Rugby League

Can we project 2023 NRL player salaries with statistics?

Every season there are always questions around whether NRL players are actually “earning” their salaries. html It’s low hanging fruit. Find a player who’s (allegedly) being paid big money having a bad run of form, find some talking heads from another era to question their performance and you’ve got yourself an easy story. What if there a way we could quantify how much these players are worth based on how they perform on field? Could you convert their on field accomplishments (both good and bad) to a salary number and use that to determine if a player is being over...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Is this the most even top eight in the NRL era?

Thanks to the Broncos handing over their final spot in the NRL Finals to the Raiders, the top eight is prety much set for 2022 barring a major catastrophe. With those positions likely secured I thought it’d take a look how how these top eight teams sit compared to previous seasons and if that can give us an indication of who might appear in the Grand Final. Is this the most even top eight in the NRL era? And how likely are we to see a team outside the top four make the decider? Firstly we’re going to look at...

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Should the Round 23 blowouts have been expected?

There’s nothing like a round of blowout results to fire up the rugby leauge hot take and crisis merchants. Everything needs to be fixed, it’s an embarrassment, code in crisis etc. This line of thinking would have to complete ignore the start of the NRLW season including a fantastic game between the Knights and Broncos on Sunday evening. Yes, NRL Round 23 ended up with the highest average winning margin after 80 minutes since 2014 when I started tracking this sort of thing. That average winning margin of 32.3 points per game was nearly 6 points per game than the...

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