NRL Round 14 advanced statistics – Involvement Rate

Involvement Rate is an advanced statistic for rugby league that I created to identify players who have a high workload but don’t play a lot of minutes. Traditional rugby league statistics are counting stats and volume based, and the important work of middle and interchange forwards in the NRL goes largely unrecognised.

If you’re new to the site and want to understand how it works, I would recommend reading this post on Involvement Rate. To put it simply, it is a combination of Run % and Tackle %

which shows the estimated percentage of plays that someone completed a run or tackle during their time on field.

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 Daniel Alvaro, Christian Welch, Blake Lawrie, Moeaki Fotuaika, Toby Rudolf and Francis Molo.

With that out of the way, here’s the all minutes leaders for Round 14

After topping the Tackle % and Run % lists, it’s no surprise to see a Alex Seyfarth and Daniel Alvaro quinella in Round 14. Both players Involvement Rate topped 30% for the round, meaning they either completed a run or made a successful tackle in three out of every ten plays whilst on the field. Given the average Involvement Rate sits in the 18-19% for middle forwards and interchange players, that is a massive effort.

Jazz Tevaga from the Warriors placed third, just a shade under 30%. Why he is only playing 37 minutes for the Warriors is a mystery to me.

Next we’ll look at those players who spent 40 minutes or more on field

With a minimum minute restriction applied, David Klemmer had the highest Involvement Rate in the NRL for Round 14, at 23.5% in his 53 minutes, indicating he was involved in over one in five plays whlist on the field. Manly’s Corey Waddell next with 22.6% as he saw increased minutes with Addin Fonua-Blake and Martin Taupau missing the game. Blake Lawrie from the Dragons rounds out the top three with an Involvement Rate of 22.24%.

Finally, we have the leaders for Involvement Rate this season.

Jazz Tevaga has rocketed to the top for the season, with an involvement rate of 23.38%, pushing well ahead of the Titans Jarrod Wallace at 22.44%. With Wallace playing lock this week in Jai Arrow’s absence it will be interesting to see if he can claw back some of that gap, although increased minutes usually result in a lower involvement rate

Another Eye Testtm hall of famer, Melbourne’s Christian Welch, chimes in next and sits third for the season with an Involvement Rate of 20.99%