Author Archives: pythagonrl

Are the Warriors the most inconsistent team in the NRL?

Despite being set an 18 point line, the Warriors managed to run the Storm close on ANZAC Day in Melbourne. Were it not for a dubious decision or two in the closing phase of the game, the Aucklanders might have left AAMI Park with the win. That led to people, including me, wondering out loud via social media where that level of play had come from, especially compared to some of the Warriors’ earlier displays this season.

Some people suggested the Warriors in Melbourne was a Thing. We only need to remember last year’s 50-10 drubbing to dispel that but also recall that the Warriors have a 7-13-1 record in Melbourne, with an average margin of thirteen points in the Storm’s favour.

So what gives?

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NRL Tips – Round 7, 2019

In what seems like fairly tame news compared to recent months, Phil Gould has been ousted from the Panthers. I don’t particularly care for Gould but that’s because he’s a massive gronk and cranky old man in the commentary box.

I don’t have any strong opinions about his ability as a club executive, largely because I wasn’t paying much attention to rugby league for most of his tenure. Plenty have pointed out Penrith’s successes in reforming their pathways (see last year’s U18 national championship and NRL State Championship wins) while others claim the club had a losing record under his command, along with some frankly bizarre personnel decisions (see punting the coach a few weeks out from the 2018 finals to keep a somewhat above-average halfback happy).

I will point to the club’s class graph, because that’s the kind of thing that can be used for, and from 2012 onwards, we see an unmistakable and steady uptick in performance. At one point, it looked like the pieces were in place for a premiership.

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It’ll be interesting to see where Penrith go from here. My hope is that the resolution of the blatant conflict of interest in having a club executive commentate from a national platform will help slightly improve the coverage of the game (remember the 90 second infomercial for Oak at half time of a Panthers game that was presented as part of the Channel 9 broadcast?). I don’t mind bias in commentators within limits but that’s taking the piss.

In other news, you might notice the tip sheet format has changed. This is an attempt to make it a bit clearer and faster to put together. I think I’ve been successful but let me know if you believe otherwise.

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NRL Tips – Round 6, 2019

It’s a short post from me but it’s a big weekend of football:

  • Most games for the QCup will be on Thursday night with the Easter weekend ahead (I’ll be at Langlands watching the Magpies get pummelled)
  • Top of the table clash between Sydney and Melbourne on Friday night
  • Port Moresby is hosting a triple header with Digicel Cup teams playing either side of the Hunters
  • Potential spoon bowl down the Gold Coast
  • Bankwest Stadium opens Monday with a western Sydney derby
  • Matt Moylan revenge game, although he won’t actually be participating

What a time to be alive.

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The Renaissance of South Sydney

On their return to the competition in 2002, South Sydney sucked. A lot. The 2003 and 2006 Rabbitohs were among the worst all-time NRL sides, winning just three games a piece. In 2007, the tide turned with a moderately successful recruitment drive, lifting Souths to a .500 win percentage. Souths would be just on the cusp of finals places for the next few years before securing Michael Maguire as coach and turning into a powerhouse (powerhouse Maguire years marked in cardinal).

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In 2012, the Rabbitohs played their first finals series since 2007, appearing in a run of three preliminary finals in a row before winning the grand final in 2014 and breaking a 43 year premiership drought. In 2015, the club was bundled out in the first week of the post-season. Two very average seasons followed.

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NRL Tips – Round 5, 2019

Interesting to note this week that the first half of the NRL round will be played in Queensland, with Souths having taken a home game against the Warriors to the Sunshine Coast while Brisbane, Gold Coast and North Queensland all have home games.

Easts and the Sunshine Coast Falcons will be playing what I assume is a curtain raiser and will be the biggest clash of the Intrust Super Cup this weekend, so should be worth checking out if you’re there anyway.

It’s a rare highlight for Queensland rugby league, which is currently struggling with:

  • The Queensland clubs occupying three of the bottom four places on the NRL ladder with no hope on the horizon
  • Not being the defending Origin champs for the first time in a while
  • Back-to-back smashings at the NRL State Championships
  • Tweed Heads will probably win the Queensland Cup

At least we have the NRLW premiers and a Universities team that hasn’t lost in years.

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Rolling the rugby league dice: the value of the short kick off

At one end of the scale, we have every NRL team. At the top level, we only see the short kick off when the clock is winding down and the team kicking off desperately needs points to remain in contention for the win. At the other end of the scale, we have the Ipswich Jets, coached by Shane and Ben Walker, who will indiscriminately use short kick-offs, short drop-outs and taking the two when it makes no sense to do so because that’s Walkerology. Are the Walker Brothers on to something that everyone else is missing?

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In 2018, I recorded a few outcomes for 1,000 sets of six. This sounds like a lot but it’s actually the equivalent of about twelve games of football. I looked at where the set started, what the end result of the set was (e.g. error, score, fifth tackle kick) and a few other details.

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NRL Tips – Round 4, 2019

The photo below is unrelated to this week’s tips (except for the first one). The NRLW doesn’t start for months. Well, that of course assumes

  • that the crippling $400,000 per season that it costs to run a women’s team isn’t too big a burden for the biggest clubs in the competition that are supported by an annual grant from the NRL of $13 million
  • the clubs remember that their raison d’etre is playing football
  • the attendance at a free game of AFL doesn’t crush all other women’s sport in this country because what would be the point of continuing in the face of 53,000 people turning up to an event?

I mean, we could go on about how the AFLW had inferior ratings, inferior average attendances and offers no opportunities for representative footy compared to the NRLW but that would be petty #codewarz garbage. Why would anyone waste their time with that?

Now let’s get back to expansion and relocation. How anyone written anything about that lately? My plan is…

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