I get that Anthony Seibold is under a bit of pressure.
I get that he wants to take pressure off the players.
I get that “moneyball” is now a buzzword among coaches, but I don’t get the over-reliance on stats above and beyond what’s actually happening on the field.
Here’s a post-game quote from the Brisbane coach.
“We showed some real glimpses,” Seibold told reporters after his Broncos were thumped 38-6 by his former club South Sydney on Thursday night.
“Believe it or not, tonight was our best defensive display as far as effective contact, I think we were at 92 per cent. We made more tackle breaks than Souths tonight, we missed less tackles but we were on the wrong side of the scoreline.”
My guess is their ‘ineffective contact’ percentage was off the charts.
I am far from a Broncos diehard, but I find it hard to believe that any real rugby league fan watching that game was saying, “We really missed a lot less tackles than the other mob out there, and did you see our effective contact percentage? Whew!”
It is far too early to say that Seibold’s coaching won’t be a success in Brisbane, but I worry about an over-reliance on stats that are meaningless.
Not all stats, of course, are meaningless.
Penalties are important, so count those.
Tackles and metres run are also important, so make a note.
Also, I’ve developed a stat called the ‘comparative score measure’. In this one, you work out your score as a proportion of the opposition’s.
You’d like it to be in excess of 100 per cent.
The Broncos on Thursday was 15.8 per cent.
That’s the only stat that matters.