Analysis

NRL season 2022 – the unwinding of 2021’s statistical inflation

One of the great tragedies of the 2021 National Rugby League season was that it created a set of circumstances which resulted in some impossible benchmarks that players would never reach again. Untested rule changes widened the gap between the haves and the have nots, and the result was some very predictable outcomes and unparalleled statistical accumulation. Friend of the site Ben Quagliata wrote about it earlier this season: “If anything, 2021 has had a negative impact on how we view these stars. 2021 has created negative discourse about how we measure the performances of a Tedesco, a Trbojevic, a...

Continue reading...

Advanced statistic leaders for NRL season 2022

Last week saw the end of the regular NRL season for 2022, which means we can finally look at who topped the Eye Test’s advanced statistics for the year and see who were the top performers. There’s a post on the site from earlier in 2022 for leaders from the first half of the season if you wanted to see who was leading at that point, but as the Broncos showed there’s no prizes for doing well in just the first half of the year. Newer Eye Test readers may not be familiar with some of these metrics, and if...

Continue reading...

How different are NRL regular season games from finals games statistically?

The meaningless games are over and the NRL finals kick off this weekend, with not much separating the top seven teams on the field (as I broke down last week). With that in mind, I wanted to have a look at what changes statistically between the regular season and finals games? Are these games played as differently as you’d think watching them? Do teams focus more on defense and try to play conservatively? Since I know attention spans are short these days, the tl;dr version is there’s no dramatic shift, and the changes are in line with what you’d expect...

Continue reading...

Just a bunch of random NRL stats

After a string of team related posts, there’s no overarching theme for this week, so lets just get straight into a bunch of random stats with no common thread other than they’re things I’ve been looking at. The Eels poor defense is masked by possession Friend of the site Mike Meehall Wood posted a fantastic piece on the Eels last week (including some Eye Test stats) so I’d suggest reading that first. Both myself and Mike noticed the huge numbers of metres per set being given up by both teams in the Parramatta v Manly clash on Friday night As...

Continue reading...

Are the Wests Tigers doing anything differently under Brett Kimmorley?

I don’t think I’ve ever had an article requested as much as this post. After the Michael Potter/Trent Barrett comparison was posted a few weeks back, I lost track of the number of requests by Twitter and email to look into the Tigers performances under Brett Kimmorley as opposed to Michael Maguire. And in true Eye Test fashion I’ve not let my readers down (I hope). I’m not going to get into any substantial background on this one. Brett Kimmorley is in charge now and the Tigers scored what could their biggest win of the season against Brisbane on Saturday....

Continue reading...

Why are the Newcastle Knights so terrible?

It’s been an eventful weekend in rugby league, so I won’t waste any time in getting into the issue that everyone is talking about. Why is the new lighting at Accor Stadium so dark? Wait, that’s not the issue everyone is talking about? *checks notes* Ah I see, my apologies, let’s get to the *real* issue that everyone is talking about. Just why are the Newcastle Knights so terrible, especially in the second half? Two weeks ago when I ran the Eye Test over the Titans and found they aren’t really good at anything statistically, I off-handedly mentioned that that...

Continue reading...