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 important 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 how the Tackle % chart looked for Round 13 without a minute restriction
Tigers forward Alex Seyfarth took top spot this week, with a tackle rate of 50.3% in his 15 minutes on field. Anytime someone is making a tackle every second opponent play is special. Moses Leota from Penrth (39.4%) and Sefarth’s team mate Elijah Taylor (37.5%, pretty good for someone the AFL suspended) rounded out the top three.
Eye Testtm favourites Daniel Alvaro and Jazz Tevaga also remained inside the top 10.
Next we’ll look at those players who spent at least half a game on the field
James Fisher-Harris continued his high workrate this season with a tackle rate of 33.2% in Round 14, well above the usual tackle rate of 25-26% for a middle forward. It’s also worth noting that the Panthers had 214 team plays against the Warriors, one of the highest totals of the season. Which shouldn’t be surprising if you watched the game and saw how many drop outs they forced.
Canberra’s Ryan Sutton (33.1%) and Tom Starling (32.8%) compromised the rest of the top three. This is where I’m obliged to mention how small Starling is. How good are memes?
Finally, here is the season leader board for Tackle %
Jarrod Wallace and Nathan Peats continue their tussle for top spot this season, both sitting in the 34% range. Third placed Tevaga is probably too far to mount a challenge for first, nearly 2% behind the Titans duo, and has rookie Jaimin Jolliffe not far behind in fourth at 32.4%.