LeagueEyeTest

Are any positions seeing more or less touches in 2022?

A few weeks back the following excellent question was asked to the Rugby League Eye Test account on twitter. It felt like something obvious that I’d missed so I wanted to check and see the results. I’d spent the weekend putting together the numbers to check this and see if anything had changed this season with the reintroduction of penalties for a ruck infringement or straying offside inside 40 metres. In an amazing co-incidence, the number of touches by players became a talking point this week thanks to an incredibly astute question from friend of the site Mike Meehall Wood....

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The games are closer than ever, so why can’t he just leave Rugby League alone?

We’re only four weeks into the season and Peter V’Landys, much like a toddler endlessly scratching a mosquito bite, he just can’t leave rugby league alone. And like the other times he’s trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. The product on the field this season has been almost unanimously praised, with one of the lowest average margins in NRL history for 2022 thus far. This praise even came from the head honcho himself a week ago, only to contradict himself this week because a few people got in his ear. Before I get into the stats about what...

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Using historical expected points (ETxP) to evaluate NRL coaches

Round 3 of the 2022 NRL season gave us one of the worst executed games in recent memory on Friday evening when the Warriors squeaked home against the Tigers. The less said about the final 10 minutes of this game the better, with one particular halfback (let’s call him L. Brooks – wait that’s too obvious. Let’s go with Luke B) throwing two ill advised passes inside his own 40 metres and turning the ball over both times despite only trailing by a single score. This brought out the old trope of “there’s not enough players to support 17 teams”,...

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Examining expected points (ETxP) from NRL Round 1 2022

A few weeks ago, I debuted Eye Test Expected Points (ETxP) on the site, with the intent to use it for analysing team performance throughout the season. Ideally it would give us an indication of which teams are outperforming or underperforming the expected points from their field position as a proxy for how a team is travelling. If you need a refresher on ETxP there’s a substantial post on the site going into detail of how these expected points are calculated and how they can be applied, as well as some possible drawbacks from using this method. For those of...

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Explainer: Total Run % – improving Run % with decoys and supports

The advanced statistics for the NRL and rugby league in general that Eye Test introduced – Tackle %, Run % and Involvement Rate – have been around for a few seasons now, and I’ve been reasonably happy with the results. They’re not perfect (I don’t and never will claim them to be) and no one single statistic will ever solve any sport, let alone one with as many simultaneous moving parts as rugby league. But as metrics for tracking player workload I feel they offer an accurate representation of what is happening on field. Yet there’s always been something about...

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Explainer: Eye Test Expected Points (ETxP) for the NRL

“We stayed in the contest when they certainly had all the field position and a lot of ball. “We just couldn’t get any good field position. We were attacking from the back of the field at some stage and making some good yardage – but it was too far to go.” The above comments came from Wayne Bennett after his South Sydney team lost the 2021 NRL Grand Final to Penrith 14-12. The Rabbitohs were constantly under pressure from the Panthers, with Penrith forcing five drop outs to zero by their opponents. Yet they had a chance to tie the...

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