Busting the myths around Australia’s hardworking (or not..) backrowers
On the popular TV show Mythbusters, popularly held beliefs are tested with experiments and data. There are three outcomes: Confirmed, plausible, and busted.
I will look at common myths in relation to backrowers using available stats for the Super Rugby season to date. Most stats are from Fox Fantasy statistics.
The stats have a common scale of per 80 mins to mimic a complete match, so you can compare players who played less minutes.
Dave Dennis, Wycliff Palu, Ben Mowen, Scott Higginbotham, Ben McCalman, David Pocock have been selected since various quarters push for their inclusion in the Wallaby squad.
Pocock is the only opensider as there has been no serious challenge to his starting position.
Backrowers – Myths
- Palu is lazy and has a low contribution / effort.
- Higginbotham has a low contribution rate.
- McCalman, Dennis and Mowen have high contribution rates.
- Dennis and Mowen are very close and either could be chosen.
- Palu and Higginbotham have a high impact.
- Mowen is underrated.
(Table 1 posted in first comment)
Myth: Palu has a low contribution rate? Busted. In fact Palu easily has the highest contribution rate.
For those who claims he only has this due to only playing 40 mins, he is averaging 65 mins per game, considering he DID only play 40 mins in his first few games and 80 mins in his later games this is also not true.
Myth: Higginbotham has a low contribution rate? Confirmed. He has the lowest contribution rate.
Myth: Dennis and Mowen have high contribution rates? Busted. In fact they are in the middle at best.
Myth: McCalman has a high contribution rate? Confirmed.
(Table 2 posted in first comment)
Myth: Palu has a high impact? Confirmed, easily the highest.
Myth: Higgs has a high impact?Confirmed (especially since he plays wider / looser).
(Table 3 posted in first comment)
Myth: Dennis and Mowen are very close and either could be chosen? Confirmed.
Myth: Mowen is underrated? Busted. His stats don’t indicate that he should be chosen over anyone else, and he was called into the squad as the next backrower.
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- Rugby Union