The Roar
The Roar

Mike Meehall Wood

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Joined February 2022

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Mike Meehall Wood is a rugby league writer, Celtic supporter and cricket tragic. He has written extensively about rugby league for publications in the UK and Australia, and about sports more widely for Forbes, VICE, LADbible and more.

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Always a pleasure chatting with people down here. I’m over on Twitter a lot too and respond to most people.

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

Teams can pick dev players as of today so expect Supercoach chaos

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

Certainly…JJ is doing what he’s been told to do, and without much help at that. Get him back to honest toiling and tackling and he’s still a great player for the Dogs.

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

Someone started a twitter poll and gave the job to my dog, so I will be assisting him in the role

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

They have many centres (Kiraz, Alamoti, Casey) and wingers (Creedence Toia, Corey Allan, Casey again) waiting in NSW Cup that they could turn to now that would do a job.

I’d be sticking either Allan or Toai in ahead of Dufty and Allan/Casey on a wing asap fitness permitting

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

1) Yeo’s pass to run ratio is actually pretty much identical to Jacko – but Jacko has 6 tackle breaks and Yeo has 18. As I said above, defenders have to be honest in a way they don’t with JJ.

2) This is also my contention but I don’t have access to stats that I can stand it up with. Dogs good ball sets feature too many forwards.

3) My famous Deception Score agrees with you

JMK is at best a placeholder at this stage and I’d play BBO for 80m (if he’s fit enough) or just tell JMK to dish, tackle and nowt else.

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

Unfortunately the rest is OTR stuff that I can’t really publish because people tell me and I don’t have access to the detailed data they have that I could stack it up with myself. If I could write the story, I would…

If you look at the way Souths and Cronulla currently play, and read the metrics on that, you can get a good idea that they’re trying to do something quite unlike anyone else. It’s not a surprise given where Morris has worked.

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

He had covid aye. Not sure that’s why they won, because they got a lot of positive variance that day, but it is a convenient wee data point.

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

Ciraldo should keep miles away.

Deep analytics is the underlying data that underpins systems. Completion rates don’t tell you much, for example, because there’s a different between dropping the ball on tackle 5 and tackle 1 but it ranks them the same. Deeper analytics help to show that you’re doing the right thing (or not) regardless of end results.

Hard to explain in RL but in football you’d have goals (not deep) then expected goals (deep) and maybe xthreat (very deep).

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

There’s no such thing as a new manager bounce, it’s usually just that teams get rid of the coach at the lowest ebb and therefore any regression they are due happens to someone else.

Tigers more than capable of losing anyway mind…

Who's in the running to replace Barrett – and what do they need to fix first?

Gain line advantage (which I think is kind of what you mean) best manifests in average set distance, which is a stat the NRL publishes but not Fox. It’s a bit nebulous – if you start your set within 20m, you can only gain 20m – but averages out to give an idea. Only a team stat too.

This might be the most important stat you've never heard of - and Cronulla are dominating in it

I didn’t count as I was focussing on Sharks (and there’s only so many hours in a day) but as I understand it Storm aren’t top of this but are close to it.

This might be the most important stat you've never heard of - and Cronulla are dominating in it

Doesn’t surprise me for a second!

This might be the most important stat you've never heard of - and Cronulla are dominating in it

Haha mate they pay individuals to do solely this – unfortunately I have to also write about games…

This might be the most important stat you've never heard of - and Cronulla are dominating in it

Haven’t seen Raiders in person yet but will make sure I get the pen and paper out at Magic. Canberra have the rep of being one of the best teams in the NRL for analytics so I’d be interested in asking them…

This might be the most important stat you've never heard of - and Cronulla are dominating in it

Watching that Dogs game with this knowledge was revelatory. I had been thinking of a metric along the lines of “created points” that factored in bombed tries a la Souths and took out intercepts, dodgy defence etc etc. Obviously you still have to score them etc etc so don’t take away all credit, but it would explain a lot I think.

What you are saying was noticeable in the Sharks – Storm game – even Hynes was running supports for props at times. Everyone up around the ball.

There’s an opus in Parramatta’s attacking style and why the Dogs should mimic it. Many ways to skin a cat. Currently Barrett thinks he’s the Panthers, but has totally different cattle. If they had Jackson and TPJ playing like Brown and Paulo, could be different.

This might be the most important stat you've never heard of - and Cronulla are dominating in it

You need to go to Burnley. You’d be quickly dissuaded of that notion.

'A lot of people think I’m Australian, I’m definitely not!': Herbie to state England case at Magic Round

Someone had to get that in 😂

'A lot of people think I’m Australian, I’m definitely not!': Herbie to state England case at Magic Round

Double-checked there: Souths won every stat except scoreline (obvs) and kicking metres (all Reynolds). They also failed on red zone attack, which is where halfbacks do their most important work. Walker was very off, Murray not great, Ilias alright. Reynolds basically perfect. There’s yer difference.

'Went at it non-stop': Reynolds returns to haunt Souths as Brisbane record statement victory

I’m not sure. Look at the stats (and the eye test, seen as I was there) and Souths weren’t miles off. Spoke to JD about it and he knows they could have won had they scored the three opportunities that they took in the first 40.

Reynolds iced what came his way and created points with kicking, Ilias (who I thought was fine) didn’t have the same effect. It’s easy to look in hindsight and say that 1-17 they were outplayed but I dunno…Souths were in it. One team executed better than the other.

'Went at it non-stop': Reynolds returns to haunt Souths as Brisbane record statement victory

I wonder if Jorge might be worth a run in the interim for a few weeks until TT is back, then shift Tuipulotu over. Saab getting confidence in NSW Cup, scoring a few tries and being out the limelight might do him good. He’s only 21 and can come back stronger.

Manly were right to drop Harper but right-edge problem goes way deeper than him

The ‘they lost to every good team they faced’ is simplistic but it does serve a purpose. I’m a Manly fan (FWIW) and we didn’t get close to anyone good.

Parra were so-so, minimum as good as and I’d say not as good as Manly, and we only beat the Chooks when they lost half a team. Admittedly, 4th place is good…but it was a very, very weak comp last year. This iteration is better across the board.

Not sure about the confidence thing either. Saab is defo a confidence player I don’t think him being more confident would help much. Structurally it’s not set up for him. I hope it came across that I don’t really think that this is his fault – he was amped up to be better than he is by last year, and now looks worse than he probably is.

Manly were right to drop Harper but right-edge problem goes way deeper than him

Hall basically never got injured in the UK and then had knee issues from day one here. The try thing hung over him for ages – I remember in the 5 try Ikavalu game, Hall scored on the other side…and got it wiped off.

Manly were right to drop Harper but right-edge problem goes way deeper than him

For mine the key difference (other than that Tupou is really, really good) is that DT is a lot thicker and stronger. NRL listings have 4kg weight difference but I would be amazed if that was true in real life.

Dom Young is an interesting comparison: he’s the same height but so much stockier and stronger, while maintaining the speed. Saab is only 21 so he could put on some timber and aim up, as Young did in the last offseason. I wouldn’t write him off completely.

Manly were right to drop Harper but right-edge problem goes way deeper than him

“For the avoidance of doubt selection for a domestic representative match or student international does not constitute a commitment to senior international rugby league for such Nation.” – QLD or NZM don’t matter at all.
“When a Player is named in a 19-player squad for a Nation (or is named in the final tournament squad for a 9s Competition) according to the Eligibility Rules, he/she is deemed to have elected to play for that Nation.” – Ponga played for Australia in the 9s

Four Pacific Tests, Origins in Perth and Canberra headline representative round as New Zealand drought ends

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