Analysis

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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NRL 2021 – how the game changed statistically this season

The year of our lord 2021 has not been a banner year, and for our great sport of rugby league it was especially troubling. Thankfully after a one-sided regular season we’ve seen some close and exciting finals games, but it’s difficult to cover up the changes and struggles fans have had to endure this season. The Eye Test has already summarized all the ridiculous one sided and outlier statistics of the season, but what we haven’t covered at is how the game as whole looked in 2021 and what changed outside of those beatings. I’m not going to do this...

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The ridiculous outlier statistics from a very normal NRL 2021 season

The first round of finals games over the weekend provided three close finishes from the four games, a pretty good record for a season that would like to be forgotten by many fans. As enjoyable as those games were, we wouldn’t want recency bias to hide the fact that the 2021 NRL regular season was underwhelming to say the least and had a significant number of outlier statistics. And I’m not even talking about the standard ones, like Melbourne nearly breaking the consecutive win steak record and nearly scoring the most points in a season, Cody Walker trying Johnathan Thurston’s...

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