NRL Round 15 advanced statistics – Run %

With Round 15 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 results in 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 leading players in the NRL after Round 15 without a minute restriction:

It shouldn’t be any surprise to see the list headed by two Souths players after their demolition of Manly on the weekend. Patrick Mago takes top stop with a Run % of 31.8%, meaning he made a run on more than three in ten plays that Souths had the ball on during the game. Tevita Tatola was next, but his Run % was nearly 10% lower than Mago’s, at 22%. The Knights Josh King completes the top three for the round at 21.15%.

There were two other Souths players in the top 10 – Kurt Dillon (20.37%) and Keaon Koloamatangi (18.16%). Again, that is not shocking considering the massive amount of possession that Souths had.

Moving on, lets look at the 40 minute plus players for Round 15:

This makes it two weeks in a row for Tevita Tatola, and increased from the 19% that led last round to 22.2% this week. Canberra’s Ryan Sutton (18.89%) splits Tatola and Koloamatangi in the top three.

Roger Tuviasa-Scheck was the only non-forward in the Run % top 20 this week at 13.25%.

To finish up we’ll take a look at the 2020 season leaders for Run %.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona is still holding on to first place, but his season Run % as dropped from 17.6% to 17.1%. Kane Evans played just 23 minutes last week against Melbourne and now two minutes outside the season limit I’ve set (250), which means Penrith’s James Tamou (15.49%) takes second for now. As long as he takes the field though Evans will move back into second spot last week with his Run % sitting not far behind Asofa-Solomona at 16.97%. It could end up being a close race after all.

North Queensland’s Francis Molo takes third at 15.44% but Cronulla’s Royce Hunt is rocketing up the list into fourth with a Run % of 15.14%. A few more high impact games from Hunt to finish 2020 could see him end up in the Top 3.