NRL Tips – Round 14, 2017

I think if the NRL could arrange for most rounds to play out per the form guide as round 13 did, then my experimentation with Elo models and rugby league would be far less embarrassing. It’s less Nostradamus and more John Edwards. Yes, I’m a greasy, shifty fraud who bilks people out of their money despite the fact that you get to read this for free because you Googled the right words and flicked through enough results to land on this smart sounding site. Psychic right?

“Success”

I was hoping a 5 from 7 level of success would be typical this year but it hasn’t been. In fact, this was a rather good round for all concerned. The jury has managed to eclipse the 60% margin I thought we would all be past by now but Euclid is still struggling to break even.

After round 13:

rd14-2017-correct tips

Draw

We’re on for our first full round since all of three weeks ago. There’s something for everyone, not least because all the teams have decided to earn their paychecks by playing. Even for the neutrals – assuming they exist in this sport, in which case they should just pick a team and get on with it – there’s plenty of even match-ups anticipated. That makes it incredibly difficult to tip but being incredibly wrong before hasn’t stopped me.

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Club Report – New Zealand Warriors

war-lgBackground

The Auckland Warriors, as they were originally known, were introduced to the competition in 1996, the first expansion team from outside of Australia.

In the heady days of Stacey Jones’ leadership, the team became contenders, winning a minor premiership in 2002 and only falling at the last hurdle in the grand final to the Sydney Roosters. The team would be deep into the finals again in 2003 before being eliminated in the preliminary final by eventual premiers Penrith.

The Warriors went through a period of re-building after Jones left the club in 2005, culminating in another grand final appearance in 2011 under coach Ivan Cleary. While NZ would ultimately lose out to Manly, the Warriors have since maintained a level of adequacy that is neither inspiring nor depressing. The team is struggling to make an impact this year and has faced an unfair call to be dropped from the competition despite never having copped a wooden spoon.

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NRL Projections Update – Round 13, 2017

A good round for home teams with only the last fixture turning up a win for the visitors. I think the biggest surprise was the Panthers’ win over the Bulldogs. You might’ve tipped them but did you also pick the 38 point margin? I think not. I also missed the Roosters getting one over the Broncos, a very disappointing result for me and while I’m loathe to blame one player, Kahu is not exactly my favourite at the moment.

In other news, the Warriors, Knights and Tigers suck. The Titans, after a stellar April/May, have returned to what I guess everyone expected pre-season. They all have a lot of work to do to make the finals next year, let alone salvage anything from this season. Manly and Canberra went to golden point for the second time this season with the Sea Eagles coming out on top again.

Round 13 Results

melbourne-sm Melbourne 40 (10-2) d newcastle-sm Newcastle 12 (2-10)

parramatta-sm Parramatta 32 (7-6) d warriors-sm New Zealand 24 (4-9)

st george illawarra-sm St George Illawarra 16 (8-4) d wests tigers-sm Wests Tigers 12 (3-9)

sydney city-sm Sydney 18 (9-4) d brisbane-sm Brisbane 16 (8-5)

north qld-sm North Queensland 20 (7-5) d gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast 8 (4-8)

manly-sm Manly 21 (7-5) d canberra-sm Canberra 20 (6-7)

penrith-sm Penrith 38 (5-7) d canterbury-sm Canterbury 0 (5-8)

[Home team in italics]

Collated Ladder

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NRL (& Origin) Tips – Round 13, 2017

I paid the price for my arrogance. I figured that the Raiders and the Warriors were done, dusted, spent forces that would not be able to stand up to even a weakened Roosters or Broncos outfit. They managed it and came home comfortable winners to boot. Scoring just one from four was not a pleasant experience and not one I intend to repeat. At least the rating systems had an excuse – there was nowhere to put the information that Origin is upon us – but for me, only failure.

“Success”

As suggested, not a great round. No one got above 1 in 4 except good old Eratosthenes, who correctly tipped Canberra over Easts, so there hasn’t been much movement since last week. So far this year listening to the two “form” Elo rating systems would have been less effective than listening to a coin.

After round 12:

rd13-2017-correct tips.PNG

Origin

nsw-sm New South Wales (48-2-58) @ qld-sm Queensland (58-2-48)

It’s the first of the three big games that keeps rugby league relevant in this country. The opening round of State of Origin will be played at Suncorp in Brisbane in front of a not-quite-capacity crowd thanks to a dipshit ticket pricing structure. It’s the showpiece of the entire sport so if you did run rugby league, you would want to ignore the fact that it didn’t sell out in five minutes in one of your most important markets. It’s called “giving the people what they want at a price just above what they can afford”. Look it up.

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Club Report – Manly Sea Eagles

man-lgBackground

After an ARL premiership in 1996, Manly entered the NRL in a slightly awkward position. The Sea Eagles took up the NRL’s offer to merge with local rivals North Sydney, forming the Northern Eagles. On-field performances were terrible and in 2003, it was apparent that the marriage was dysfunctional. The venture got a divorce – the Bears never returned to first grade while the Sea Eagles have stuck it out since.

Since the divorce, Manly have been one of the strongest teams in the competition with an unbroken run of finals appearances from 2005 to 2014. Only the salary cap-breaching Melbourne were better and there’s a solid argument that the two runners-up “honours” held by the Sea Eagles could perhaps have been premierships. The last couple of years have not been up to standard but after a patchy start, this year sees them as genuine finals contenders again.

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NRL Projections Update – Round 12, 2017

Well, I was in Sydney so I didn’t see a single minute of any of the short round of games. What I see on the scoresheet fundamentally reminds me that I know so little about this sport. I thought that, even weakened, the Roosters and the Broncos would be handy enough to take care of the Raiders and the Warriors but evidently not. The Warriors were barely troubled by the Broncos and the Raiders kept on top, just, of the Roosters. Cronulla managed to do right by me and edge out Canterbury but only did it late with a field goal to avoid golden point. Souths never seemed to be in it against Parramatta.

Round 12 Results

parramatta-sm Parramatta 22 (6-6) d souths-sm South Sydney 16 (4-8)

warriors-sm New Zealand 28 (4-8) d brisbane-sm Brisbane 10 (8-4)

cronulla-sm Cronulla 9 (9-3) d canterbury-sm Canterbury 8 (5-7)

canberra-sm Canberra 24 (6-6) d sydney city-sm Sydney 16 (8-4)

[Home team in italics]

Collated Ladder

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Analysis – Where to for NRL expansion according to Cap

When I first started getting elbow-deep into NRL numbers, one of my favourite things to think about was expansion. The NRL has had the same sixteen club format since 2007. The Gold Coast Titans were the first new team to be added to the competition since 1998 brought us the Melbourne Storm.

The idea of some fresh faces and new colour schemes, coupled with a positive sign that the game is growing and the inherent riskiness appeals to many of sport’s more ardent fans. Todd Greenberg, CEO of the NRL, recently fielded questions from Twitter users, a noticeable portion of which were about expansion (which he hosed down).

One of the main drivers for examining the concept of Cap (see 1, 2 and 3) has been this. If we consider attendance a proxy for popularity and financial stability (let’s admit that’s dubious but press on nonetheless), then Cap can tell us something about potential expansion opportunities.

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