Tackle % is one of three NRL advanced stats 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 17 without a minute restriction
<sigh> No Daniel Alvaro this week so I (and Budu as well, probably) are unhappy campers. Please come back next week.
Anyway, Phoenix Crossland takes first place this week with only 3 minutes on field leading to a 53.69% tackle rate. Here you can see the limitations of this statistic for single games. Usually it’s a Melbourne Storm player that Craig Bellamy puts on with less than 10 minutes to go in a game that has already been decided.
Just behind Crossland are a pair of Dragons forwards. Josh Kerr made 29 tackles in 31 minutes for a Tackle % of 41.12%, while Tyrell Fuimaono placed third with a tackle rate of 39.56% in his 10 minutes on field.
Next, we’ll look at those players who spent at least half a game on the field this round
A pretty run of the mill week here. Penrith’s James Tamou was very active in his 45 minutes on field against the Broncos, making 36 tackles leading to a Tackle % of 39.51%. Tino Faasuamaleaui came in second with a Tackle % of 37.02%, making 39 tackles in 49 minutes. The Dragons’ Blake Lawrie rounded out the top three this week with a tackle rate of 36.04% against the Cowboys.
The biggest effort of the week may have to go the Roosters Freddy Lussick though, who not only played 80 minutes, but made 60 tackles at a rate of 31.75%.
Finally, here is the 2020 season leader board for Tackle %
The Titans clasp on Tackle % for 2020 continues, with Mitch Rein starting at hooker this week and holding a slim lead over the man he replaced, Nathan Peats. Rein sits at 34.67% with Peats at 34.08%, and the winner this season will probably end up being the hooker who starts the final three games.
Another Titan is in third, with Jarrod Wallace’s season tackle rate dropping slightly to 32.30%. He’s now only 0.02% ahead of the Tigers Elijah Taylor, who could break up the trifecta next round.
Tom Starling continues to threaten he top 5, sitting eighth with a tackle % of 30.53% and one of just 10 players in the NRL to have a season Tackle % above 30%.