With Round 17 complete it’s time to look at one of my NRL advanced stats, 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 estimates the percentage of runs that a player made during his time on the field, adjusted for an estimate of how many times their 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 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Christian Welch, Blake Lawrie, Moeaki Fotuaika and Francis Molo.
Here’s the leading players in the NRL after Round 17 without a minute restriction
Melbourne’s Chris Lewis made the most of his 18 minutes on field against the Rabbitohs, with a Run % of 25.00%, meaning he completed a run on 25% of Melbourne plays whilst he was on the field. Patrick Mago from Souths placed next with a run rate of 17.44% in the same game. Titans rookie Jaimin Jolliffe had a reduced role this round, playing just 10 minutes but still running the ball four times for a rate of 17.39%.
Penrith’s Spencer Leniu had a big game despite only 28 minutes on the field, running the ball 13 times during for a rate of 17.28%.
Moving on, lets look at the 40 minute plus players for this round.
Sio Siua Taukeiaho from the Roosters took top spot for 40 minute plus players this round, with a run rate of 16.24% in 49 minutes. Joseph Tapine from Canberra placed second, with a Run % of 16.21% with the Sharks Siosifa Talakai playing 48 minutes off the bench against Newcastle for a Run % of 15.66%.
David Nofoaluma from the Tigers was the only outside back to crack the top 20 this round, with 18 runs in 80 minutes for a Run % of 13.43%.
To finish up we’ll take a look at the 2020 season leaders for Run %.
The status quo hasn’t changed here, with the same top three as last round. Cronulla’s Andrew Fifita still holds first with a season Run % of 17.87%. Nelson Asofa-Solomona from the Storm maintains his second spot with a Run % of 16.88%, and if you looked at the Round 17 Tackle % post, he spent more time tackling this week than running the ball. Parramatta’s Kane Evans takes up the third spot on the podium for now, with a season run rate of 15.70%.
Francis Molo form the Cowboys is the only other player with a Run % above 15% for the season (15.03%)