Advanced Statistics

First half 2022 NRL advanced statistics leaders

With Round 12 ending on Sunday half of the NRL has already passed. Some clubs might wish the whole season is over. And as we did last season, the half way point is time for the regular review of the Eye Test’s advanced statistical leaders over the first half of the season. New readers to the site may not be familiar with some of these metrics, and if that is the case, I’d highly recommend reading the explainers on some of them to get a better understanding of what I am trying to capture with these measurements. But I know...

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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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The NRL 2021 Eye Test Advanced Statistic leaders

With the 2021 regular season has drawing to a close it means we can take a look at who were the Eye Test’s advanced statistical leaders for the season. If you’re not aware of these advanced stats, I’d recommend a look at the glossary page for a quick rundown, and there’s further reading on Tackle %, Run % and Involvement Rate as well. Before we start, I want to explain the minimum thresholds for these advanced statistics. For the first three (Tackle %, Run % and Involvement Rate) the cut off is having played 25% of games which is six...

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The Eye Test’s Most Adequate of 2020 – The statistical improvements that back Todd Payten’s Cowboys appointment

This article was originally posted as part of NRL Round 17 notes and trends, September 8, 2020. The North Queensland Cowboys announced interim Warriors coach Todd Payten as their coach for 2021 on Friday, and using the Eye Testtm it’s easy to see why. The Warriors have improved on the field under his watch and are showing a lot more enthusiasm and commitment, even after a coach they supported was removed. Their fightback against the Eels showed a desire that Warriors sides haven’t shown late in a game for quite some time. This led me to have a look at...

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The Eye Test’s Most Adequate of 2020 – Set restarts: if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying

This article was originally posted as part of NRL Round 9 notes and trends, July 14, 2020. In last weeks trends and notes post, I showed there was a negative correlation between set restarts and margin, which had been positive from Round 3 to Round 7. With another week of matches completed, I thought I’d dig a bit deeper into this to see if I could find out what was leading to this. The reason I find this so interesting is that it doesn’t conform with traditional rugby league thinking. Possession is treasured, and statistics like run metres correlate with...

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