa-Solomona, but as stated in previous weeks he’s not likely to keep it much longer. Third placed Francis Molo is having a fantastic season for the Cowboys from a workrate perspective, but being nearly 2% behind Asofa-Solomona he’s unlikely to factor into the top spot for the season.

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