State of Origin 3 stats preview: There’s no such thing as a dead rubber

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    The stats suggest that the Maroons are major underdogs in the final match and in severe danger of losing the series 3-0.

    However, only a fool writes off the Queenslanders.

    More Origin 3
    » GORE: Queensland prove every single Origin match matters
    » Who rose to the occasion for the Maroons? All Queensland players rated
    » Every New South Wales player’s Game 3 effort rated
    » Seven talking points from Origin 3
    » WATCH: Complete match highlights from Billy Slater’s triumphant farewell

    State of Origin is all about hating your opponent and striving to stop them getting what they want. The Blues desperately want to pants their opponents, who have so ruthlessly owned then over the past decade.

    The Maroons want to stop the Blues just as desperately.

    There is no such thing as a dead rubber in State of Origin.

    There have been 22 Origin Game 3s held in Brisbane, with Queensland winning 14, losing seven and drawing one. That’s a 63.6 per cent rate of victory.

    Of those games, 12 were dead rubbers, of which the Maroons won seven (58.33 per cent). Three of the times that they lost Game 3 at home, they had already won the series.

    Queensland staved off a whitewash by winning the last game at home in 1990, 1993, 2003 and 2014. However, in 1986 and 1996, they lost the game and the series 3-0. Those are the only two times that the Maroons suffered a whitewash.

    (Note: I do not include any 1997 games in these stats due to the Super League-ARL fiasco.)

    Age, weight and minutes in the legs = NSW, just

    NSW Age Minutes Weight QLD Age Minutes Weight
    James Tedesco 25 80 96 Billy Slater 35 80 89
    Tom Trbojevic 21 80 102 Valentine Holmes 22 80 85
    James Roberts 25 79.1 93 Dane Gagai 27 80 91
    Latrell Mitchell 21 78.6 104 Will Chambers 30 80 100
    Josh Addo-Carr 22 79.7 86 Corey Oates 23 75.9 106
    James Maloney 32 80 83 Cameron Munster 23 80 89
    Nathan Cleary 20 72 92 Daly Cherry-Evans 29 80.6 84
    Paul Vaughan 27 51.1 110 Jai Arrow 22 56 101
    Damien Cook 27 79.3 86 Andrew McCullough 28 75 90
    David Klemmer 24 54.8 116 Josh Papalii 26 66.5 110
    Tyson Frizell 26 74.4 108 Gavin Cooper 32 80 108
    Boyd Cordner 26 76.1 102 Felise Kaufusi 26 78.3 112
    Jack de Belin 27 56.8 107 Josh McGuire 28 63.6 106
    Jake Trbojevic 24 76.8 107 Ben Hunt 28 77.2 87
    Angus Crichton 22 79.8 102 Jarrod Wallace 26 46.7 108
    Tariq Sims 28 76.5 105 Coen Hess 21 75.4 110
    Tyrone Peachey 26 71.5 93 Tim Glasby 29 42.5 106
    Average 24.9 73.3 99.5 Average 26.8 71.6 98.9
    Total 423 1246.5 1692 Total 455 1218 1682
    Forwards 25.7 / 231 69.5 / 625.6 104.75 / 838 Forwards 26.4 / 238 64.9 / 584 105.6 / 951
    Backs 24 / 192 77.6 / 621 93.6 / 749 Backs 27.1 / 217 79.2 / 634 91.4 / 731

    While the comparative weights of the two sides are virtually even, the New South Welshmen are almost two years younger than their opponents on average.

    Jimmy Maloney is the only Cockroach who is over 30 years old. Conversely, the Maroons have three old men in their side, the oldest of who is 35-year-old Billy Slater, who is bowing out following this match.

    Further, NSW have almost 30 minutes more in their legs.

    Runs and metres = NSW by a length

    NSW Runs Metres QLD Runs Metres
    James Tedesco 15.5 170.0 Billy Slater 11.4 95
    Tom Trbojevic 14.1 140.0 Valentine Holmes 10.9 118
    James Roberts 8.6 78.0 Dane Gagai 13.3 113
    Latrell Mitchell 6.8 74.0 Will Chambers 11.2 94
    Josh Addo-Carr 10.6 116.0 Corey Oates 13.2 145
    James Maloney 5.3 54.0 Cameron Munster 9.8 86
    Nathan Cleary 7.8 59.0 Daly Cherry-Evans 5.6 53
    Paul Vaughan 13.4 126.0 Jai Arrow 15.5 141
    Damien Cook 7.5 94.0 Andrew McCullough 4.5 41
    David Klemmer 17.8 169.0 Josh Papalii 13.3 119
    Tyson Frizell 10.2 96.0 Gavin Cooper 9.1 67
    Boyd Cordner 12.4 108.0 Felise Kaufusi 7.7 66
    Jack de Belin 10.8 93.0 Josh McGuire 13.3 122
    Jake Trbojevic 13.4 117.0 Ben Hunt 4.1 35
    Angus Crichton 15.3 119.0 Jarrod Wallace 12.8 108
    Tariq Sims 12.7 110.0 Coen Hess 11.8 92
    Tyrone Peachey 10.8 101.0 Tim Glasby 8.9 74
    Average 11.4 107.3 Average 10.4 92.3
    Total 193 1824.0 Total 176.4 1569
    Forwards 12.6 / 113.5 114.7 / 1032 Forwards 10.7 / 96.9 92.2 / 830
    Backs 9.9 / 79.5 99 / 792 Backs 9.9 / 79.5 92.4 / 739

    Gee, these are telling stats.

    255 metres is a lot of difference in the average metres comparison. The Blues have ten of their squad who average over 100 metres a game, while Queensland have just seven. The lack of metres in backrowers Gavin Cooper and Felise Kaufusi is a particular concern.

    NSW also have 13 extra runs a game overall – a clear advantage.

    Excepting the hookers, the Blues have no forwards who average fewer than ten runs a game. The Maroons have three: Tim Glasby, Cooper and Kaufusi.

    Tackling = even

    NSW Tackles Missed Tackles QLD Tackles Missed Tackles
    James Tedesco 5.8 0.6 Billy Slater 4 1.1
    Tom Trbojevic 4.7 1.3 Valentine Holmes 2.6 1.6
    James Roberts 12 1.2 Dane Gagai 14.9 3
    Latrell Mitchell 8.8 1.4 Will Chambers 12.7 3
    Josh Addo-Carr 4 0.7 Corey Oates 3.7 0.8
    James Maloney 11 5.8 Cameron Munster 16.8 2.3
    Nathan Cleary 13.2 0.6 Daly Cherry-Evans 16.8 2.2
    Paul Vaughan 22.8 1 Jai Arrow 27.6 1.6
    Damien Cook 38.8 2.2 Andrew McCullough 40.4 0.7
    David Klemmer 20.6 1.3 Josh Papalii 23.2 1.3
    Tyson Frizell 24.5 1.3 Gavin Cooper 26.3 2.2
    Boyd Cordner 26.5 1.6 Felise Kaufusi 29 1.3
    Jack de Belin 26.5 1 Josh McGuire 27.3 1.9
    Jake Trbojevic 37.7 1.5 Ben Hunt 15.8 3.8
    Angus Crichton 32 2.2 Jarrod Wallace 23.2 1
    Tariq Sims 20.6 1.4 Coen Hess 31.3 1.7
    Tyrone Peachey 12.8 2.1 Tim Glasby 22.6 1.4
    Average Average
    Total 322.3 27.2 Total 338.2 30.9
    Forwards 27.8 / 250 13.5 Forwards 27.9 / 251 13.1
    Backs 9 / 72.3 13.7 Backs 10.9 / 87.3 17.8

    The Maroons have the Blues covered when it comes to tacklingm, with 16 extra tackles in them. However, NSW miss nearly four fewer tackles.

    Just look at Maloney’s 5.8 misses and Ben Hunt’s 3.8. They’ll be definite targets again, while Daly Cherry-Evans and Cam Munster will also draw some attention.

    There is no getting away from Queensland’s backline’s missed tackle count.

    Breaking and scoring = NSW

    NSW Tackle breaks Line breaks Try assists Tries Queensland Tackle breaks Line breaks Try assists Tries
    James Tedesco 4.8 0.9 0.6 4 Billy Slater 2.9 0.4 0.8 4
    Tom Trbojevic 4.5 0.9 1 2 Valentine Holmes 2.1 0.7 0.1 12
    James Roberts 3.4 0.5 0.5 6 Dane Gagai 3.1 0.2 0.3 1
    Latrell Mitchell 4 0.7 0.2 6 Will Chambers 1.6 0.3 0.1 2
    Josh Addo-Carr 4 1 0.2 14 Corey Oates 3.5 1 0.1 8
    James Maloney 1.6 0.2 0.8 2 Cameron Munster 2.7 0.3 0.8 2
    Nathan Cleary 2.6 0.4 0.8 1 Daly Cherry-Evans 2.4 0.3 0.4 4
    Paul Vaughan 1.4 0.1 0 2 Jai Arrow 1.9 0.3 0 3
    Damien Cook 3.4 0.8 0.3 3 Andrew McCullough 0.7 0.2 0.3 2
    David Klemmer 1.3 0 0.1 0 Josh Papalii 2.1 0.3 0.2 3
    Tyson Frizell 1.3 0.1 0 4 Gavin Cooper 0.4 0.4 0 5
    Boyd Cordner 1.1 0.1 0.1 1 Felise Kaufusi 0.4 0.3 0.1 3
    Jack de Belin 2.1 0.3 0 3 Josh McGuire 1.6 0 0 0
    Jake Trbojevic 0.9 0.3 0.1 4 Ben Hunt 2.8 0.3 0.8 3
    Angus Crichton 2.3 0.3 0.1 2 Jarrod Wallace 0.8 0.1 0 2
    Tariq Sims 2.9 0.4 0 5 Coen Hess 2.8 0.5 0 4
    Tyrone Peachey 3.4 0.3 0.3 6 Tim Glasby 0.8 0.1 0.1 1
    Average Average
    Total 45 7.3 5.1 65 Total 32.6 5.7 4.1 59
    Forwards 1.8 / 16.7 2.4 0.7 23 Forwards 11.5 2.2 0.7 23
    Backs 3.5 / 28.3 4.9 4.4 41 Backs 21.1 3.5 3.4 36

    While the Blues’ advantage in line breaks, try assists and tries is only slight, their advantage in tackle breaks is huge: 12.4.

    While we saw above that the Queenslanders have a higher tackling capacity, they also miss more. NSW’s ability to break the tackle could well be the significant stat.

    Tyrone Peachey and James Roberts are the worst tackle breakers in the NSW back five and they boast 6.8 between them. The Maroons’ two best tackle breakers – Corey Oates and Dane Gagai – have 6.6 between them.

    Mix the Blues’ backlines ability to break tackles with the Maroons’ backs’ ability to miss them and we could see a score blow out.

    Foulers and fumblers = Queensland

    NSW Penalties Errors Sin Bins QLD Penalties Errors Sin Bins
    James Tedesco 0.2 1.8 0 Billy Slater 0.1 0.9 0
    Tom Trbojevic 0 1.5 0 Valentine Holmes 0.1 0.9 0
    James Roberts 0.5 0.4 1 Dane Gagai 0.3 1.2 0
    Latrell Mitchell 1.1 1.2 2 Will Chambers 0.6 1.4 0
    Josh Addo-Carr 0.3 1.1 1 Corey Oates 0.1 1.1 0
    James Maloney 0.7 1.7 0 Cameron Munster 1.1 0.8 0
    Nathan Cleary 0.6 1.2 0 Daly Cherry-Evans 0.8 1.4 0
    Paul Vaughan 0.5 0.3 0 Jai Arrow 0.5 0.2 0
    Damien Cook 0.8 1 0 Andrew McCullough 0.7 0.4 0
    David Klemmer 0.5 0.3 1 Josh Papalii 0.6 0.5 0
    Tyson Frizell 0.8 0.5 0 Gavin Cooper 0.3 0.8 0
    Boyd Cordner 0.3 0.5 0 Felise Kaufusi 0.2 0.6 0
    Jack de Belin 0.8 0.5 1 Josh McGuire 0.9 0.1 0
    Jake Trbojevic 1.4 0.4 2 Ben Hunt 0.7 0.7 0
    Angus Crichton 0.9 1.4 0 Jarrod Wallace 1.1 0.4 1
    Tariq Sims 0.5 0.3 0 Coen Hess 1 0.5 0
    Tyrone Peachey 0.9 0.6 0 Tim Glasby 0.3 0 0
    Average Average
    Total 10.8 14.7 8 Total 9.4 11.9 1
    Forwards 6.5 5.2 4 Forwards 5.6 3.5 1
    Backs 4.3 9.5 4 Backs 3.8 8.4 0

    Queensland win this criteria easily and, considering that this match is at their home ground, this advantage could be amplified. While the penalties conceded are close, the Blues make three extra errors and are eight times more likely – at least by these stats – to have a player binned.

    Latrell Mitchell and Jake Trbojevic are both almost certain to concede a penalty in this game. Jarrod Wallace will probably do the same for the Maroons.
    Jimmys Tedesco and Maloney are most likely to make an error, with Will Chambers and Daly Cherry-Evans the most likely for Queensland.

    Origin experience = Queensland by a Slater

    NSW Origin Games QLD Origin Games
    James Tedesco 6 Billy Slater 30
    Tom Trbojevic 2 Valentine Holmes 3
    James Roberts 2 Dane Gagai 8
    Latrell Mitchell 2 Will Chambers 8
    Josh Addo-Carr 2 Corey Oates 5
    James Maloney 12 Cameron Munster 3
    Nathan Cleary 2 Daly Cherry-Evans 7
    Paul Vaughan 2 Jai Arrow 2
    Damien Cook 2 Andrew McCullough 2
    David Klemmer 11 Josh Papalii 10
    Tyson Frizell 7 Gavin Cooper 5
    Boyd Cordner 11 Felise Kaufusi 2
    Jack de Belin 2 Josh McGuire 10
    Jake Trbojevic 5 Ben Hunt 3
    Angus Crichton 2 Jarrod Wallace 4
    Tariq Sims 0 Coen Hess 4
    Tyrone Peachey 2 Tim Glasby 3
    Average 4.2 Average 6.4
    Total 72 Total 109
    Forwards 42 Forwards 42
    Backs 30 Backs 67

    The New South Welshmen have featured at least one debutant in each match of this series, with Tariq Sims the latest editon – and a deserving one. The big unit from Gerringong has had a few quiet seasons since he first burst on the scene but in the last two years he has been wonderful.

    The difference in experience in this game comes down to Billy Slater’s 30 games. This will be his 31st and last, seeing him equal Brad Fittler and Wally Lewis on that number. Fairly appropriate company for a superstar like Slater.

    Who is going to win and why?
    You can never count out the Queenslanders, especially at home. Four times at home they’ve staved off whitewashes, yet only twice have they gone down 3-0.

    However, this will be the third time. The golden era is over. The dynasty has passed.

    The Blues’ new-found belief and momentum is still gathering strength but it is already too much for the weakened Maroons. Their valiant defence will be overcome by the 60th minute and the Queensland faithful will have to watch Boyd Cordner lift the shield on their home turf.

    And Billy Slater’s Origin career will end as it began – with a loss.

    Tim Gore
    Tim Gore

    Tim has been an NRL statistician for ABC Radio Grandstand since 1999, primarily as part of their Canberra coverage. Tim has loved rugby league since Sterlo was a kid with lots of hair but was cursed with having no personal sporting ability whatsoever. He couldn't take a hit in footy, was a third division soccer player making up numbers, plays off 41 in golf and is possibly the world's worst cricketer ever. He has always been good at arguing the point though and he has a great memory of what happened. Follow Tim on Twitter.

    Getting hassled by a parent or partner about spending too much time playing video games? Now, you can tell them the story of how some ordinary gamers scored $225k for just seven weeks of work.

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    The Crowd Says (75)

    • Roar Guru

      July 11th 2018 @ 6:58am
      The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      I still think it will be a massive achievement to go up to Suncorp and win this game.

      There are a few factors influencing this game that don’t show up on the stats sheet.

      The do it for Slater factor (I think Smith is getting a farewell too). The Lang Park factor. The avoiding a clean sweep factor. The complacency factor. Queensland have lost two tight games on the road. I think at home and with everything else going on they will be mighty tough to beat.

      For all their greatness the dynastic Queensland sides only managed one clean sweep which I think paints a picture of how difficult it is to achieve. So I hope if NSW do it, they get their full due and not just a reaction of “they were always favourites to win it”.

      Having said all that, I think some of the hype about this Blues team is getting a bit much. This isn’t one of the all time great Origin teams. Maybe it will be but so far we’ve won one series across two tight games against a Queensland team that has had bulk retirements, injuries to key players, form issues and had to play the first two games away from home.

      3-0 will be bloody sweet after the last 12 years but even then I’m not ready to call Blues dynasty just yet.

      • Columnist

        July 11th 2018 @ 7:10am
        Tim Gore said | July 11th 2018 @ 7:10am | ! Report

        Nicely put Baz. All good points.

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2018 @ 8:11am
        Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        I’m not sure the “do it for x player” effect is quite as strong as it used to be. It used to be along the lines of teammates getting up to send off a guy they’d played with for years, most of the current squad just hasn’t been around that long so it’ll be interesting to see how emotionally invested they are compared to previous sendoffs.

        The clean sweep would certainly be an impressive accomplishment, but like you said, I don’t think this team would be viewed as one of the all time greats as a result. The 1995 qld team accomplished the whitewash and people can still see that the team wasn’t great, it was more about the story then the quality of the team

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2018 @ 8:29am
          The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

          I don’t count 95 as it was affected by Super League.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2018 @ 8:35am
            Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:35am | ! Report

            I don’t count 2000 cos NSW are douchbags 😉

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2018 @ 8:42am
              The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:42am | ! Report

              Don’t get me started on the 88-89 maroons…

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 8:52am
                Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

                Pre 1980 was just the worst

          • July 11th 2018 @ 9:33am
            Sammy said | July 11th 2018 @ 9:33am | ! Report

            I reckon the first drawn series was 1987, 2-2, with NSW winning the first match at Lang Park and the final match at Long Beach, California.

            Both teams employed “pick and stick” tactics that year. The only debutant in Game 4 was Jonathon Docking who came in to replace the injured Gary Jack. Cliff Lyons debuted for NSW in Game 3 pushing Brett Kenny to the Centres to replace Mark McGaw.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2018 @ 8:34am
          The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:34am | ! Report

          I get what you’re saying but Billy Slater is a massive part of the legend of the Queensland dynasty.

          I think the players are aware of what he’s done even if they haven’t played all 30 games alongside him. It’s also part of passing the Origin baton to the next generation.

          If Queenslanders can’t wring a bit of extra emotion out of Slater and Smith’s retirements, perhaps origin doesn’t mean as much to them as we thought.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2018 @ 8:59am
            Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report

            Yeah, I’m not saying it won’t have an effect, but in the past it was great, experienced veterans going to another level again to send off their own, with newer players growing an extra leg because of that. I’m just not sure we can expect the standard from relative rookies sending off someone they don’t quite have the same bond with.

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2018 @ 9:18am
              The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 9:18am | ! Report

              Fair enough…but they’ve been in the first two games up to their necks…they don’t need to lift by much

              • July 11th 2018 @ 10:40am
                Leviathan said | July 11th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                Yeah but they need to lift that margin + an Inglis

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 12:36pm
                The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

                True…but they have 0.75 less Hunt…

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2018 @ 12:07pm
        Matt H said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

        Well that saves me from commenting. Well put Barry.

      • July 11th 2018 @ 12:38pm
        Brendon said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

        Add to that, game 1 was won on two decisions that could have gone either way in todays game (not calling them wrong, just saying they certainly weren’t clear cut) and game 2 was won off the back of a penalty try, and you certainly dont have the massive advantage the stats paint it to be.

        QLD to win, big margin, claim they scored more in the series thus better (ala 2014!)

      • July 11th 2018 @ 12:41pm
        Albo said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

        Come on Baz ! Be honest . This is the worst QLD side we have seen in over a decade. Now devoid of most of their “immortals” who have carried them over the period. Don’t be scared of that mythical QLD “kulture” and those “pick & stick” mantras. They have been fully exposed this series, as just QLD generated myths, and now following those certain player retirements, these myths will be completely obliterated tonight with the Blues clean sweep. I hope we can send Slater out as a last series loser, and expose his greatness as being generally like many, reliant on those other immortals around him all his career. When it comes to greatness in rugby league it is always provided by the quality of the cattle, not the confected propaganda. Right now, the NSW cattle has shown itself to be dominant this series , and there is nothing to suggest that the loss of Inglis & Ponga and the grasping of the DCE straw , is likely to change anything tonight.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2018 @ 1:05pm
          The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

          Of course, Queensland are worse from having Smith, Thurston and Cronk retire.

          I agree this is the worst Queensland side we’ve seen in a decade…but that’s pretty much irrelevant in isolation and out of context.

          What does that say about NSW that we’ve scraped two not entirely convincing wins against Queensland’s ‘worst side in a decade’?

          Add to that Queensland have had injuries to Slater, Morgan, Napa, Inglis, Ponga, Gillett, Scott and McGuire and haven’t played a home game yet in this series.

          I’m quietly confident of a NSW win tonight but talk of dynasties after #oneinarow is cheap and meaningless. Tom Rock was bagging me before game one because I wouldn’t get on board with a 40-0 flogging. This feels the same.

          Do you really think NSW has been dominant in these two games?

          The hubris from NSW supporters is staggering and embarrassing at times given we’ve had two narrow wins in a series where pretty much everything has gone right for us and Queensland have had to deal with a tonne of bad luck.

          I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt Albo and assume this is a bit tongue in cheek and trying to fire up a few Queenslanders rather than a serious assessment of the series so far.

          • Roar Pro

            July 11th 2018 @ 2:08pm
            Kurt S said | July 11th 2018 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

            Barry, I see all the hype in the Thurston, Cronk, and the man they call Cam retiring but the issues in the Qld team from my point of view is the lack of go forward from the forwards. Jai Arrow came on in game 2 in the second half from memory and made a bit of an impact. Other than that McGuire is the other that has put in a big effort in attack.

            If Qld are going to avoid a loss, Oates will need to have a massive game coming in to help out getting the ball back off the line and so will every other player to help out the under performing forwards.

            Nsw, aren’t a great side. They are a good side who believe in themselves and What Fittler has done should be commended. But they haven’t won either game by much against an arguably busted Qld team.

            Without wanting to rain of NSW’s parade because they have put in good effort and deserve the spoils and took their chances, I can’t help thinking that QLD gave up and lost this series more than NSW overcame QLD and beat them.

            Next Year, NSW as a unit will be better for the run. Who knows where form of the players for either side will be come May next year. But Qld will need to find some dependable forwards if they don’t want to be out-muscled again next year.

          • July 11th 2018 @ 2:22pm
            Albo said | July 11th 2018 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

            Baz, my point is that we have all been hoodwinked for years by propaganda that QLD “want it more” , or that NSW ” just don’t get it” , or QLD “has a better SOO cuture “. My claim is that QLD have dominated the past 12 years only because they have had the best cattle via their future “immortals” spine players. Without these great players now, they are a pretty ordinary SOO team. And as the series has shown they have been beaten by a team of junior NSW SOO players who will only be getting better now with every game. Now they play again tonight with QLD losing a further two of their current best players in Inglis & Ponga, and desperately hoping that a retry of DCE might pay off ? I am not talking about any NSW dynasty here, but I say right now that NSW has the better cattle of these two teams. And the best cattle will win you most games. I am with Tom Rock here. I’m not wanting to bag anyone, but I want a lot of the myths busted tonight with a Blues clean sweep. It will be the cattle that counts not the propaganda.
            Baz, if you could have your pick of 17 players out of these two SOO squads to make up your new look 2019 Dogs team. Which of the QLD players would you be picking in your squad of 17 ? eg. Billy or Teddy ? Cleary or DCE ? Cook or McCullough ? I might suggest you wouldn’t be picking very many of these QLD players in front of their NSW counterparts ? Which is something that we would never have considered just 2 or 3 years ago .

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2018 @ 5:44pm
              The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

              All that makes sense but it’s perhaps not how your first post reads.

              So what you’re effectively saying is the team with the better players will usually win. Ok. Not exactly ground breaking.

              I still don’t get your point about Slater. In one post you say he’s a dud made to look better by the players around him. The next it’s that Queensland are a team of duds made to look better by Slater et al.

              Its also not just the spine, over the past two series Queensland has also lost Boyd, Scott, Myles, Thaiday and Gillett.

              Regardless of how many NSW players I’d pick they’ve still only edged past Queensland in the two games so far.

              Hopefully NSW win for years to come but I haven’t seen anything to me that objectively proves NSW are entering a period of dominance.

              To me it looks like we’re back to two pretty even sides where one team wins a couple, then the other, then back again.

    • July 11th 2018 @ 7:38am
      Paul said | July 11th 2018 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      I know exactly one person who thinks this game 3 is a dead rubber and his only interest in Rugby League is a game to have a bet.

      Both sides have so many reasons to want to win this game, there’s no way it can be deemed anything but a real contest. It’s the players and their attitude which will determine whether this game is a non-event and I reckon both sides will treat it with the same intensity as a series Game 1.

      NSW will sneak home oby 4.

    • Roar Guru

      July 11th 2018 @ 7:40am
      Michael Keeffe said | July 11th 2018 @ 7:40am | ! Report

      Tim I’ve read and enjoyed your stats previews for the last two games (I love a good stat) but have found a few things very interesting with this origin series. Despite in the stats NSW having a clear metres gained advantage QLD have come out on top so far with metres gained this series. Game 1 was virtually level (just 30m in in to NSW) whilst game 2 QLD made 223m more than NSW.

      On the flipside your stats have QLD being more disciplined with errors and penalties than NSW yet in Game 1 NSW were far superior in their discipline (only 4 errors and 1 penalty conceded) compared to QLD (9 errors and 4 penalties). Game 2 was level in the error count and 8-6 penalties in QLD’s favour.

      It’s not a criticism of your stats or article just an observation about how different some of the games have been to the stats. Do you have any thoughts as to why?

      By the way as a QLDer I am very concerned about the defence of Chambers and Gagai. Chambers has been poor this series and with Inglis out and Gagai in the centres I am quite concerned about Roberts and Mitchell running amok tonight.

      • July 11th 2018 @ 8:12am
        Graham said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:12am | ! Report

        its partly because meters gained by forwards is a misleading stat

        QLD gang tackle with fast aggressive line speed and coming out their forwards walk back on side letting the backs get runs for tackles 1,2 and 3 to save energy. They don’t make as many hitups because they don’t bother making the easy ones on tackles 1,2 and 3. They just need to make their hitups count, have good dummy half runners in the backs and make more tackles overall. So total tackles, meters per hitup and tackle efficiency is a better read of who will win the forward battle

        errors and penalties was probably partly because there hasn’t been a game in QLD yet and a few players had off games

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2018 @ 8:16am
        The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report

        It’s an interesting observation.

        I think sometimes you need to take a small grain of salt sometimes when applying club stats to rep teams.

        For metres gained in particular, players are playing different roles in origin than in club footy.

        Take Klemmer for example. He plays 55-60 minutes for the Dogs and makes 170 metres. In origin his minutes have been in the 30s for both games. The fact he’s second in run metres of all forwards in the NRL is an indicator of his ability but largely irrelevant to Origin when he’s playing a different role (ie being misused and under utilised by the coach).

        I think stats around tries, line breaks, line break assists are bit more easily convertible because they are what they are.

        • July 11th 2018 @ 8:20am
          Graham said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

          One stat that translates very well to origin is tackle efficiency

          Napa poor at both club and rep level. No idea why QLD select him

          • Columnist

            July 11th 2018 @ 8:23am
            Tim Gore said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:23am | ! Report

            Totally agree Gragam. Think it’s the big hit factor.

            • July 11th 2018 @ 8:37am
              Graham said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

              On the question of which stats translate well to rep football has anyone examined this?

              Tackle efficiency seems to, total tackles also, so does the performance of the spine players. I thought errors and penalties would but apparently this year so far is a counter example. I’m not sure about any others? I suspect wingers stats are completely useless

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 8:53am
                The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

                I don’t think total tackles does.

                What does it matter if you have a backrower in clubland who plays 80 mins and makes 40 tackles if he only gets 25 minutes in origin?

                For individual player stats I think it’s the ‘per event’ or ‘per minute’ stats. Like runs per minute, metres per run rather than total runs or total metres.

                Mushi is a stats guru and he has a whole bunch of team stats that correlate to performance.

                I won’t steal his thunder (or his IP) but the most interesting one was a correlation between kick metres gained and points conceded.

                Write an article Mushi…

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 8:57am
                The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

                I would think outside back stats are pretty reliable. They play 80 minutes each week so there are less variables and roles are more consistent than forwards where you can have someone like Crichton who plays 70-80 minutes on the edge for Souths to being a 25 minute player in origin split between edge and middle.

              • July 11th 2018 @ 9:02am
                Graham said | July 11th 2018 @ 9:02am | ! Report

                The reason I’m skeptical of outside back stats is because they benefit so much (or suffer) from the players around them, halves in particular. Centers have more to do so perhaps their stats are slightly more predictive than wingers

                tackles per minute probably matters.

                Which way does the correlation between kicking and points go? A team that has longer kicking meters concedes more or less?

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 9:21am
                The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

                More kicking metres = less points conceded.

                It sounds obvious when you think about it, play it down the other end.

                But if I recall correctly from Mushi’s analysis there was a stronger correlation there than tackles / missed tackles. I think. 🤔

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 9:28am
                Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

                Concedes more if I remember correctly. But i’s say it’s more an indication that a team is losing then a reason for it as a long kicking game is pretty redundant for teams that are ending their sets close to the opposition gaol line while teams struggling to get out of their own half need every meter they can get.

              • July 11th 2018 @ 9:49am
                Graham said | July 11th 2018 @ 9:49am | ! Report

                I always felt an underated part of Lockyers game was his kicking for field position. Often forcing dropouts from 40 out)

                I wonder who the best of the current QLD halves are for getting meters out of defensive kicks

                I haven’t noticed any standout for any team to be honest

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 10:51am
                Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 10:51am | ! Report

                Geez, I remembered that completely wrong…

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 11:10am
                Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

                Here’s the link –

                The gist of it was that field position was more relevent to a sides defence then to their attack

              • July 11th 2018 @ 11:19am
                Greg said | July 11th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

                Kicking metres alone doesn’t mean anything, it’s the type of kicking metres that count. It could mean that you’re putting in clearing kicks from within your own half rather than attacking grubbers and bombs in the oppositions 20m zone. In those situations I’d rather my team has less kicking metres…….it could also mean that you have more possession of the ball and hence more opportunity for points. More possession means you get to kick more often which bumps up the kick metres too and it those cases you’d want your team to have more kick metres.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 1:16pm
                The Barry said | July 11th 2018 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

                Thanks for the link MC…

                Shame Jay Ross has dropped off the face, he had some interesting articles.

                I’d love Mushi to bang one out about statistical analysis in the NRL.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 2:29pm
                Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                Gotta say though, if I wrote nearly 40 articles in two months I’d be taking a long break too

          • July 11th 2018 @ 8:39am
            Forty Twenty said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

            If Will Chambers is the best centre running around then , as I sometimes hear , then the stats don’t back that up at all. His overall stats are pretty dismal.

          • July 11th 2018 @ 11:38am
            Rob said | July 11th 2018 @ 11:38am | ! Report

            Napa is someone that hits hard and drops opposition forwards with a one on one. The fact is players don’t run at him.
            Queensland have been hurt defensively down their right edge with Chambers, Kafusi and Hunt racking up missed tackles. The problem is they are marking a good attacking players (Cordner, Frizzle, Mitchell, Ado Carr) running of a smart ball player in Maloney. Hunt has caused Chambers and Kafusi to struggle because he hides behind the line and defends very differently to the Storm boys IMO.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2018 @ 8:21am
          Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:21am | ! Report

          And there’s no easy draws in origin

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2018 @ 8:19am
        Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:19am | ! Report

        It’ll be interesting to see how Chambers goes defensively now that Hunt isn’t beside him anymore. Chambers has been solid as a rock in previous series and both him and kafusi were well down on their club form defensively in game 1 and the only difference I can see is having hunt there, so it’ll be interesting to see if anything changes tonight

        • Columnist

          July 11th 2018 @ 8:23am
          Tim Gore said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:23am | ! Report

          DCE regularly makes 20 tackles a game in the NRL. He is a better defender than hunt. However, Cronk is still the best defensive halfback I’ve seen. Ever.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2018 @ 8:44am
            Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:44am | ! Report

            That being said, Hunts not exactly a liability in clubland. It probably has as more to do with how compatible the defensive structures they’re used to are than individual ability

          • July 11th 2018 @ 11:18am
            Paul said | July 11th 2018 @ 11:18am | ! Report

            Billy Smith and Tommy Raudonikis were way better than Cronk, as in country miles better at defending.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2018 @ 12:15pm
            Matt H said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

            Given he started as a small back rower, that makes some sense.

      • Columnist

        July 11th 2018 @ 8:26am
        Tim Gore said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:26am | ! Report

        As Emcie says below, Chambers likes defending next to Cronk. Defending next to Hunt ain’t like that. Defending next to DCE is more towards Cronk.

        • July 11th 2018 @ 12:42pm
          Brendon said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

          Chambers is defending pretty well next to Croft/Jacks/Hughes now though at Club level? Hunt is defending well at Club level, not so much at SOO level though.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2018 @ 12:57pm
            Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

            Hunt’s defence hasn’t impacted the Dragons success but I wouldn’t say he’s been defending well, he’s racked up the second highest missed tackles in the league

            • July 11th 2018 @ 3:00pm
              Albo said | July 11th 2018 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

              But he has probably had more forwards running at him than almost any other NRL player, apart from perhaps Jimmy Maloney. Missed tackle stats can still be quite misleading if the target players have good mop up backrowers and centres around these edges to reduce the impact of their missed tackles.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2018 @ 3:49pm
                Emcie said | July 11th 2018 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

                Like I said, it hasn’t impacted the Dragons system, but it doesn’t make him a great defender that can fit into any system

    • July 11th 2018 @ 8:06am
      Graham said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      Curious how QLD look with their statistical best side with everyone available which I think would look something like


      I get
      Runs: 193.5 same as NSW
      Meters: 1752.4 80m less than NSW
      tackles: 333.8 12 more than NSW
      Missed tackles: 28.5 1 more than NSW
      Tackle breaks 34.9 10 less than NSW
      Line breaks 6.5 0.8 less than NSW
      LB assists 4.7
      try involvements 11.5
      try assists 4.9 0.2 less than NSW
      tries 4.9 (equal to NSW)
      penalties 10.4 0.4 less than NSW
      errors 12.3 2.3 less than NSW

      so QLD better defence, better discipline, and slightly weaker attack mostly due to NSW centers

      • July 11th 2018 @ 2:42pm
        rl said | July 11th 2018 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

        Graham, if you substitute Gagai for Chambers, and Morgan on the bench for Slater, that would be my Qld team for next year. Certainly not dynasty-era quality, but very competitive.

    • July 11th 2018 @ 8:12am
      JimboJones said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      The two most important stats , are the fact , QLD don’t lose at Lang Park very often and that whitewashes happen about as much .
      Tim predicted a blow out on the back of stats before today and look how that went.
      This NSW side hasn’t convinced me , nor has the coach with some of his decisions.
      This game could go either way or any way for that matter .
      I cant rule out a QLD win , but I must admit , that with the way NSW has defended I doubt we will see a flogging being dished out.
      Im predicting a draw.

      • Columnist

        July 11th 2018 @ 8:18am
        Tim Gore said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:18am | ! Report

        Now my pants are chafing me…

    • July 11th 2018 @ 8:36am
      Forty Twenty said | July 11th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      If Will Chambers is the best centre running around then , as I sometimes hear , then the stats don’t back that up at all. His overall stats are pretty dismal.

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