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 17
Just like he did with the Tackle % stats this round, Phoenix Crossland (or should that be Adam O’Brien?) ruins everything with three minutes on field for four involvement, with an Involvement Rate of 30.74%.
Chris Lewis from the Storm takes second place, with an inovlvment rate of 25.44%, meaning he either completed a tackle or made a run on a quarter of all plays during his time on field. St George Illawarra forward Josh Kerr came in third with an Involvement Rate of 25.23%.
Melbourne forwards were particularly active this week with three players in side the top 10 along with Lewis, as Tino Faasuamaleaui (24.10%) and Eye Testtm legend Christian Welch (23.70%) also placed highly.
Next, we’ll look at those players who spent 40 minutes or more on field
It’s a double for the Storm, with Faasuamaleaui taking top spot for those who played at least half a game, sporting an Involvement Rate of 24.10%. This indicates he was involved in nearly one in four plays whilst on the field. From the same game, Welch placed second and wasn’t far behind with a rate of 23.70%. Another Dragon placed third, but this time it was Blake Lawrie who had an Involvement Rate of 23.69% in his 50 minutes against the Cowboys.
Finally, we have the leaders for Involvement Rate this season.
Impressive Titans rookie Jaimin Jolliffe finally passed his teammate Jarrod Wallace, mainly due to a short stint on the field – Jolliffe only played 10 high energy minutes. He now sits in first with a season Inovlvement Rate of 21.93%, with Wallace slightly behind at 21.58%.
The bigger news is that Jazz Tevaga from the New Zealand Warriors has split the Titans pair, moving into second with a season Involvement Rate of 21.72%. With a few more high motor games he could even challenge for first. Broncos forward Rhys Kennedy isn’t far behind Wallace either, with a rate of 21.36%, and should play bigger minutes to close out the season which may even out his workrate.