NRL Projections Update – Round 23, 2017


souths-sm South Sydney 28 (8-13) d canterbury-sm Canterbury 14 (7-14)

newcastle-sm Newcastle 29 (5-16) d parramatta-sm Parramatta 10 (13-8)

brisbane-sm Brisbane 32 (14-7) d cronulla-sm Cronulla 10 (13-8)

st george illawarra-sm St George Illawarra 42 (11-10) d gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast 16 (7-14)

melbourne-sm Melbourne 16 (17-4) d sydney city-sm Sydney City 13 (14-7)

penrith-sm Penrith 24 (12-9) d north qld-sm North Queensland 16 (12-9)

canberra-sm Canberra 36 (10-11) d warriors-sm New Zealand 16 (7-14)

wests tigers-sm Wests Tigers 30 (6-15) d manly-sm Manly 26 (12-9)

Collated Ladder

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.

rd23-2017-collated ladder

Probabilities Matrix

The Stocky can give us the probability of specific season outcomes so you can see how your team is tracking to win the minor premiership, make the finals or avoid the wooden spoon.

Despite actually beating the Roosters, the Storm’s rating actually went down a little bit. Apparently winning by only three points is not enough to satisfy Euclid’s highly exacting standards for Melbourne. The Stocky doesn’t take into account for and against and, even if the Storm lose all three games and the Roosters win them, there’s currently 120 point gap. It might not be enough for the Storm to lose, they may have to lose by a lot for the Roosters to Steven Bradbury their way to a minor premiership. I would expect this will be resolved next week after the Storm put an end to the Knights’ run.

The finalists are all but locked in. The Sea Eagles are the most doubtful of the eight but the Raiders and Dragons are so far off it probably doesn’t matter. The Raiders still have to face the Panthers, a resurgent Knights and the Storm while the Dragons have the Broncos, Panthers and Bulldogs. There’s only one game out of those six that are likely to go the right way. Manly, Penrith and North Queensland really only need one more win each to finish them off.

In the wooden spoon race, Newcastle still pretty well have it locked down despite winning three games in a row. They’re in last place on the ladder, one win behind the Tigers and two behind the Warriors, Titans and Bulldogs. Newcastle actually finished every single simulation with the fewest numbers of wins but in 6% of cases the Bulldogs and the Tigers finished on the same number of wins. The for-and-against is close enough that it’s possible to go any number of ways but it’s still pretty likely that the Knights run will come to an end sooner or later, either against the Storm, Raiders or Sharks.

rd23-2017-probabilities matrix

rd23-2017-minor premiership


rd23-2017-wooden spoon.PNG

Finals Matrix

We’re getting closer to the end of the season and the clubs are shaping into two camps of who will and who will not be there in September. The Stocky has been modified to run it’s magic on the finals series for two scenarios:

  1. Inputs based on today’s ratings for the top eight based on today’s ladder positions
  2. Inputs based on the Stocky’s projected end of season rating and the Collated Ladder’s top eight

The below table shows the likelihood of each team reaching a given round of the finals based on these scenarios. Teams with a line through them have a slim-to-no chance in either scenario of finishing in the top eight, let alone featuring as more than elimination final speedbumps.

rd23-2017-finals matrix.PNG

The most likely scenario for each team, although not the most likely outcome of each game, is highlighted in green and the premiership favourites are highlighted in yellow.

It’s a Broncos/Storm grand final now. The last two week’s Melbourne have stood alone, basically unchallenged, but Brisbane’s offensive capabilities might be bringing them a premiership. It’s basically a threeway split between the Broncos, the Storm and everyone else. The Panthers are the best of the rest right now.

Projected Wins

This table and graph shows the number of predicted wins this season for each club using the Stocky and Pythagorean expectation. The numbers should align to an extent but a significant mismatch can indicate a possible imminent change in performance.

The immediate outlook compares the projected wins from the Stocky and Pythag to approximately assess how each team might go in the foreseeable future. It assumes that the Stocky is more accurate than Pythagoras. If Stocky is higher than Pythag, more wins by bigger margins are in the offing. If the Pythag is higher, then more losses or narrow wins might be ahead. To be clear, this is very approximate and has not been tested.

rd23-2017-wins graph

rd23-2017-wins table