Tackle % is one 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 16 without a minute restriction
In a possible finale for the Warriors, Eye Test Hall of Famer Daniel Alvaro topped the Tackle % char this week, completing a tackle on 45% of the defensive plays New Zealand faced last round. His teammate Adam Blair wasn’t far behind at 42.47%.
Tigers rookie sensation Shawn Blore placed third for the week, playing just 11 minutes but sporting a tackle rate of 39.6%.
Next we’ll look at those players who spent at least half a game on the field this round
Another Warrior topping the Tackle % chart, this time Karl Lawton for those who played more than 40 minutes on the field. His Tackle % was 35.54%, meaning he completed a tackle on over three in every ten defensive plays the Warriors faced. Parramattas Reed Mahoney placed second with 33.35% but only played 52 minutes. Roosters backup hooker Freddy Lussick rounded out the top three with a tackle rate of 32.74% after coming on to the field early to replace Jake Friend.
It was a big week for hookers taking four of the top five spots, with the Raiders Tom Starling sitting fifth with a Tackle % of 31.49%
Finally, here is the 2020 season leader board for Tackle %
It’s a still a trifecta for the Titans, as Mitch Rein sits in first at 35.3%, ahead of Nathan Peats (34.08%) and Jarrad Wallace (34.08%). Elijah Taylor is the only thing stopping the Titans having the top four sewn up, as his Tackle % of 33.33% pushes rookie Jaimin Jolliffe down to fifth (32.09%).
Starling is sneaking up the ranks here as well, moving into seventh spot with a season Tackle % of 30.66%.