Category Archives: Analysis & Opinion

A complete history of the Queensland Cup

Last year, I did a series of graphs which told each NRL team’s history in the top flight since 1998. Despite expectations, it was pretty well received compared to the one I was expecting to generate a bit of interest.

Now that we have all of the Queensland Cup results, I thought I’d run the same exercise. I don’t expect all that much interest but I think it’s a shame that the Queensland Cup doesn’t garner more attention. The days of 30,000 attending the BRL grand final in the 1980s has been replaced by less than 10,000 turning up to the equivalent event in the 2010s, crushed under the homogenisation of rugby league culture in Brisbane and Queensland thanks to the twin-headed Orthrus* of the Maroons and the Broncos.

Part of the solution is to create some meaningful content about it and we’ll see more of it on this website this year. This post is the starting point, literally charting the competition’s history from its inception in 1996 through the turbulent early 00s period and into the relatively stability – dare I say, optimism – of the last ten years.

*It’s like Cerberus but with two heads.

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What’s new in 2019

I had meant to do some wrap-up posts after I got back from my honeymoon but it felt like the moment had passed, being two or three weeks after the grand final, and I didn’t have much to say other than the navel gazing stuff that people really don’t care about it.

This tweet sums up the 2018 season on the blog pretty well though:

This post is about some of the stuff that’s changed and what’s a work in progress but mostly to let you know that we are indeed in business in 2019.

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Stats of Six: Is 2018 the worst top eight in NRL finals history?

Using the same format I used during the rep weekend, this is the finals preview-ish post.

I didn’t get to do all the analysis I wanted to because I’ve run out of time. By the time this gets published, I should be somewhere in or around California starting my honeymoon, which I think should probably take priority. I won’t be filing from America (in fact I probably won’t see any rugby league for six weeks) but I will be back in October or November to do some post-season stuff.

This post relies pretty heavily on Elo ratings, so you might want to brush up.

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PythagoNRL’s 3/4 NRL Season Review

Why a three-quarter season review? We could ask Penrith the very same question but for me, it’s because I was too busy with life around round 12 and I will be on holidays and away from the computer by round 25, so this is the only real opportunity I get to pull together a post reviewing the season that’s been until sometime in late October. I think now is a good time to do it anyway because the narratives are established and we’re just close enough to peak over the fence into how the conclusion to the 2018 NRL campagin might play out.

I’m going to try and limit my word usage and let the graph and/or table do the talking. Feel free to use the contents page to jump around:

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How much does Origin affect NRL club form?

Sometimes I take reader requests, although sometimes I can’t always meet the brief.

And sometimes I read or hear someone ask a question and think, “hey, that’s an interesting idea. I’ll take a look.” A while back on Inside Sport’s Dead In Goal podcast, Jeff Centenera asked how much Origin affects team form. We normally associate heavy Origin loading as corresponding with poor performance of the club team, devoid as it is of its star power and typically relying on inexperienced youngsters to fill the gaps. Being a Broncos fan, I am as familiar with this phenomenon as it is possible to be without actually playing the game.

But I thought that was a question worth working through.

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Stats of Six – Rep/Origin Weekend, 2018

Not being a typical NRL round weekend, I find myself at a loss for a Thursday post so I thought I’d toss a bunch of little things out there – six, to be specific – and see what sticks. I don’t expect this to be a regular format but it might come in handy to get smaller ideas out there, especially seeing as all anyone is reading these days seems to be long form works of analysis and history.

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