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The Roar

ScottWoodward.me

Roar Guru

Joined November 2009

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Recruitment & List Analyst at Wests Tigers since 2019, previously Performance Analytics Consultant - Melbourne Storm (4 years)...WARNING! I don't 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 Willie,
I value RL players for a living and while any opinionated article like yours is simply an “opinion”, something you are entitled to have, it does not change the silliness of your headline.
The 2 highest-rated players in my system are Andrew Johns and Jonathan Thurston. Without going into any detail Cooper Cronk is not even in the conversation and I am certain Coops would be the first to agree.

Sorry universe, but Cooper Cronk is superior to Johnathan Thurston

sweet

You don't have to like him, but you do have to admit Cameron Smith is rugby league's greatest ever

Hi Matth,
Harry is the next 9, Jahrome the 7 and Pape the 1. It is still early, but all 3 of them are ahead of who they replaced.
Cam came to the Storm at 23 and Harry is 22.
Cronk came as a reserve and bill started on the Wing.
The impact players have on a line is not based on their club team, but a rep team.

You don't have to like him, but you do have to admit Cameron Smith is rugby league's greatest ever

Rob,
I have made a very good living for a long while with my algorithm as you put it. You are entitled to your opinion, as I am mine.
I will add this. We may be including Harry Grant in the conversation in another decade.

You don't have to like him, but you do have to admit Cameron Smith is rugby league's greatest ever

Hi nat,
Mate I don’t understand what you are trying to say.
What has support players got to do with anything?

You don't have to like him, but you do have to admit Cameron Smith is rugby league's greatest ever

YES, I am.
I think I am better and more equipped at putting a Rated Value (RV) on a player than a player who can be very biased (as Coaches can be) and do not watch every minute of every match and have all the analytics at their disposal.
btw, Smithy also said Thurston is the best player he has seen or played against or with.
This is all a mute argument, as it is largely opinion-based, but I can back up mine with data.

You don't have to like him, but you do have to admit Cameron Smith is rugby league's greatest ever

Hi Tim,
“Greatest” is an interesting adjective.
In Smithy’s case, he has no peer when it comes to breaking records and winning awards.
I first met him in the Storm Coaches office in 2016 when he walked in just prior to Nathan Cleary’s debut match. He was totally focused even then on the match the following night and asked the then Assistant Coach Adam O’Brien: ” what was Trent Merrin’s first movement?” “Does he step off his right or left first.”
I was blown away at the level of detail that was seeking, especially as he had just played a State of Origin match 48 hours earlier.
That said, the barometer I would use when rating the best ever are made of of many benchmarks, but two stand out:
1. If all players are the same age in the same era, who would command the most $ on the open market?
2. When I am rating a team if a player is withdrawn, who would have the biggest negative impact on the game price (betting) line?
When I apply this philosophy both Andrew Johns and Jonathan Thurston beat Cam Smith.

You don't have to like him, but you do have to admit Cameron Smith is rugby league's greatest ever

Rellum,
Spot on mate.
It is crazy having former players voting.
It should be done by professionals who use Video analysis and data. The NRL has an entire department who do this. These guys are massive talents and would paint a more accurate, non-controversial picture.

Jack Wighton wins 2020 Dally M Medal after surprise victory was revealed too early

There is no knock on Jack Wighton here as he is a worthy winner of any footy prize, but the result highlighted the floored selection process.
Wighton won the Dally M by 1 point.
* How Jack polled 3 votes in Rounds 15, 16, 18 and 19 each time above Josh Papalii has created unwanted controversy.
* Greg Alexander gave Gutherson only 2 points in Round 17 when I rated him the best on the ground. Ok, I may well be wrong and brandy may be right allocating 3 points to RTS, but Brandy is Deputy Chair at the Panthers and his half Nathan Cleary was the DallyM hot favourite. No suggestion that Brandy was trying to help his own player but he should never have been put in this position.
* Gutho also had a blinder in Round 20 and Brett Kimmorley did not allocate him any points and he was only defeated by a single point.
For the record, I did not have Jack Wighton on my leaderboard with my top 3
Clinton Gutherson
James Tedesco
Nathan Cleary
Also,
* NRL Nation did not have Wighton in their top 10 (Winner Ryan Papenhuyzen)
* Supercoach did not have Wighton in their top 10 (Winner Tedesco)
Whatever the NRL do next year must exclude any former ex players as judges as they are all aligned to their own clubs. we do not need the controversy.

Jack Wighton wins 2020 Dally M Medal after surprise victory was revealed too early

Hopeless,
According to the DallyM judges’ Papa was outvoted by Wighton in their last 4 clashes. Go figure that one out.

Six talking points from the NRL semi-finals

Hi Scott,
It seems out of sight out of mind.
A reminder that Jason Taumalolo is superior to Josh Papalii in almost every key data points that I weight highly for a middle forward.
* he plays 8.6 mins longer
* runs 57 metres further
* has a superior Metres per Minute rate
* superior Avg gain Per Run
* makes more runs
* makes more tackle breaks
* passes more
What is disappointing for the game is that Josh was born in Auckland and was a junior Kiwi and chose Origin over his Country of birth, while Jason Taumalolo, also born in Auckland and played 10 Test Matches for NZ, but now has turned his back on the big Origin $s to play for his heritage, Tonga.

Six talking points from the NRL semi-finals

This is a super Maroon team; I think it will be close:
1. Kalyn Ponga
2. Ronaldo Mulitalo
3 Michael Morgan
4 Dane Gagai
5 Valentine Holmes
6 Cameron Munster
7 Daly Cherry-Evans
8. Patrick Carrigan
9. Harry Grant
10 Josh Papalii
11 David Fifita
12 Felise Kaufusi
13 Jai Arrow

14. AJ Brimson
15. Tino Faasuamaleaui
16. Lindsay Collins
17. Moeaki Fotuaika

Picking Harry Grant at 9 was perhaps my easiest choice. I expect him to be the Kangaroo 9 in Nth Engand in Nov next year for the World Cup.
Brimson is simply too good to leave out. He can cover any position in the backline and also spell at 9. He could also play a roving 13 roll if they needed points late.
I am told that Faasuamaleaui and Fotuaika can play they they are must-haves. Collins data from the bench is outstanding.

The three Queensland clubs are struggling, so where does that leave the Maroons?

“Shaun Johnson performing as well as he used to do.”
WRONG
He is avg 1.3 Try assists each week.
Michael Maguire has taken NZ to the World #1 ranking and will be very hard to beat as World Champs.
I have booked my ticket and am counting the days.

Who could dethrone Australia at the next Rugby League World Cup?

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will be left centre and Taupau will not be considered.

Who could dethrone Australia at the next Rugby League World Cup?

Placepunter
I normally do not reply to people who are too gutless to use their real name, but Grant was not “gifted” to Wests Tigers. It was a club initiative given that Farah retired, Liddle did an ACL and Jake Simpkin was only 18. There was a lot of painstaking negotiations that took place and was all created and driven by the club in a landmark deal.
Don’t let the facts spoil a good story.

Why Harry Grant must not stay with Wests Tigers

Any club that pays $1.25m for a non-spine player does not comprehend the salary cap.
Interesting that the Eels knocked back the opportunity to sign Fifita for 300k only 2 years ago.

Titans predict smooth Fifita transition

The guts of the Maroon team will not play for a month prior to kick-off. Not ideal.

My Queensland State of Origin team

Rellum,
If it is stats based then that is even worse. Who wrote the program? Or, who interpreted it?
Benji got a Try and a try assist, Billy Walters got a Try and a Try Assist, Luciano got 2 Tries, did 180m and 34 Tackles for No Misses, Harry Grant did 10 DH runs, 1 Try and 39 Tackles while Josh Aloiai did 212m and 25 Tackles.
Haas is an out and out champion of the game, but he was very well contained by the Wests Tigers forwards and he never looked dangerous.

Broncos, the game has changed, but the battle has not

When I found out that Ch 9 had made Payne Haas the Man of the Match my instant thought was “has someone had a bet”.
Whoever was responsible should be banned as the Dally Ms already lacks credibility and this farce reinforced it.

Broncos, the game has changed, but the battle has not

Hi Willie,
Always a fascinating debate, especially using the word “best”.
Cam Smith is the “best” at many things and Teddy rightly has claims to be considered even better than Billy Slater, and Tommy Turbo has claims to be better than both superstar fullbacks when he finally gets himself fit.
Instead of using the term “best”, let me say that my “Talent Valuation System” does not even rate Teddy the most valuable player in the Roosters.
That dubious honour goes to Luke Keary.
Why?
Because he is more directly and indirectly involved in influencing the scoreboard and the roosters cannot replace him.
That is not a slight on Teddy as he has strong claims to be a better FB than Billy, but the Roosters have shown that they can replace him and not miss a beat, they could not do that with Keary.

Smith remains the game’s best player because Tedesco disappears in big moments

Hi Willie,
Moeaki Fotuaika may be committed to Tonga and Tino Faasuamaleaui to Samoa. If the QRL can do some fancy footwork then they both would make my 17.
The major problem for the Maroons is the bulk of their team (not the spine) come from the 3 Qland teams who at this stage will not play Finals footy which means no game time for a month – a massive advantage to the Blues.
btw, I would swap Arrow and McGuire.

The team Queensland must pick to compete with NSW

William,
Pre Covid, I watch around 30 games a week and it was the best NRL club game I have ever seen.

Eight talking points from NRL Round 8

Hi Scott,
When you talk about “Recruitment of the Year” it is totally relevant to how much the player cost and what value he has given his new club.
Fair?
Api was not cheap, albeit, been worth every cent and his relationship from manly with Trent Barrett has been crucial in closing the deal. Cost to performance is what recruitment is measured on.
What about a kid on a minimum wage who no one had heard of and is now running second in the Dally M and likely hooker the Maroons this year.
Is that the true definition of “Recruitment of the Year”?

Eight talking points from NRL Round 8

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Mad Madge seeks Tiger revenge

Hey Scott,
I cannot recall a better club game; how good!
The Storm was not only down Munster, but also their big prop Tui Kamikamica who, after the initial 2 Rounds, is the #1 prop for Metres Per Minute in the NRL.
That was right up there as one of Craig Bellamy’s best-ever coaching performances.

The NRL benchmark hasn't changed in 2020