NRL wrestling with the most meaningless figures

There is both fast and slow play during a game in rugby league.

Sometimes a flute-like scream emanates from a person wearing a fluorescent robe, which informs everyone that the tackle that is currently being run has only happened for the surrendering opponent.

On other occasions, a tackle’s dominance is indicated, with the defending team being rewarded for their efforts with extra time to clear the rock area.

Every now and then, an outer back would be tackled at some distance from the sidelines but still legally pulled over it, with the government not stopping some irrational gestures about speed.

Conversely, great driving and defensive efforts are often stopped because a ball runner is sent in reverse, only to be saved by a few of his teammates wearing the same gear, somehow triggering a ‘hold’ call from a referee who often does not. , Seems to be deprived of a brief knowledge of the game and someone is interested in adhering to a rough set of KPIs.

Thus in modern rugby league, often the perceived importance of tackle, rack, and subsequent play-the-ball is commented on, with referee explanations, arbitrary penalties, and data from matches suggesting that official game-ball motion statistics may actually be the most useless in the game.

(Photo by Bradley Canaris / Getty Images)

In the two weeks leading up to the NRL game, 13 of the 16 matches were won by teams playing slower than their opponents.

I thought the opposite was true of Storm’s magic – the ability to control the rock area and never allow a team to be sent to a defensive backfoot, thus exposing the retreating defense as the ball looks wider.

I can well and truly believe that the foundation of Craig Bellamy’s success lies in the wrestling, fighting and control that his disciplined forwards provide with the middle third of the field.

Really quite the opposite.

Against the Panthers in the Magic Round, Melbourne’s average game-of-the-ball speed was 2.65 seconds, while the Panthers were limited, limited and frustrated to rebound the ball at an average of 3.97 seconds per rack. Mountain Men whipped Storm 32-6.

The following week saw Melbourne rebound against the Queensland Cowboys and the home side pushed them away from one of the most impressive performances of any team in 2022.

At Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Storm played the ball at an average speed of 2.98 seconds, with the Cows having a full second slow to recycle in 3.96 seconds. The 36-6 scoreline for North Queensland is particularly confusing in modern play, indicating the supposed dominance of the acquired racks by slowing down the pace at which teams allow opponents to play the ball.

Rees Robson scored

Rees Robson tried once (pictured by Ion Hitchcock / Getty Images)

In the Magic Round, the Knights (3.76 seconds), the Broncos (3.96), the Rabitohas (3.60), the Titans (3.42), the Panthers (3.97) and the Cowboys (3.61) all played slower than their opponents – and in the case of the Rabbit, the Panthers and the Cowboys. In between, at considerable intervals.

Round 11 saw exactly the same trend in the available data, in their win against the Titans only the Sharks actually performed better at rack speeds than their opponents. The Raiders, Panthers, Cowboys, Dragons, Ells and West Tigers all won with considerable deficits in play-by-ball speed, yet the scoreboard was collectively dominated by 182-90 when scoring total points.

More than a decade later, it was said that Rack’s dominance had been translated into direct victory, that Melbourne was the master of control in that area, thus their success, and that a second referee was needed to ensure that the teams did not resort to negative tactics. Dominating the matches, it seems that the secret of victory may be hidden somewhere else.

Perhaps the ability to set-restart and accept fines in the right place at the right time has become a more important metric for coaches, perhaps the total run meter or kick return where it is, or perhaps something above the completion rate will determine the 2022 premiere.

Whatever the perfect combination, it seems that any perceived dominance between play-the-ball speed and rock has become an unconventional focus for coaches; Something that will make many fans happier.

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