NRL Round 16 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 16

After two straight weeks in second place, Eye Testtm Hall of Famer Daniel Alvaro grabbed top spot this week with an Involvement Rate of 28.26%. Unfortunately, he’s not been named this week due to the Warriors playing his usual team, Parramatta. Hopefully, we’ll see him back in the NRL the week after, but who knows with 2020?

A Tigers duo takes out the next two spots, with rookie Shawn Blore placing second (28.05%) and hooker Jacob Liddle in third (23.88%). Given the amount of defending the Tigers had to do in after the opening quarter of the game it’s not shocking to see them lock up the top three.

One to keep an eye on for future Involvement Rate stats is Melbourne’s Darryn Schonig, who successfully returned from a HIA affected game the week before with 35 involvements in 37 minutes for an Involvement Rate of 22.26%. Another astute Q Cup pickup by the Storm, shocking I know.

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

The Raiders Ryan Sutton continues his strong season, topping the 40 minute plus Involvement Rate chart this week, at 22.93%. Blake Lawrie from the Dragons couldn’t pull off the Tackle % and Involvement Rate double, sitting just behind Sutton at 22.10%.

The Raiders also tied up fourth place with Joe Tapine, who had an Involvement Rate of 21.25% from his 52 minutes. It’s also interesting to note there were no 80 minute players in the top 20 this round.

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

Jarrod Wallace again holds on to first place with a season Involvement Rate of 21.17%, as the Titans forward continues to have a high work rate no matter where or when he is on the field. His teammate Jaimin Jolliffe is breathing down his neck though, with the rookie prop only 0.05% behind him at 21.12%. The Warriors Jazz Tevaga also keeps his third sport with a season Involvement Rate of 21.88%

Elijah Taylor from the Tigers sits just outside the top three at 21.28%, but is 0.5% away from the top three. Broncos forward Rhys Kennedy has been quietly getting his work in with a season rate of 21.27%.