Cronulla won a premiership. You might have heard about it. It was last year. It was also their first since joining the NSWRL premiership in 1967.
The Sharks are also the only team stupid enough to recently get caught in a doping scandal. In the NRL, you’d basically have to leave a box of used syringes with a note saying what was in them on the front doorstep of NRL House and I’m still not sure the authorities would put two and two together. To get pinged for peptide use while not even being good enough to make the finals in 2013 and 2014 is a level of dumbassery unsurpassed in the sport of rugby league.
That aside, prior to those incidents, Cronulla were a journeyman’s team. They were never terrible (only three wooden spoons to their name, two from the early days and one in 2014) but never great (refer lack of premierships, 1967-2015). The Sharks were the home of some top class individuals, including Andrew Ettinghausen, Steve Rogers, Brett Kimmorley and David Peachey. Their current line-up features stars, including Valentine Holmes, and also features some guys that have contributed to multiple Origin losses, like Paul Gallen, James Maloney and Andrew Fifita.
Continue reading “Club Report – Cronulla Sharks”
The Stocky is the main forecasting tool driving the analysis on this site. It’s a simulator of the season ahead, using the Monte Carlo method and based on Elo ratings, that gives insight into the future performance of each club. My main interest has been the number of wins, as it determines ladder positions which in turn have a big impact on the finals. The Stocky might not be able to tell you which games a team will win, but it is good at telling you how many wins are ahead.
But how does a computer simulation (in reality, a very large spreadsheet) compare to reality? To test it, I’ve put together a graph of each team’s performance against what the Stocky projected for them. Each graph shows:
- The Stocky’s projection for total wins (blue)
- Converting that projection to a “pace” for that point in the season (red)
- Comparing that to the actual number of wins (yellow)
It will never be exactly right, particularly as you can only ever win whole numbers of games and the Stocky loves a decimal point, but as we’ll see, the Stocky is not too bad at tracking form and projecting that forward.
This week is Part I, from Brisbane to Newcastle. Part II, from North Queensland to Wests Tigers, will be next week.
Continue reading “Analysis – Stocky vs Reality: Did your team outperform? (Pt I)”
Only three games to go. There are a couple of finals places still up for grabs, as well as the all important wooden spoon battle, which is proving to be more inspirational than wondering which big market team is going to finish where in the top four.
Gold Coast (7-14) @ Parramatta (13-8)
While the Gold Coast melts down over whether they’ll keep their coach or their “star” fullback/centre or boot both or neither, Parramatta have had to spend a week of soul searching after a devastating loss to Newcastle – probably the worst side to play this decade – brought their six game winning streak to a grinding halt.
The question is: Will Parramatta recover? I almost think it’s irrelevant what the Eels do. The real question is: do the Titans even bother to show up or will they follow their erstwhile leader’s example and half ass it? I’m expecting three-quarter ass tops, so the Eels should be able to recover and get their finals campaign on track.
Continue reading “NRL Tips – Round 24, 2017”
South Sydney 28 (8-13) d Canterbury 14 (7-14)
Newcastle 29 (5-16) d Parramatta 10 (13-8)
Brisbane 32 (14-7) d Cronulla 10 (13-8)
St George Illawarra 42 (11-10) d Gold Coast 16 (7-14)
Melbourne 16 (16-5) d Sydney City 13 (14-7)
Penrith 24 (12-9) d North Queensland 16 (12-9)
Canberra 36 (10-11) d New Zealand 16 (7-14)
Wests Tigers 30 (6-15) d Manly 26 (12-9)
Now to look ahead to see what the Collated Ladder has predicted for the final standings of the season.
Melbourne are currently sitting on sixteen wins and are projected to take eighteen. With three games to go and playing very well, that might be more like nineteen by the end of the regular season. Brisbane and Sydney City close out the top three spots, just as they do now. Both sides are going to stay at least four points off the pace.
The remaining spots are interesting. Penrith in the top four? They’re currently only two points off Cronulla, who are not playing well. Three wins for the Panthers and two for the Sharks would not be a surprising outcome. The Collated Ladder also has the Cowboys not far off the pace and there’s not much to separate them – Stocky wins and Pythag are very close for all three. Fourth place is very important as almost all of the premiership winners of the last twenty years have finished in the top four.
Continue reading “NRL Projections Update – Round 23, 2017”
It may surprise you to discover that this blog is actually fairly low on my list of priorities and when time’s tight, its always going to be the first to suffer so this isn’t going to be much of a post. With that in mind, this week’s games are looking like a re-run of round 20, where each game had a clear favourite. That weekend, seven from eight tips got up.
Round 23 offers more top eight match ups with the Roosters/Storm, Broncos/Sharks and Cowboys/Panthers going head-to-head. While you would expect 1st vs 2nd, 3rd vs 4th and 6th vs 8th to be tight, we’ve got the Storm, Broncos and Panthers well ahead of their rivals. In fact, the Jury was unanimous on every game except for Wests/Manly, where Euclid was the sole dissenting vote.
The favourites have an average odds of 2-to-1 of picking up the win. As I warned in round 20, you would expect to be correct in 5.2 games but still find upsets in 2.8 games. We’ll have to wait and see which games those are.
Canterbury (7-13) @ South Sydney (7-13)
Newcastle (4-16) @ Parramatta (13-7)
Cronulla (13-7) @ Brisbane (13-7)
Gold Coast (7-13) @ St George Illawarra (10-10)
Sydney City (14-6) @ Melbourne (15-5)
North Queensland (12-8) @ Penrith (11-9)
Canberra (9-11) @ New Zealand (7-13)
Manly (12-8) @ Wests Tigers (5-15)
Continue reading “NRL Tips – Round 23, 2017”
I’m running a bit short on time this week, so I’ll dispense with the usual round up of matches and dive straight into it.
Actually, I’ll take one moment to say that I watched five of the eight games on the weekend (missed the Saturday fixtures) and the Souths-Saints game was the best of the lot. It might be because my expectations were so low but that was a hell of a finish from the Bunnies.
Round 22 Results
Parramatta 20 (13-7) d Canterbury 4 (7-13)
South Sydney 26 (7-13) d St George Illawarra 24 (10-10)
Melbourne 26 (15-5) d North Queensland 8 (12-8)
Newcastle 26 (4-16) d New Zealand 10 (7-13)
Brisbane 54 (13-7) d Gold Coast 0 (7-13)
Canberra 30 (9-11) d Cronulla 12 (13-7)
Manly 36 (12-8) d Sydney City 18 (14-6)
Penrith 28 (11-9) d Wests Tigers 14 (5-15)
Continue reading “NRL Projections Update – Round 22, 2017”
I struggled to get this post together. I must be running low on creative juices after what feels like a season that’s already been decided (Melbourne to win everything) but for some reason, we have to go through the formalities of playing the last few games. I propose we just lock the ladder positions now, go to the finals and wrap up a month early. Just in case the NRL isn’t listening to the fifteenth best non-podcast/non-gambling based blog, here’s how I think the round will go.
Parramatta (12-7) @ Canterbury (7-12)
Tuesday’s front page of the Daily Telegraph means we all need to sympathise with Bulldogs fans as they get painted with the same brush as an alleged terrorist, a sentence you would never write in any other sport. It’s okay though because by the weekend, we’ll all be back to panning the Bulldogs’ terrible on-field performances.
Parramatta beat the Broncos last week, taking their streak to four wins on the trot. What utter bastards. Having been forced to watch Eels’ games lately, I’m not entirely convinced they’re the real deal, particularly defensively. That won’t matter this match because the Bulldogs are pathologically incapable of scoring points (and we’re back, baby). Parra will be able to run in the minimum fourteen points required and so the Eels will win.
Continue reading “NRL Tips – Round 22, 2017”