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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Hi Tim,
The key to Arrow leaving the Titans and joining Souths is the Storm.
The Titans have signed big Tino from the Storm for 2021 and the Titans would need him to turn up 12 months early so Arrow can go.
The only way that will happen is for Souths to compensate the Storm.
Unlikely.

Arrow will be at Redfern in 2020 when the Bunnies make the Titans a decent offer

Hi Snoop,
If I make a comment I will always be able to support it with compelling data. Please advise where you think I am wrong? fyi, I watch 30 games a week.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Rob,
With respect, you don’t know what you are talking about mate.
Firstly, you are never going to win the argument comparing Thurston with Cronk.
Cronk played on the right side at the Storm and Roosters and the majority of tries were on the left in both teams. Cronk was right next to Proctor for most of his best years at the Storm and he was NOT a try scorer and neither was Will Chambers who played right Centre.
JT could play on both sides just as well. He was a freak!

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Rob,
I would love to be your bookie.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Max,
I could not have said it better myself Max, well said.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

The word “best” is open to many interpretations. I welcome anyone’s comments as everyone is entitled to their own mindshare. My comments were clearly defined what I meant by “best” and I set the parameters. With so many players to squeeze into just ten, it is impossible for all to agree.
Added bonus in a player like leadership and great communication skills are highly valuable, but there is no analytic for it.
Jonathan Thurston actually had all of those attributes, but it was his skill with the ball that made him number one.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Adam, Randy, Bezza,
I have already said that Coops is a worthy top 10 player. Just because I have others in front of him based on the criteria explained is ok. Thats what the Roar is.
Let me show you some data for the last 12 months that is reflective of the decade. Coops greatest value is his leadership and that is not in this data.:
If we look at key half data Coops did not hit any benchmark last year, while Keary and Cherry-Evans hit everyone incl:
ALL RUNS LINBRKASS TRY ASS TA+TRY SUPPORT FORCEDROP RUN METS
This pattern is consistent in previous years. I will say again Coops did not set the world on fire in his last few years at the Storm and he is not in the Roosters top 3 players, probably more. I can expand but I would rather discuss the positives that Coops brings to a team, which is immense. You have a different top 10 to me which is fine and expected. There is no right or wrong, but I can support my output from input.
It has stood me in good stead for many years.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Randy, Adam,
You are talking to a huge CC fan, I have already mentioned that in detail. This is nothing to do with personal feelings.
I don’t have space here to detail why Keary has been superior over Cronk in the last 6 years and that is not a blight on Coops. Keary is the most valuable player at the Roosters IMO and Cronk would also have Teddy and Latrell in front of him.
Again, space is an issue, but if all players were on the open market over the last 10 years, I would doubt that few, if any, would command a higher bid than Ponga.
There is a reason for that.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Randy,
You have picked 7 out of 9 Queenslanders.
Yes, I have developed my own program and refine it each year, but the power of the algorithm is only valuable if you combine it with video analysis, and of course the all-important “cuppa test”. This process spits out an accurate assessment of a player’s value % to the Salary Cap.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Duncan,
Injuries and suspensions have a big influence on all games and by the time this GF came around the Storm were shot ducks. They lost their QF to the Warriors at home which killed them for injuries. Very difficult to win without the break in the modern era.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

40,
Madge can speak for himself, but like you, I have seen what he did when he went to Wigan and then what he did when he went to the Rabbitohs. When you start work at 4am every morning and know what you are doing, you tend to get a lot of luck and it would be a brave man to bet against him getting the trifecta.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Simmo
He was relentless for the Maroons. What about his last game with only one arm and kicking the winning goal from the sideline.
I can honestly say that I punched the air for one minute straight when he kicked that field goal to win the Grand Final.
Staggering how the Bulldogs did not sign him long term when they had him for a minty wrapper.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Hi Adam,
You are very entitled to your opinion.
fyi, Keary has been a key half in 3 of the last 6 winning Grand Final teams. Not sure what rock you have been under.
As for Ponga, every opposition coach trembles when he gets the ball for a good reason. His data is scary and will just get better. I expect him to beat Val Holmes for the Maroons fullback spot. Adam KP has a massive impact on the Knights line and he would command $1m+ if he was on the open market now.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

KK
Gallen would be on top as the only forward with a 100% original Australian heritage. Interesting. he certainly is a trenchman know doubt. My small knock on him is that he lacked peripheral vision, in that there could be a try on out wide and he would just demand the ball and do a nothing hit up killing an opportunity.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Happy NY KK
Who is your best player in the last decade?

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Rob,
It’s not about the most “consistent”, it is about the the “best” and who would demand the most salary due to the influence on the scoreboard.
I am a massive Cronk fan, especially as a human. I will never forget the day when he was stretching by himself on a Melb outfield and got up and walked 20m just to introduce himself to me. That was the day after he won Origin with a badly bruised ankle and was not expected at training the next day let alone play on Friday night. He played 48 hours post Origin and won man of the Match in young Cleary’s debut game.
As good as he was, his data is not as influential as what Thurstons was. If they were both at their peak today and both on the open market JT would fetch more $s. – that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Duck,
I will deal with RTS first.
He left the Roosters because they failed to secure him long term when it was obvious very early that he was a superstar. By the time they did realise it, the Warriors made him a massive offer that he could not refuse. It was a rare error by Chairman Nick, but he was blessed that Teddy jumped on to his radar. I am not 100% sure that Roger is happy at the Warriors.
“LEADERSHIP”
It is part of the “cuppa test”. There is no analytic for it, but it is a requirement to be a winning club. That said, you can have some great club leaders who are average players. You only have to look at our best coaches who never set the world on fire (Stuart an exception) as players.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Thanks Matt,
Most people have Thurston and Smithy in their top 2. When it is a close rating, the data in rep games are valuable. JT and Smithy played in the same team – the Maroons and both were outstanding, but JT would negatively impact the line greater if he was out. He simply had more influence on the result, not to mention the preferred goal kicker. Ask yourself “if your life is on the line, who do you want to have the ball in his hand to score or create a score”? The answer is why I rate JT and Andrew Johns the 2 best players I have seen.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a massive talent in a very poor team. Imagine if he had have stayed put at the Roosters! You have seen what he has achieved under Madge Maguire for NZ helping the team to World’s #1.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Happy NY Souvalis,
Ill try and answer your questions:
* On Keary, YES I would sign him before a fullback. He is the one player the Roosters would struggle to replace. Their line would alter the most if he was a late out. They would replace Teddy with Joe Manu, a world-class FB in my view or Latrell. Keary has more influence on the scoreboard. RV is not all about tries.
* Aitken has been replaced by Brandon Smith and Harry Grant, both super players, which means the hole left is not so big now. There is an argument that if Smithy retired his cap $ could have purchased Latrell would would have given the Storm a stronger list. If we use the Maroons as the yardstick, then JT moved the line more than what Smithy would. Both living legends.
* If you going to disqualify Ponga for his last game then you have to include Billy for his also. That is not what this is about. I would love both any day and travel great distances just to watch them, they are what our game is about. Give KP some time, he is just starting, but in terms of what he brings to the table, his influence is similar to Billy’s in a game and on the line. I am interested to see how his new coach goes with him as he also spent a lot of time with Billy.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Hi Nat,
No. No allowance for longevity. I consciously separated Spine players from big forwards.
If we create a narrative on the best players in the last decade then David Fifita and Payne Haas must be in the conversation despite their tender age – they are that good.
From the time I have studied Haas as a young teenager, he has always hit every key benchmark both with and without the ball and has continued that on into NRL class. This is unprecedented.
The gap between Sam and Haas is in the negatives; Sam misses more tackles and makes more errors which often detracts from his powerhouse running game. Any coach would be happy to have both.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Max,
It may have been “average” for him, but he still managed to be #1 for Linebreaks Assists, Try Assists and Forced Drop Outs. Love to own a racehorse that tries as hard as he did.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

RN
Excellent question.
When I was at the Storm we called it “the cuppa test”. In other words if the Head Coach did not like you then it was irrelevant how good your video and stats analysis was. Club founder John Ribot told me that if you would not invite them to your home to dinner or babysit your kids then they cant make our team.
That philosophy is massive with the Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael McGuire. I have never seen anyone talk to players like he does in an interview as his focus is on the players family, his upbringing and goals.
So, I would love to have the “Cuppa Test” built into my program, but it is a gut feel thing and it is more powerful than any stat.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Hi 40
Agree mate. He left a major hole when he went to the UK to play RU after winning the GF. They didn’t look like recovering until he came back. Arrow is a different type, but still a very good replacement.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

RN you are correct. He has horrific negatives, especially with missed tackles and errors, but he makes up for it in other areas.
Guys I work with and respect highly in the game all want big Sam in their team, that holds a lot of weight. Analytically Taumalolo and Haas are superior.
Hard to forget Sam’s Grand Final contribution with a broken cheekbone in 2014. They don’t win without him, not many could have copied that performance.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s

Dogs, I agree with you on Mitch Pearce mate.
I have not seen too many better club players, sadly his rep data lets him down.
It was a gutzy move to sack him at the Roosters for Cooper Cronk, but I have no doubt the Roosters would have still won both P’Ships with Pearce.

JT is by far the best NRL player of the 2010s