Tackle % is on of three advanced statistics that I’ve created to look at player performance throughout the NRL season. If you’re new to the site, I’d recommend reading this post on Tackle %, which explains how it works and why I think it’s an imporant statistic for identifying high motor middle and interchange forwards.
The idea behind it is that most tackle statistics you see are just based on volume, and mainly highlight players like Jake Friend who make a massive amount of tackles or play large minutes. Most middle forwards and interchange players play limited minutes and wouldn’t ever show up on a top tackle chart.
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. Daniel Alvaro has been the king of this statistic previously, owning two of the three highest Tackle % rates over the past six NRL seasons, both at around 38%.
Here’s the top 20 list for Tackle % from Round 12 without a minute restriction
Jacob Host tops the leaderboard this week, with a Tackle % of nearly 42%, meaning he completed a tackle on over two out of every five plays the Dragons faced against Souths on Thursday evening. The average tackle rate for middle forwards ranges from 25% for Locks, up to 26% for Props, with Hookers and Interchange players sitting in between. Anytime you see a player above 30% they’re completing a high rate of tackles.
And coming in second is that man again, Daniel Alvaro. In his first game with the Warriors he casually busted out a 41% Tackle rate, completing 17 in 19 mintues. I’m glad to see him back in the NRL, even if it’s not for my Eels.
Next we look at the leaderboard for those who played 40 minutes or more
Alex Twal took #1 spot last round on his return from injury with a Tackle % of 34.41% in 50 minutes. Unfortunately he’s injured again this round, which spells doom for NRL Physio’s mentions. Ryan Sutton from the Raiders and Jazz Tevaga from the Warriors rounded out the top three.
Finally here are the season leaders for Tackle %
The high incidence of Titans at the top of the leaderboard is related to their early season struggles when they had a mountain of defense to do. And as long as they keep the minutes up, one of Jarrod Wallace or Nathan Peats looks most likely to take top spot for the season as they sit at least 1.5% ahead of their team mate placed Jaimin Jolliffe. Jolliffe has been a fantastic addition to the Titans pack this season, and combined with Moeaki Fotuaika, they should both provide a solid foundation for their new signings to operate behind.