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)”

Club Report – Canterbury Bulldogs

cnt-lgBackground

The Canterbury Bulldogs have always been pretty good. Founded in 1934, the Bulldogs are one of Western Sydney’s four NRL clubs. Success came early, finishing runners-up in 1998 to the Broncos. Success continued until massive salary cap rorts were uncovered in 2002 while they were close to securing  a minor premiership. Fortunately, they achieved little of import during this period and, unlike the later Storm, weren’t stripped of a bunch of titles. The Bulldogs managed to recover and made the finals in 2003 and took out the top prize in 2004.

A leaner period followed in the back end of the 2000s, featuring a scandal or two and culminating in a 2008 wooden spoon. Canterbury returned to form circa 2012 and since then, the Doggies have made the finals each season. This season is a mixed success but a good run to the end of the year may see them make it six in a row.

Continue reading “Club Report – Canterbury Bulldogs”