Rugby League

Explainer: Expected Run Metres for the NRL

2024 marks the fifth season of the Eye Test covering the NRL with this site’s advanced statistics. I have no idea how I made it to five seasons, especially after whatever 2021 was. But somehow I’ve made it through to the other side and I’m happy with how the advanced statistics have been working. Mostly. There’s one comment I regularly get about the Eye Test’s Run % metric that always sticks in my head. Which is that it doesn’t judge the quality of that run, just the quantity. The metric just shows (as a percentage) an estimate of how often...

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Explainer: NRL general play kick spray charts

One of the many things I’ve been working on during the off season is kicking spray charts for the NRL and rugby league in general. I’d been wondering if different players had different kicking profiles and if there was a way to visualise this.  I got the idea from seeing some MLB spray charts on social media. The idea behind this chart is that it visualises where a player is hitting the ball overall, and allows you to filter down on different variables such as how they fare against certain pitch types. It makes it quite clear what the path...

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How did the Eye Test do at projecting NRL player salaries for 2023?

Before the start of the 2023 NRL season I tried a thought experiment where I used this site’s player attribution metric (ETPCR) and tried to project player salaries for the upcoming season. I wanted to see if I could use this metric to predict performance for players this season and judge how well it worked. You can go back and read the post now, but the methodology hasn’t changed. Here’s the quick version as a refresher but I’d highly recommend reading the original for my thoughts on the process before moving on. Using the data I have going back to...

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The Eye Test’s NRLW advanced statistic leaders for season 2023

Club football is done for the year, and just as we did for the NRLM we’re going to look at the NRLW advanced statistic leaders for 2023.  Unlike the NRLM version, I will be including the three finals games in these advanced statistics. The first reason is that nine games isn’t really a sufficient sample size to work with so extending that out where possible could be useful, although it won’t change anything for the bottom six teams. For NRLM, there’s no reason to include finals games as we already have a sample size of 24 games, and I don’t...

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An end of season update to the Eye Test’s simulated Dally M voting system

Just over a month ago I posted a thought experiment around using statistics, and most notably this site’s player attribution metric, to simulate a Dally M voting system and see who would come out on top as player of the year. I tried a few methods, but most of them came out with similar results on top, and other than the distribution of forwards there weren’t any real glaring issues. You can catch up on it here, but I’m going to use one method from that post to check out the player and team of the year. With the NRL’s...

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Final NRLW efficiency update – the inevitability of a Roosters/Knights grand final

The NRLW regular season has wrapped up and with finals starting this weekend we can look back at the season as a whole and see if there’s any takeaways from the Eye Test’s efficiency analysis for the whole 2023 season. If you’re new to the site, to examine team efficiency in attack and defense we look at how each club has performed under the site’s expected point model (ETxP), and compare those expected outcomes to their actual on field performances. Teams that score more points than their field position would typically yield are deemed more efficient, and those that give...

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