NRL Tips – Round 15, 2017

After an intriguing round 14, we dive into round 15. It’s one of those lovely short rounds that allows me to get on with my life outside of NRL hashtags. I have stuff to do, you know.

Draw

gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast (4-9) @ souths-sm South Sydney (4-9)

The Gold Coast are a chance here. South Sydney have been playing like ANZ has myxomatosis. The Bunnies are yet to win a game at home, which would be unfathomable if we were talking about literally any other franchise. Even Newcastle manages to give the home fans something to cheer about occasionally.

Meanwhile, Jarrod Wallace put in the greatest attempt at the Bart Simpson defence in denying he shoulder charged Blake Ayshford in the game against the Warriors last week. This was the high point of a procedural approach by the Warriors that cooked the Titans in fifty minutes. Hopefully Neil Henry has them doing some cardio this week. The Titans showed a level of fitness I expect from normal people, not professional athletes. So far this year, the Titans are either proof that everyone has a lucky day or two or that the best have off-days but they’ve not exhibited any signs of getting on top of their flaws as a team.

Continue reading “NRL Tips – Round 15, 2017”

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Analysis – Another bloody mid-season review (Part II)

With the conclusion of round 14, it’s just over half time in the 2017 NRL season. It’s the ideal time to do what everyone else is doing and look back at the season so far. This week we’re looking at the back half of the NRL.

Part I, from Brisbane to Newcastle, was last week.

Benchmarks

A reminder of the benchmarks that define each place on the ladder –

wins positions

And where grand finalists and premiers come from on the ladder –

gf positions

Continue reading “Analysis – Another bloody mid-season review (Part II)”

NRL Projections Update – Round 14, 2017

I don’t know whether you’d agree with this statement: it was a pretty good round. We had close match-ups up and down the ladder with 1st v 2nd, 7th v 8th, 9th v 10th and 11th v 13th yielding some great games. No one saw the Panthers putting two tries past the Raiders in the last couple of minutes to take the win in Bathurst. I’d already written them off, wondering what jokes I could make about their performance. We saw an absorbing battle between the two minor premiership contenders with the final outcome only becoming clear after Kaufusi crossed the line with six to go. Newcastle were robbed of a victory by poor refereeing and I don’t often agree with the #RefsFault crowd. Souths gave the Donkeys a tense run for their money but Brisbane managed to keep them at bay.

Meanwhile, the Titans couldn’t have been further from the team that brought down the Sharks and Storm. At some point, someone will flick the lever into crisis mode, although perhaps its always been there. The “Territory” Eels didn’t seem interested in playing on a hard, crew-cut surface in Darwin, even though it was their home game and it showed in the scoreline against the Cowboys. Speaking of, the Tigers went down very hard in a scrappy game against the Roosters in Campbelltown after showing a lot of promise in the first half. The Dragons surprised everyone by not scoring a single try against a Bulldogs side recovering some dignity after last week’s flogging.

Round 14 Results

melbourne-sm Melbourne 18 (11-2) d cronulla-sm Cronulla 13 (9-4)

manly-sm Manly 18 (8-5) d newcastle-sm Newcastle 14 (2-11)

brisbane-sm Brisbane 24 (9-5) d souths-sm South Sydney 18 (4-9)

warriors-sm New Zealand 34 (6-8) d gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast 12 (4-9)

penrith-sm Penrith 24 (6-7) d canberra-sm Canberra 20 (6-8)

north qld-sm North Queensland 32 (8-5) d parramatta-sm Parramatta 6 (7-7)

sydney city-sm Sydney 40 (10-4) @ wests tigers-sm Wests Tigers 18 (3-10)

st george illawarra-sm St George Illawarra 16 (8-5) @ canterbury-sm Canterbury 2 (6-8)

Continue reading “NRL Projections Update – Round 14, 2017”

Analysis – Another bloody mid-season review (Part I)

With the conclusion of round 13, it’s half time in the 2017 NRL season. It’s the ideal time to do what everyone else is doing and look back at the season so far. This week we’re looking at the first eight clubs that come up in alphabetical order.

Part II to come next week.

Benchmarks

There are some important benchmarks to consider when looking ahead to the end of the season.

Firstly, let’s look at the regular season. I’ve tallied up the average number of wins for each position, the average for-and-against and the number of teams with a negative for-and-against for each spot on the ladder. The dataset covers 1998 to 2016, so there are some inconsistencies from seasons which had twenty or fourteen teams and where points penalties were applied to the 2002 Bulldogs, 2016 Eels and 2010 Storm.

The main takeaways are that twelve wins should get you into the finals and eighteen should get you the minor premiership. Six or seven wins will still only get you the bottom spots on the ladder (unless the 2016 Knights are playing).

Continue reading “Analysis – Another bloody mid-season review (Part I)”

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

Continue reading “NRL Projections Update – Round 13, 2017”