Late last year I launched the Positive Busy Ratio (POPE) player rating system Roar And applied it to select a 2021 NRL team of the season

POPE’s debut shows interest, indifference and ‘What about this guy?’ Made a mixture of it. Regardless, I thought I’d give it one more run now that we’ve reached the halfway point of 2022.

Even if you are already familiar with POPE, it is important to reconsider what it is and, importantly, what it is not.

POPE is not a comprehensive standard measure. For example, it does not capture the kicking value of Adam Reynolds or fully appreciate Isaiah Your quarterbacking.

POPE is an impact measurement, a combination of statistics widely available to the public that each NRL player can collect in significant numbers. Contributions that facilitate offensive play and pointscoring carry more weight than bulk attack and defensive stats. Since different players collect numbers differently, comparisons are only valid within the positional category.

Why is it like this? The widely available rugby league statistics are not very good at explaining the difference between Isa Yo and Josh Jackson. They are all nuts and bolts and no architecture.

But we can do something useful with them. POPE is a rugby league nut and bolt that is expressed in single numbers. That number is an abstraction. A score of 520 means a 5.2 net positive engagement every 80 minutes of play. I just jazz it up a bit.

To qualify for a team, players must exceed the average playing time in their positional division. And without further ado, here is the mid-season NRL team.

1. James Tedesco, Sydney (738 POP)

Lateral Mitchell almost broke the POPE formula last season and if he can get back on the field he can do it again. Tom Trbojevic has apparently been done for years. It has been Tedesco, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Daylight in 2022 so far.

Like Dylan Edwards, Tedesco never stops running, but with the same effort he produces much more aggressive output. Edwards moves a little ahead of Tedescore every 80 minutes. Tedesco attempts double tackle brakes, triple line breaks and more than double.

Honorable mention: Ryan Papenhuen, Melbourne (730)

James Tedesco

James Tedesco (Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images)

2. Ronaldo Mulitalo, Cronulla (705)

It is reasonable to conclude that Mullito’s arch over the rest of the NRL wings behind the next person on the list is his accomplice in the crime at the deadly left end of Cronulla.

But the numbers indicate that this is a symbiotic relationship. They complement each other on both sides of the ball. The next best winger-center combination, Valentine Holmes and Murray Toulagi, combine quite well in attack but have to fight much harder to defend.

Honorable mention: Selwyn Cobo, Brisbane (674)

3. Joseph Talakai, Cronulla (637)

Here he is, man of the time. Even amid the recent slump in form, divorce has blown the field in the first 12 rounds. If you’ve seen this coming, introduce yourself.

Raw numbers reflect what is registered with the eye. He is not only a destructive ball runner, he can be utterly destructive. He’s not just size and brute force, he’s got decent speed, footwork and soft hands.

This type of player rarely maintains this type of performance for long periods of time. Some may think of Tony Carroll as one of the most shocking and scattered defenders of the mid-1990s. Conrad Hurel flinched but finished in the Super League. Let’s hope the divorce can continue.

Honorable Mention: Valentine Homes, North Queensland (573)

(Photo by Jason McCauley / Getty Images)

Justin Olam, Melbourne (592)

Despite being temporarily ousted from power last season, Kendra Raja has maintained his great form.

Moses Sully of St. George’s Elvara has matched and even surpassed Olam in several statistical divisions, but Olam is a good defender and can pass the ball on the defensive line and effectively. It makes a difference.

Honorable mention: Moses Sully, St. George Ilawara (564)

Alex Johnston, Souths (682)

You may have noticed that one of the three-quarters mentioned so far moves all the way to the left end. Is it the normal tendency of the team to attack from right to left and then return to the left edge of their opponent, where most teams keep their strong winger?

Johnston Slick in the south with a further 11 tri-registers so far in 2022 met the right-to-left attack. But he is much more than that. Although Daniel Tupau (664) has a higher work rate, Johnston covers him in terms of carry per run meter. Josh Addo-Carr’s number (639) has dropped since he moved to Canterbury, but last year he wasn’t doing anything else.

May cause defense problems. Whatever the case may be, it will be interesting to see why Johnston rarely rates it in the State of Origin time.

Honorable Mention: Taylan May, Penrith (666)

Alex Johnston of Rabitohas celebrates after scoring a goal

(Photo by Mark Colby / Getty Images)

Cameron Munster, Melbourne (553)

Towards the end of last season, Cody Walker advanced to the POPE Awards when Munster dropped out of the finals and fell into disgrace in the off-season.

How the tables turned upside down. Munster’s back and New South Wales fans are very nervous. Paramatman Dylan Brown is the only stand-off, hoping to catch him, all things being equal. Walker is eroding in seventh place at 473.

Honorable mention: Dylan Brown, Paramatman (531)

Niche Highness, Cronula (529)

Jahrome Hughes would come here again but due to an injury that made him miss the qualifying cut-off. Mitch Moses and Ben Hunt are even better helpers, but no one can cope to save their lives. Adam Reynolds does not have an ongoing game of Hynes.

Looking at the number of Hynes, it looks like he is playing a fullback half. He, I guess. So is Jahrom Hughes. Interesting time at halfback.

Honorable mention: Daily Cherry-Evans, Manly (490)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - April 10: Nicholas Hynes of the Hunger passes during a warm-up before the Round Five NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the West Tigers at Pointsetbet Stadium on April 10, 2022 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Colby / Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Colby / Getty Images)

8. Josh Papali, Canberra (502)

Papalii and Joseph Tapine are statistically the best front-row combinations in the NRL. I would like to go for Tapin in his current form, but the numbers show that Big Dad is more efficient than the two. He made a more positive impact during his play, including a more effective second-round game. It reads like my experience.

Honorable mention: David Klemer, Newcastle (494)

Harry Grant, Melbourne (473)

The half position of acting is changing. Most don’t run much because they spend most of their time connecting with ‘quarterbacks’ like Yeo, Victor Radley or Jack Trobozevic or because they are capable of hitting a moving target from a distance, such as Reed Mahoney (407) and Blake. Braille (428).

Grant changes straddles. Only Damien Cook and Reese Robson run the ball high, while no one is good at hitting a running target.

Honorable Mention: Damien Cook, Souths (459)

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Harry Grant passes the Storm Ball during a Round 23 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and Melbourne Storm on August 19, 2021 at the Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde / Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Hyde / Getty Images)

10. Payne Haas, Brisbane (502)

No question Haas is one of the best props in the game. The question in recent days is whether he is 300,000 better than the rest of the elite.

Haas’s biography is all about impact, and he can maintain a high-impact running and defensive game longer than anyone. Someone might give him money to stay after him, but they would be mad to pass two years.

If I could run a team that could somehow open a Premiership window and have over $ 850,000 to spend on a high-impact prop, I’d throw it at Nelson Asofa-Salomona.

Honorable mention: Adin Fonua-Blake, New Zealand (492)

William Kikau, Penrith (499)

Kikau made his name as a destructive ball runner and he is still there. Although this is only part of his contribution to Penrith. His links with Jerome Louie and Stephen Crichton are seen in the quality statistics of the game, as is his defensive contribution.

Kikau and Liam Martin missed a lot of tackles. Louis and Nathan Cleary don’t have to do much. It seems to work. Kikau and Martin don’t bother too much about completing the tackle; They are disruptive. More on this in the next article.

Honorable Mention: Luke Garner, Wests (479)

Luciano Leilua, Westes (480)

Here’s a surprise. Leilua defeated David Fifita, Ryan Matterson and Jaden Sua because they all missed the cut. He also defeated Jeremiah Nanai and Isaiah Papali by a single point, among others.

Leiluer is a mix of big meter eaters like Matterson, Tom Gilbert and Helium Luke and even better defensive back-rovers like Luke Garner and Tyson Frigel. He looks like a good sign for the Cowboys, with Gilbert Radcliffe and Lucy still on the go.

Honorable mention: Isaiah Papali’i, Parramatta (478)

Isa Yo, Penrith (462)

I’ve already said a lot about the nice Yeo. The pope does not do him justice. If Jason Toumalolo had played another 15 minutes in the first 12 rounds, he could have stayed on top of the POPE.

Honorable Mention: Tino Fa’asumaleui, Gold Coast (462)

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