The Roar
The Roar

Roar Guru

Joined November 2009







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.



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

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.
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.

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

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

Hi Tim,
Your argument is flawed mate
Two days after the All Stars match the Sydney Roosters take on Wigan in the World Club Challenge.
Did you know that no team has ever travelled back from the UK and won the Premiership this century?
We have this wonderful All Stars initiative, World Club Challenge, State of Origin that we all salivate over and the NRL Premiership.
We are in the entertainment business and all these events are show pieces.
Scheduling a month prior to NRL kick off is perfect.
Enjoy it, should be some game. Forwards v backs!

The Indigenous All Stars vs NZ Maori is rugby league's Hunger Games

Hi 40/20
Nothing wrong with a challenge mate. Madge is up for it.

Rugby league and the battle for hearts and minds in the west

Hi Greg,
Well written article mate, even if you did bag Donald Trump.
Wests Tigers are building a centre of excellence at Concord that will surpass the Panthers and be the pride of sport on the east coast of Australia.
They also have a new world class coach who is the only coach to win a Premiership in both the UK and Aust this century.
They have improved their membership by a staggering 50% from this time last year.
Greg, many places like South NZ, Gosford, Perth, Adelaide, heck even North Sydney dont even have a team.
Be thankful and stop complaining!

Rugby league and the battle for hearts and minds in the west

On the surface I get it that everyone has noticed the Warriors have lost their 1 ans 2 halfbacks, but they have not taken into account that Brian Smith and Peter O’Sullivan are 2 of the most astute thinkers in the game and would be very conscious of their situation.
Noted they have recruited Adam Keighran from the Panthers who may be considered as their goal kicker and 6 with Green playing 7. RTS is also an option at 6 with Perham at 1.
Whatever, I guarantee they will have a competitive solution, it’s what they do.

Dark horses: Which of these four sides will surge in 2019?

Hi Footy Fan,
Loved your comment mate.
Supercoach and Fantasy is fun but the scoring is flawed in the REAL world and any type of points cap system would have similar flaws for varied reasons.
Here’s just one. The on field General is and should be the highest rated player, but it is impossible to score his most important contributions – communication, organising and his last tackle option.
Players that are workaholics and play big minutes score well, but are not necessarily the best players.
My personal opinion is that analytics along with a clever panel could deliver a workable solution that would be approved by the administrators and the fans, but it would be a gutsy move. Dont hold your breath!

A common-sense salary cap solution the NRL will never adopt

Hi Rob,
Allow me to answer your questions:
* Its is a huge advantage to have Rep Class players
* Origin is the highest rated class of RL in the world in my system, greater than International games.
* Semi v O’Neil is like comparing Phar Lap v Raddish.
* Sam Burgess is the best English forward in my system ever. I ask people I rate who would they prefer out of Sam Burgess, SBW or Taumalolo and most say Sam. Interesting no Aussies.
* Again the tiny Dallas Johnson does not come close to Taumalolo. Different stratosphere.

A common-sense salary cap solution the NRL will never adopt

I expect Cook to be the most expensive player on Supercoach.
It is true that coaches will work him out, and that was underlined when NZ played Australia, but he is not just a DH runner, and I don’t see the Burgiiis going anywhere so he will continue to get a great platform.
The more interesting question is who will play 9 for Qland?
If Friend can replicate his GF game he is a moral.

Cooked Cook, McInnes Masterchef: Why Cook’s Origin jersey should be given to crafty Cameron

Big Daddy,
Wayne did put a great list together, but to be fair, the Broncos have almost 40% of the Emerging Queenslanders on their books which is a farcical situation and needs to be addressed urgently by the QRL.

Broncos sack Bennett, sign Seibold