The Roar
The Roar

ScottWoodward.me

Roar Guru

Joined November 2009

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Recruitment & List Analyst at Wests Tigers, previously Performance Analytics Consultant - Melbourne Storm....WARNING! I dont get splinters when I sit down, and if you disagree with my view that's OK, just keep talking to me.

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The Kiwis were clinical.
What is not reported is that the Kiwis had to find replacements for 7 players, many were key.
Outstanding effort by Madge to them play so smoothly, especially in the first game v GB when they lost Foran after 6 mins.
They will have some WC team, incl SBW.

Kiwis beat Great Britain

Hi Tim,
With a Cap of $9.6m, it is not ideal to pay any player 800k+ that plays centre; it simply gives you an unbalanced list. Long term it will come back and bite.
Tim I have upgraded the value of modern-day wingers now and rate them higher than centres, largely as their new role of bringing the ball back is crucial to the team getting good field position. I believe the recruitment of Ferguson and Sivo is the main reason why the Eels improved so much this year.
Latrell only makes 8 runs per game and in some games, he can go 20 minutes without touching the ball, not what you want for a highly paid player. To his credit, he scores a try with every 10 runs, the best in the NRL.
To justify a higher salary he would need to play a spine position and have an even higher influence on the outcome. Like GI and even SBW, he has the skill to play a pivot role, but he would need the right people around him and have a very good coach.
He does not have the motor of a Teddy, Tommy or a RTS to play a normal fullback role in a team, but providing he had the right centre/wing combination, he could play a roving pivot role with one on his back.
Michael McGuire won a competition doing just this with GI.

Latrell doesn't warrant superstar money

Hey Tim,
Knocked it out of the park with all of your points; maybe Peter should have you on his Board.
I particularly liked your point: “Help out grassroots rugby league costs”.
If I could expand.
The cost to play footy for struggling families is exorbitant, and one of the key reasons why our game is evaporating in the country towns.
The game of Rugby League as we once knew it is quickly losing its identity as kids from NSW and QLand country are becoming fewer. They are being replaced by players from the Pacific Nations.
All Nations should be welcome to our game, but we should never lose sight of where we came from and how we started.
It is the job of the Commission to preserve that identity.

Dear Mr V'landys: here's how you can make the NRL even greater straight away

Thanks Birdy,
The Raiders have no excuses. They had 2/3rds of the ball in the 2nd half and could not score.
The best team won.

A rational review of Sunday’s refereeing dramas

Hi Ryan,
I analysed the match the same way as your good self – what a great contest it was!
It’s the little things that make big things; BJ did a Jarryd Hayne and decided not to pass which likely wins them the game, just like Hayne’s “non” pass would have given Laurie Daley his second Origin Series win.
The Raiders actually were a better attacking team last year, but they have enhanced their defence to such an extent that overall they have become a Grand Finalist, which underlines the importance of defence.
That said, the Roosters did a great job targeting the Raiders key 6, 7 and 9 who between them missed 14 tackles.

A rational review of Sunday’s refereeing dramas

Rene, Ryan,
I have never gone away. Joined Madge at Wests Tigers after 4 wonderful years at the Storm and as you know I am not allowed to bet, but……
Both the Raiders and the Roosters have massive home ground advantages.
I think it is disappointing that the Storm finished MP and Souths 3rd yet they both have to travel this week.
Should be on neutral ground for mine.

The uncomfortable truth about the NRL’s horrible media coverage

AJ, good stuff mate,
I watch about 30 games via video each week and have the refs audio which is not only eluminating, but also highly impressive as to how professionalism has grown the referees’ ranks.
I can be watching an U20s match in Qld Colts and to hear all of the referees communicating and encouraging each other is re-assuring. Their preparation and professionalism is meticulous. It is not only playing talent that is identified, but also referring talent.
The game is in great shape.
One of the joys in my life was to watch NRL 360 and read the Telegraph over breaky; my how things have changed.
NRL 360 has become NRL Judiciary and the Telegraph is a cut and paste of everything discussed the previous night – lazy journalism.
We have some wonderful talent and some amazing tries scored but it is rarely on the agenda; bashing the game and the refs seem to take precedence.

The uncomfortable truth about the NRL’s horrible media coverage

Still trying to fathom why the media never mention Craig Bellamy as “Coach of the year”?
Winning the Minor Premiership by 6 points with a Differential of 331 pts is really amazing when you consider that he has had to re-engineer his spine.
His Storm will underline just why he is THE outstanding coach in 2019. 😛
His opposing Coach Brad Arthur deserves special mention for his season also, but if the media are so hung up on the quality of player lists compared to how they finished then on my ratings the Bulldogs had easily the 16th best list and still won 10 games.
Take a bow Dean pay.

NRL Finals Week 2 teams: Bunnies boosted by big returns, Storm stick with losing side

Hi Andrew, love your work,
The game has changed immensely over the last 30 years and even analysing data for 2019 I never go back further than the last 5 years to maximise accuracy in my benchmark ratings and the weighting allocated to each playing position.
What is relevant is that no team has won the P’ship from further back than third (not fourth) since the NRL changed to this Finals concept. The same applied to AFL until they decided to allocate a bye prior to the Finals for all teams which largely decreases the advantage by finishing higher up.

Just how important is ladder position, anyway?

BA Liddle had played 10 games in NSW Cup all at 80 mins and the experienced head he had last week was Taylor. Had Lids not broken down I expect he would have played a strong 80 mins.

NRL Round 23 teams: Still no Cordner for Roosters, Foran returns for Bulldogs

Hi Andrew, good stuff mate.
Dutski is correct that we require a bigger sample for it to be really meaningful.
On-field decision making can be crucial and this is one of them. Ideally, if a lower-rated team is playing a top-rated team, I would strongly suggest going for the 6 points as I would have predicted that we need to score >22 points to win. Logically, 2 points make little difference.
If it is raining and you have a poor goal kicker and the kick is right in front, then that is different.
I would suggest the 2 points would be taken in every Origin game.

To win in the NRL, just score first - however you do it

Matt,
Punting is relative.
The greatest punt than any man makes is getting married. History says the majority back a loser and loses everything they worked hard for.
Good luck to those who did their form and backed a winner…

Australia must overhaul its position on gambling

CORRECTION: Should say With starting edges Cordner and Frizelle

The Blues will have to defy history to defeat the Maroons in 2019

Hi Tim, love ya work mate,
Rugby League can be such a perplexing game that anything can happen, and that includes NSW winning G2 in Perth on Sunday.
Here is some logic that defies that possibility.
• Klemmer replacement Daniel Saifiti missed 7 tackles in 47 minutes last week against the Storm and only ran for a poor 61 metres at 1.30 metres per minute – well below benchmark.
• The selectors have chosen 3 Locks Jake Trbojevic, Dale Finucane and Cam Murray
• Also 3 left Edge Backrowers
• 2 Centres who don’t play that position at club level
• One of the key reason why they were defeated in G1 was they lacked another big middle in the last 20 mins. This time they have no big middles on the bench, although I will be surprised if Saifiti does not start on the bench in place of Finucane. This will mean that Jack Turbo will play up front at prop who is not known to hurt or scare anyone and boast a poor avg gain of only 8.3 Avg Gain and a very soft 2.2 post contact metres per carry.
• With starting middles Cordner and Frizelle both not 100% fit are still expected to churn out big minutes which begs the question: how will NSW use their 2 edge Bench forwards Simms and Graham, oh, and when does Murray get a run?
Freddy may just get that “perplexing” win.

The Blues will have to defy history to defeat the Maroons in 2019

Given the great club form of Mitch Pearce it is understandable that he is likely to be in SOO2, especially as he is “sweet” with the decision makers and key recommenders.
I won’t bore you with his data, but be assured that as a clubman at both the Roosters and the Knights he has been constantly one of the best and most reliable halfs to play this decade; he ticks off most of the critical benchmarks that I look for in a half, including defence.
Here’s the problem.
His Origin data is nothing like what he achieves at club level.
Why?
Maybe the added pressure as when he makes an error at Origin he digs himself a hole and dives into it. This has a negative impact on his players.
Playing a roving 6 role with new combinations in a sudden death game is a whole new pressure.
My changes would be Tom T for the injured Cotric and if club form means anything then Matterson is a must. In game 1 NSW were short a big middle which means finding a replacement for Klem and adding some size to the bench.

Is it time for the Blues to bring back Mitchell Pearce?

Hi Connor,
I cannot recall ever a half being sacked and then brought back on after nine and a half minutes. It was a panic move by Freddy, but his comment on Jack Wighton was “he was great” despite throwing an unnecessary pass that created an intercept try.
NSW got the bench rotation wrong, but they also started with only one big middle on the bench, and he was only 19. Klemmer played 52 mins straight and was unable to come back late when he was really needed.
NSW was outcoached and Qld had a better balanced 17 with a more professional rotation.

Five talking points from State of Origin Game 1

The home ground advantage here is massive, you only have to attend an Origin at Suncorp to appreciate how intimidating it is for NSW. It is the highest advantage that I allocate to any home team.
Damien Cook has re-written how Hookers play the modern game and his figures over the last few seasons are off the charts, he is clearly NSW’s biggest distinctive competence. The Maroons require two players to combat Cook and it will be interesting to see how and when they are used.
MBye is one of the fittest players in the game and I would definitely start with him and bring Hunt on after 20 mins. If Coach Kev plays Hunt for 80 mins., NSW should win comfortably.
Maroon FB Ponga is the best player I have studied since Thurston and, just like JT did on many occasions, he can win the match with a brilliant individual performance for Q’land.
Enjoy……

2019 State of Origin: Game I preview

btw, the U18s Origin is on before and it is typically the best game of footy you will see all season. i am confident that at least 75% of the players from both teams will play NRL.
Tragically this amazing game is generally only streamed and not on Fox or 9.

Of course Queensland will win Origin. They always do

Rellum,
If the judgement is who would demand the most $ on an open market and who would contribute to the result then Ricky Stuart and Laurie Daley are standout outs and a big bunch for third. I can tell you that Laurie told me that he considered Clyde the best player in the team, but as a key spine player it would be hard not to value Steve Walters at hooker or even Gaz Belcher at FB. A centre who can go 20 mins and not touch the ball cannot be valued as high as a spine player normally.
either way, I think to be an immortal he should be the best player.

The burning question: Is Cooper Cronk an Immortal?

They have changed the rules so anything is possible.
My view is that even to be considered the player MUST be the best player in his team, or a standout BEST player in his position.
We have just honoured Mal Meninga and he was not in the best 3 players in his team and in the same class as Gene Miles and Steve Rogers as a centre. he made it influenced by off field achievements.
To me, that has decayed the award.

The burning question: Is Cooper Cronk an Immortal?

Hi Tim,
For the first time the stat that no team has played in the World Club Challenge in the UK pre-season and come back and won the P’ship this century.
History says the Roosters will hit a brick wall, but sitting in the freezing cold at the huuuge SCG last Sat night, the Roosters looked every bit set for back to back.

History shows NRL finalists are now pretty much already set

Hi Sam,
A few facts mate.
This time last year Wests Tigers had 14,421 members and now they have 18,895 and likely make 25k.
Wests Tigers are currently the leading Sydney NRL club in the Premiership.
They have a new Chair (a former NSW Premier) and a new coach, who is the only coach to win P’ships in the UK and Aust since 1998.

Wests Tigers fans deserve better

This time 12 months ago Wests Tigers had 12,662 members, and now they have 16,299 with a big bullet.
Someone is doing something right!

An open letter to the Wests Tigers and the NRL

Turn the lights on ROAR!

An open letter to the Wests Tigers and the NRL

Confirmation that Tom T will be out up to 6 weeks also Also Tanginao and Paseka are also expected to miss Round 1 .
It’s great that we have NRL trial games streamed, but when we put a guy on the moon 50 years ago why is the quality so poor? And, not to be a nag, but whoever that was that called the game seriously is that the best we can find? On the few occasions that he actually mentioned a name he often got the name wrong.

Sharks win NRL trial, but Manly impress in first Hasler hit-out