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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Stylistically they and the Cowboys are…not saying they are the most successful at it, just they’re just trying the most stuff. All the underlying data agrees on this.

As for the schedule…Manly are tenth and have played 5 games against teams below them, 6 against teams above…so pretty down the line centre I’d say.

Compare to Phins, who have played two teams in the current top 8 from their 10 games (Knights and Bronx, lost both) or Dragons who have played three (Phins Sharks and Roosters, lost all three combined score 118-28)

End of an era: Are we seeing a new style of rugby league tactics developing before our eyes?

Kevvie Walters got 15 minutes away last year and there’s not been an English coach since 1997.

An alternative way to think of it is that a third of the last 12 Premierships have been won by coaches who got their start in the UK, so if you can’t get Craig Bellamy or Ivan Cleary, your next best bet is the Super League…

Four coaches who should be in the mix to replace Arthur - and the absolutely worst candidate who already is

I think the performances of the Wests Tigers in just about every other season of their existence tell you how much of an outlier 2005 was.

I’d say they were the last gasp of the entertainment era, too: 2005 saw three SL teams top 1,000 points. Only one side (Warrington 2011 under Tony Smith) have done it since.

End of an era: Are we seeing a new style of rugby league tactics developing before our eyes?

Promote the football, back up. His coaching tree in the UK is massive and, at least in the media, gets a much fairier treatment back home to here. As a coach he was miles ahead of pretty much everyone else tactically.

End of an era: Are we seeing a new style of rugby league tactics developing before our eyes?

I learned from the best

End of an era: Are we seeing a new style of rugby league tactics developing before our eyes?

Walsh and DCE would kick every week for other clubs. Both are near enough 90% this year when Reyno/Garrick haven’t been available. Walsh did kick at Wahs.

Nicho currently top of NRL among regular GKers at 93%, Api next best among Origin at 86%. Both better than Cleary (82%) and Holmes (who has been dreadful, 74%).

Critta yet to attempt one for Dogs but was 84% last year at Panthers and 82% the year before, so no slouch. Lomax is rubbish though, career sub-80% kicker.

Five and a kick: Why the Blues should pick their team around Nicho Hynes - and why time is up for Arthur

‘Makes me sick how far we done fell’: Me, a Manly supporter, watching another lead slip.

NSW turmoil continues as Turbo's hamstring goes again and Manly chuck away another lead in Dolphins disaster

I wish there was a stat on organisation but there isn’t really. Edwards might well be excellent at it but from what you hear from people, it might be Tedesco’s best quality.

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

Every player plays injury all the time pretty much.

I’d love him not to play at all (as someone who cares if Manly win, but doesn’t give a stuff about NSW) but it won’t factor in for a second. If he’s playing for Manly he’ll be playing for NSW.

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

No worries, always have spare stats to throw in so might as well share em.

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

Is this my burner account?

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

For me

1. Turbo
2. To’o
3. Critta
4. Wighton
5. Edwards/Foxx (actually don’t care)
6. Burton
7. Cleary

Big bodies, big boots. Play the game at QLD’s end. If Wighton doesn’t wanna do it, Mitchell to centre. If he doesn’t, Burton to centre and Luai to 6.

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

Sorry yes my mistake. Good job we have an edit function.

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

‘Can Madge can zhuzh up the Blues?’ is a headline I’ll keep up the sleeve

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

I’d refer you to the errors=success bit on Turbo. He makes a lot of errors but a decent chunk are while he’s trying to make something happen. Passes that don’t come off, dropping the ball close to contact etc etc.

Were it me picking the team, I’d say you could get the good bits of Edwards on a wing while maintaining the best of Turbo at FB.

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

Depends…if they’re returning a kick they do but there’s also all the other times. Turbo is taking around 2 more non-kick return carries per game than Edwards so it’s a difference in total yardage that’s certainly worth pointing out.

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

Edwards pass per run ratio os 0.79, Teddy 0.71, Turbo 0.82. So Teddy passes marginally less, but all three are fairly similar. For comparison, both QLD options are 0.95ish, so almost equally likely to pass or run.

Fullback to the future: Why Madge’s No.1 choice for Blues jersey will define how his side plays

It’s ironic because the absolutely most proven way of changing behaviour is in-game sanctions. Post-match bans are terrible for players and not great for clubs, reds and yellow are terrible for clubs and not great for players.

If you want to start driving immediate change, start sending players off and see how quickly clubs adapt.

Tackle it head on: Finucane and Lewis can teach the NRL why concussion rules have to change immediately

Have you been to Homebush?

Tackle it head on: Finucane and Lewis can teach the NRL why concussion rules have to change immediately

The top 5 of your roster win in the finals, but 18-30 are the ones that get you to the finals in the first place.

Too old, too slow: Do these two stats explain why Souths have fallen off a cliff in 2024?

Leg speed is a woolly phrase that I find very hard to back up with any numbers – but the numbers are clear that the Panthers generate far more of their yardage through backs, which does help the forwards be more impactful on the carries they have and to save their legs for line speed.

Too old, too slow: Do these two stats explain why Souths have fallen off a cliff in 2024?

Horses for courses I’d say – he prioritised culture building at Redcliffe for one, and for two, he’s not expected to win the Premiership. If you want a third, the Phins are the single most conservative side with ball in hand, likely to maximise negative possession.

Too old, too slow: Do these two stats explain why Souths have fallen off a cliff in 2024?

Returns are a pretty inconsequential part of total yards – On Sat night there were 21 distance kicks, 12 kick-offs and 4 dropouts from a total of 384 runs, so that’s just shy of 10% of all runs that were from returns, assuming that all kicks were returned and all dropouts were long (which they weren’t). Not a big chunk at all.

A fullback like Dylan Edwards might get 50% of their metres in KRM and a good winger might get 25% but the other 11 blokes get basically zero.

KRM was seen as linking to success for a bit but is now largely attributed to specifically the way that Penrith play, everyone else has different methodologies.

Statistically speaking, total yardage is about the other plays, which is why MPR is such a useful number to have.

Too old, too slow: Do these two stats explain why Souths have fallen off a cliff in 2024?

Stokes > Stakhanov

Five and a kick: Joey Manu is not the Roosters' best fullback, unless they want to run him into the ground

Turbo
Walsh
Teddy
Ponga
Manu

Latrell can’t be there on form, Edwards/CNK great yardage but not great elsewhere, Papi maybe but obvs injury prone, Hammer/Kennedy/Drinkwater just that level below, love Gutho for all his effort but he’s not the best of the best at 1.

Manu would be better than DE or CNK if he played there every week, I’d say he’s closest to Turbo in style but yet to prove over a long enough period that he’s that quality (as a FB at least, he’s best centre in the world for mine)

Five and a kick: Joey Manu is not the Roosters' best fullback, unless they want to run him into the ground

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