Analysis

Can anyone keep up with the Roosters and Knights? NRLW August efficiency update

This week’s NRLW post will be an efficiency update, similar to the monthly posts I’ve been marking for NRLM. For those new to the site or only following the NRLW content, we look at actual scoring compared with each teams expected points to gauge how effectively they’re using possession, and how capably they are defending against good field position. If you want an explainer on the site’s expected points model, a lengthy one is available here. Quickly, the short version is that every start of possession is worth a certain number of points based on the probability of scoring from...

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Penrith are still dominating the NRL – August efficiency update

There’s just one round of the regular season remaining, and August is in the books, so it’s time for the final monthly NRL efficiency update for 2023. And this month we will be focusing mainly on the Panthers. Not that they have not been a large part of each of the previous updates, as it’s hard to exclude such a domineering team. But I’d been focusing on covering teams other than Penrith because they get enough coverage as it is, and there’s only so many times you can fawn over just how well they’ve been playing. It’s been three seasons...

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NRLW Round 5 in expected points and advanced stats  

We’re now halfway through the NRLW regular season, and I thought I’d take a look at some charts to determine who have been the best players running the ball thus far. The first chart we’re going to look at is average runs per game plotted against average tackle busts per match, to get and idea of who the most damaging runners of the ball are. This one is usually dominated in NRLM by Brian To’o, although Greg Marzhew has been leading it this season. The results for the first five rounds of NRLW 2023 are below. A lot has been...

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The Dolphins debut year is a tale of two seasons

As an expansion team there is usually little in the way of expectations, even for one coached by the legendary Wayne Bennett. Very few had the Dolphins anywhere near the top eight this season, and most predictions were for a bottom four finish. And it looks like that’s exactly where they’ll finish up. And it’s possible they’ll have a better for and against margin than the Canberra Raiders. They should have picked up another victory on the weekend with a win over the Titans, but Api Koroisau broke their hearts with a penalty goal in the 76th minute. Still they...

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The case for a smaller ball in the NRLW

On a recent episode of the Upfront Podcast (please like and subscribe), NRLW star and first ballot Eye Test Hall of Famer Millie Boyle was asked about the possibility of using a smaller ball and it prompted a very interesting discussion. Rather than recap her answer, the video of the question is below. It does raise a great point, if we want to improve the NRLW product, a smaller ball may help introduce some of the more spectacular tries we see in the NRLM. And what’s more exciting than seeing a big forward running down an edge with the ball...

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How would a 2023 Dally M leaderboard look based purely on statistics?

With the Rugby League Players Association and the NRL finally signing their collective bargaining agreement, one of the feel good stories of the year can hopefully have its fairy tale ending. That being 32 year old Shaun Johnson winning the Dally M medal for player of the year. Given the sheer volume of #ShaunHub content this past fortnight and so many people touting him as the favourite for the Dally M medal, I thought I’d take this week to go through a thought experiment. What would a Dally M or “player of the year” award look like if we used...

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