Through green eyes 2019

All the news on the Canberra Raiders NRL team, all in one place

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » April 23, 2019, 8:47 pm

It was the other way around. If I haven't transcribed anything correctly, you can see them here. I'm still very comfortable with my ratings.

https://www.nrl.com/draw/nrl-premiershi ... v-broncos/
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gangrenous
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gangrenous » April 23, 2019, 9:01 pm

Makes sense. I was mainly yanking your chain

I think you can happily make a case for Wighton/Williams to be 6 or 7 depending on what you value.

You like guys who break games and forgive the errors they make in doing so. You’re a Wighton/BJ man you’ll score them higher than others. You like dependability and consistency, Williams/Croker are going to be higher for you than others.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » April 23, 2019, 9:30 pm

I'm comfortable that Jacks bat back to the Broncos off a bomb does not count as an error. I am also comfortable that a poor pass which cannot be caught and is soccered by JB on to BJ for a try is not an error. Also that a kick dead in goal is not an error. I am less comfortable that a clear missed tackle on Nikorima that leads to a try is not an error. That leaves the 2nd tackle dropped ball 10 metres from the Broncos line as error and the break soon after when the ball is lost in the tackle as an error. Only 2 errors for Jack according to the judges.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by BadnMean » April 23, 2019, 10:11 pm

RedRaider wrote:
April 23, 2019, 9:30 pm
I'm comfortable that Jacks bat back to the Broncos off a bomb does not count as an error. I am also comfortable that a poor pass which cannot be caught and is soccered by JB on to BJ for a try is not an error. Also that a kick dead in goal is not an error. I am less comfortable that a clear missed tackle on Nikorima that leads to a try is not an error. That leaves the 2nd tackle dropped ball 10 metres from the Broncos line as error and the break soon after when the ball is lost in the tackle as an error. Only 2 errors for Jack according to the judges.
I guess the missed tackle goes down as an MT, TC and LBC already... So it's a mistake but errors are a separate category to that kind?

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » April 26, 2019, 4:06 pm

Through green eyes: Quarter time report card

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It's difficult to believe, but a quarter of the 2019 NRL season has already passed. At this stage last year, the Canberra Raiders were running 11th on the ladder with a 2 and 4 record. They had lost the first three matches of the season by a combined total of five points, all narrow, last gasp defeats. It was hardly the best of starts to a season. But what a difference 12 months makes.

After six rounds in 2019, the Raiders were running third - on points differential - having posted a 5 and 1 start. If they had beaten the Broncos by two more points last week, they'd have been running first. That's how good the first quarter of the season has been. It's Canberra's best opening since 2003. That year the Raiders won their opening seven matches - making the finals, finishing top four.

Premierships, of course, are not won in the opening six rounds. But they can be lost. That was the story of last season. The slow start meant the Raiders were already behind the eight ball in their quest to play finals football by this stage. But it's a different story this year.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart rightly keeps emphasising that the team "hasn't done anything yet". And we need to remind ourselves that the Dragons, Panthers, Warriors and Tigers were the top four after Round 6 of 2018. The ultimate Grand Finalists, the Storm and Roosters were running fifth and sixth, with a 3 and 3 record.

But the good start does give the Raiders a good launch pad for the rest of their season.

The other positive is that the Raiders appear to have addressed their two major problems of recent seasons: defence and game management.

Today, the Raiders have the best defensive record in the competition. They have conceded an average of 11 points and just two tries per match. They've held two teams to nil. That is a slightly better record than the defensive maestros, the Storm, better than the Roosters. The Raiders also rank first for least running metres conceded (1260 metres per match), second for least off loads conceded (7.3 per match) and equal second for least line breaks conceded (3.2 per match). The more mobile forward pack, with players who have better lateral movement, is the key thing making the difference. Trading Junior Paulo and Shannon Boyd for John Bateman and Ryan Sutton has certainly paid off so far. In fact, Bateman already shapes as the NRL's "buy of the year".

One number I'd like to mention is... three. The Raiders have worked hard on their game management over the off season, on how to deal with the clutch situations under fatigue. It's reflected in their three field goals. They rank first in the league for one pointers. They "iced" three games - against the Titans, Knights and Eels - with field goals, putting the games beyond the reach of the opposition.

The Raiders are also much more effective in kicking in general play - which is helping the game management. They are averaging just under two forced line drop outs per match. That's middle of the pack - but last year they ranked last in the league, with an average of one per game. The Raiders of recent seasons did not kick much at all. They ranked third last for kicking metres in the NRL in 2018 (380 metres per match). This year they rank seventh for kicks per game (21), fourth for line kicks (10), first for weighted kicks (four) and fourth for kicking metres (572 metres) per match. The kicking could still be better, but that's a big shift.

The attack? It's not firing on all cylinders yet - as we know it can. Ricky Stuart repeatedly says he knows the team can score points, but getting the defence in order is the first priority. Of course, he's right about that. The team with the best defence in 2018, the Roosters, won the premiership. The team with the second best defence last season, the Storm, made the Grand Final. Both conceded less than 16 points on average per game. In 2018, the Raiders conceded 23 points and almost four tries per game. Canberra scored as many points and tries as they conceded - and had the second best attack in the competition, behind the Rabbitohs. But clearly, that wasn't a winning strategy.

The attack so far this year is still not so bad. The Raiders rank equal fourth for average tries per match (3.5) and fifth for points scored per match (21). But the team is playing a more conservative style in attack, particularly the dangerous outside backs. A lot of attack is channeled down the middle of the park. The Raiders rank 10th in the NRL for offloads (8.5 per game) and they pass less than any other club (71 general play passes per game). They rank fifth for one pass hit ups, and first for dummy half runs (14 per game). In this, they are out-Roostering the Roosters and out-Storming the Storm.

That approach is resulting in slightly fewer line breaks (3.8 per match, compared with five in 2018) and tackle breaks (27 per match, compared with 30 in 2018). But it also means the Raiders are more effectively controlling possession. They rank first for possession share (54 per cent, compared with under 50 per cent last year) - though the error rate (11.5 per game) and completion rate (74 per cent) is middle of the pack... and slightly worse than last year. Canberra is helped by the fact they rank second for penalties awarded (7.3 per game) - though that is partly undone by their fifth ranking for penalties conceded (6.8 per game). In recent years, the Raiders have not made a lot of running metres - though more possession means that is up a bit this year.

Things are still settling down in the spine. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is having a break out season at fullback, and Josh Hodgson continues as one of the best hookers in the world. Sam Williams and Aidan Sezer are in a battle for the No. 7 jersey, while Jack Wighton is really still finding his way in his new five eighth role. But the fact that the Raiders are still producing a healthy number of points is a positive - as is the potential for the team to further develop and improve. Once the defence is in order, the attack will come.

Overall, the Raiders coaches and players are doing exactly what they promised in the off season. Every commentator is saying the Raiders are "faiders no more". Raiders fans really couldn't have asked for a better start to the season.

QUARTER TIME REPORT CARD

Forwards: A+
Backs: B
Spine: B
Defence: A+
Attack: B
Overall: A

***

One test after another. The Raiders mostly keep passing them, but the tests keep coming. If Canberra can beat the Sea Eagles by 12 points or more on Sunday, they'll be top of the NRL ladder. That's a big ask. Canberra has a poor record at Brookvale. They were thrashed by the Sea Eagles early last year - with Ricky Stuart prompted to call his team "soft" in the aftermath. Manly half Daly Cherry Evans has regularly cut the Raiders to ribbons.

Manly don't have the strongest team on paper. They have a good forward pack and one of the best half backs in the competition - but the back line, well, let's just say it could be stronger. Certainly that's where the Raiders have a clear advantage. However, the Sea Eagles have proven the critics wrong more than once so far, and they are punching above their weight. It's a dangerous game for the Green Machine. If the Raiders' mobile forwards can get on top, and the defence holds, Canberra should be too strong, even at the Sea Eagles' "fortress". I am tipping the Raiders by four at home.

***

The warm up game at Brookvale on Sunday sees the Raiders' NSW Cup affiliate, Mounties face off against the Blacktown Sea Eagles. Mounties continue to be undefeated - even winning with 12 men for 60 minutes last week. So if you're heading to Brookie, get there early. They're a good team to watch. Strangely, the Raiders Jersey Flegg team is being pitched against the Manly Sea Eagles one hour after kick off in the NRL clash - at Blacktown's HE Laybutt Field. Makes it tough to get there!

The Canberra Raiders Cup is back after the Easter break, with all games to be played on Saturday. The round is headlined by a top of the table clash between the Woden Valley Rams and the Goulburn Bulldogs, while the live stream match is between the Queanbeyan Kangaroos and West Belconnen Warriors. Make sure you get out to a game! It looks set to be a perfect autumn Canberra afternoon!



***

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the win over the Broncos. Let us know if you agree with the ratings... or not!

Total points

John Bateman 46
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 44
Josh Papalii 44
Josh Hodgson 43
Joey Leilua 42
Jarrod Croker 41
Sia Soliola 41
Jack Wighton 40
Elliott Whitehead 38
Nick Cotric 38
Ryan Sutton 38
Siliva Havili 35
Jordan Rapana 32
Dunamis Lui 31
Sam Williams 24
Corey Horsburgh 23
Hudson Young 15
Joe Tapine 13
Aidan Sezer 12
Bailey Simonsson 6
JJ Collins 4

Average points per match

John Bateman 7.7
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.3
Josh Papalii 7.3
Josh Hodgson 7.2
Joey Leilua 7.0
Jarrod Croker 6.8
Sia Soliola 6.8
Jack Wighton 6.7
Jordan Rapana 6.4
Elliott Whitehead 6.3
Nick Cotric 6.3
Ryan Sutton 6.3
Aidan Sezer 6.0
Bailey Simonsson 6.0
Sam Williams 6.0
Siliva Havili 5.8
Corey Horsburgh 5.8
Dunamis Lui 5.2
Joe Tapine 4.3
JJ Collins 4.0
Hudson Young 3.8

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RedRaider
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » April 27, 2019, 11:28 am

BadnMean wrote:
April 23, 2019, 10:11 pm
RedRaider wrote:
April 23, 2019, 9:30 pm
I'm comfortable that Jacks bat back to the Broncos off a bomb does not count as an error. I am also comfortable that a poor pass which cannot be caught and is soccered by JB on to BJ for a try is not an error. Also that a kick dead in goal is not an error. I am less comfortable that a clear missed tackle on Nikorima that leads to a try is not an error. That leaves the 2nd tackle dropped ball 10 metres from the Broncos line as error and the break soon after when the ball is lost in the tackle as an error. Only 2 errors for Jack according to the judges.
I guess the missed tackle goes down as an MT, TC and LBC already... So it's a mistake but errors are a separate category to that kind?
BnM, Big League magazine this week have Jack with zero missed tackles in the Bronco's match. 'Teflon' Jack.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » April 27, 2019, 11:34 am

gangrenous wrote:
April 23, 2019, 9:01 pm
Makes sense. I was mainly yanking your chain Image

I think you can happily make a case for Wighton/Williams to be 6 or 7 depending on what you value.

You like guys who break games and forgive the errors they make in doing so. You’re a Wighton/BJ man you’ll score them higher than others. You like dependability and consistency, Williams/Croker are going to be higher for you than others.
I think that's a very perceptive comment gangrenous. For me, errors and penalties mean team mates have to clean up for that player. While errors and penalties are always going to happen the goal should be to keep them as low as possible. Imo it should affect a players rating. But I get that everyone looks at players and matches differently. The better sides will capitalize on a stream of errors/penalties and that's why I think it necessary to look to improvement in this area and to rate players accordingly.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by -PJ- » April 27, 2019, 11:36 am

Hey Red, how's it going ?

Mate..do you get the Big League mag every week ?

I don't but I'm hanging out for a Raiders poster and was wondering if you could give me the heads up when to buy the issue with said poster in it..

I'd be forever grateful..
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » April 27, 2019, 11:38 am

Interesting that the Raiders are middle of the pack for missed tackles this year... but they have the best defensive record. It's quite a contrast to last year when missed tackles were relatively low, but defence was poor. I think the big difference is controlling possession... and the the more mobile pack with better lateral movement. They have a lower defensive load (number of tackles required is low) and they are able to scramble better. The team is fitter and can last longer.
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BadnMean
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by BadnMean » April 27, 2019, 11:44 am

RedRaider wrote:
April 27, 2019, 11:28 am
BadnMean wrote:
April 23, 2019, 10:11 pm
RedRaider wrote:
April 23, 2019, 9:30 pm
I'm comfortable that Jacks bat back to the Broncos off a bomb does not count as an error. I am also comfortable that a poor pass which cannot be caught and is soccered by JB on to BJ for a try is not an error. Also that a kick dead in goal is not an error. I am less comfortable that a clear missed tackle on Nikorima that leads to a try is not an error. That leaves the 2nd tackle dropped ball 10 metres from the Broncos line as error and the break soon after when the ball is lost in the tackle as an error. Only 2 errors for Jack according to the judges.
I guess the missed tackle goes down as an MT, TC and LBC already... So it's a mistake but errors are a separate category to that kind?
BnM, Big League magazine this week have Jack with zero missed tackles in the Bronco's match. 'Teflon' Jack.
Quality publication that. Hopefully no Sea Eagles can stick to him tomorrow. I'm backing him in for a try in a Raiders win.

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Steve Walters
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » April 27, 2019, 1:28 pm

-PJ- wrote:
April 27, 2019, 11:36 am
Hey Red, how's it going ?

Mate..do you get the Big League mag every week ?

I don't but I'm hanging out for a Raiders poster and was wondering if you could give me the heads up when to buy the issue with said poster in it..

I'd be forever grateful..
Hi PJ, it's going well and so is the rest of me.

Yes I do buy Big League magazine every week. The Raiders haven't featured on the poster page so far. Happy to let you know when they do.

I keep the entire season of Big League magazine and then find a person who's team has won the grandfinal and offer the seasons mags to them. So far every supporter I've contacted has wanted to keep the winning Season's Big League mag. One day, soon I hope, I'll get to keep them.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by -PJ- » April 27, 2019, 1:58 pm

Cheers Red..

Let me know so I can send Mrs PJ to the paper shop !!
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » April 29, 2019, 1:22 pm

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"It's not going to be the only game we lose. We'll handle this now together and get back home and start preparing for next week. We got outplayed today from a team perspective. We'll just keep our heads down, think about the next opposition and don't think too far ahead."

"Considering the amount of penalties they got – and that's not to say they were all wrong – I thought we did a pretty good job defensively. We didn't defend anywhere as near as good as we have. I thought to be only 4-3 in tries, considering the weight of penalties, was not too bad."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.


Round 7 2019. Manly Sea Eagles 24 - Canberra Raiders 20. It was ultimately a disappointing performance from the Canberra Raiders - given the high standards of the opening six rounds and given the bright start, which saw the Raiders go to an early 12-0 lead.

The Raiders were disrupted by the loss of Jordan Rapana - after he damaged his ribs in a stunning try saving tackle in the first half. It impacted the Raiders in two ways. First, they missed his work early in sets, taking up the ball. Secondly, and more importantly, it disrupted the defence - and more than we might have expected. The Raiders had to shift John Bateman to centre, with Joey Leilua shifting to the wing in the first half. In the second half, Cotric switched to Rapana's wing, with Jarrod Croker shifting to Cotric's left wing position, allowing Leilua to move back to centre. The Sea Eagles attacked the disrupted edges successfully. Shifting Bateman wider also meant he wasn't cleaning up in defence further in field.



But, the Manly Sea Eagles were more seriously disrupted by the loss of half back Daly Cherry-Evans early in the second half - and that makes the loss all the more disappointing. Cherry-Evans had been playing well, extremely well. And when he suffered an ankle injury in an Elliott Whitehead tackle - and one on one strip - we might have expected the Raiders would go on to win. The remaining Sea Eagles had other ideas. Marty Taupau and Raiders junior Lachlan Croker stepped up for Manly. The Sea Eagles produced off load after off load - and the Raiders' defence was repeatedly unable to wrap up the ball and stop the second phase play. There were just too many missed tackles. The Raiders were also ill disciplined, and gave away far too many penalties - and that just added to the Sea Eagles' momentum.

Coach Ricky Stuart correctly pointed out that yesterday's game is not the only one the Raiders will lose between now and the end of the year. No team can expect to go through a season winning every single week in modern rugby league. A four tries to three result, a four point loss - it could have been a whole lot worse given the possession and momentum for the Sea Eagles in the second half. The Raiders scored two minutes before full time and then threatened to score again. You have to wonder what might have been if that try had been scored five minutes earlier, whether the Raiders might not have come through with a winning try in the final stages. But it was not to be.

It was clear that the Raiders looked tired last week in the win over the Broncos. The Raiders have played a month of football at very high intensity, particularly in defence. That probably told on the team's performance at Brookvale. Hopefully, the team can get some rest and recuperate this week, prior to the clash with the Panthers - because the Raiders' defence will need to be back to its best against the attack of the Panthers, which showed its potential on the weekend.



Stats that mattered? The Sea Eagles ended with a 51 per cent share of possession, after having almost 60 per cent of the ball in the second half, and over 55 per cent of the territory. The Sea Eagles had the better completion rate (85 versus 82 per cent), and there was a serious imbalance in penalties conceded (Raiders conceding 13, Sea Eagles 5) and to a lesser degee in errors (Raiders 9, Sea Eagles 6). In the second half, the Raiders conceded a massive eight penalties (Sea Eagles two).

The Sea Eagles had a very big advantage in runs made (196-156), running metres (1732-1557), post contact metres (373-316), kick return metres (179-168), off loads (15-6), line breaks (7-4) and tackle breaks (a massive 51 for the Sea Eagles, the Raiders 24). The Raiders made more average metres per set (47-43). There just weren't enough Raiders sets. The Raiders produced more kicking metres (601-395), but that wasn't enough to make up for the running metres conceded, and to get them out of their own end of the field. Canberra forced two line drop outs, Manly one. Both teams produced a 40/20, though neither resulted in tries.

The Raiders had to make a lot more tackles (356-281) - and missed a whole lot more (a massive 51, compared with 24 for the Sea Eagles). The Raiders also made a lot more ineffective tackles (25-10).

When you add all that up, you can see why it could have easily been a much bigger scoreline in favour of the Sea Eagles. That is some consolation. The other consolation is the Raiders are still in the top four, with just two losses and five wins after seven rounds. However, there are some tough games in prospect in the next three weeks - the Panthers, and then the Roosters and Rabbitohs. If the Raiders can jag a couple of wins from those games, they'll still be well placed.

Memorable moments? The Raiders' early tries to Jack Wighton were both very good, showing how damaging he can be as a runner at five eighth. But perhaps just as good was his try saving defence in the 59th minute, holding up Corey Waddell in the in goal. It could have saved the game... had things gone a little differently in the final 20 minutes. The other great defensive moment was Jordan Rapana's tackle on Jorge Taufua mid way through the first half, taking him over the sideline - but sadly damaging his ribs in the process. It was a critical time, negating a great 40/20 kick from from Daley Cherry-Evans.

The thing that most nags my memory happened just before half time. The Raiders had a chance to take a penalty goal - and push the score to 16-6. I don't much like the tactic of "taking the two". But in retrospect, the call from the bench to do so proved to be the correct one. That call was ignored, and hortly after, a Josh Hodgson kick turned possession over to the Sea Eagles. Very soon after that, Lachlan Croker scored a try. It cut the Raiders' advantage at the break to just two points. The Manly crowd gave their team a standing ovation as they came from the field at half time. They knew a 14-12 scoreline was just about as good as a lead for the home team.

The other "what if" moment came in the 71st minute, when John Bateman sent Jarrod Croker on a great run and was held up in the in goal. If he'd scored, it would have given the Raiders a much better chance at stealing the match, late. Bateman was at it again, just before full time, setting up a very good try to Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad with smart kicking. But it proved to be too little, too late.

Best performers?

Jack Wighton. Two tries, eight runs for 96 metres, one line break, one tackle break, 15 tackles, 94 per cent tackle efficiency, three kicks for 96 metres, one forced line drop out.

Jarrod Croker. Four goals, 12 runs for 152 metres, 34 post contact metres, two line breaks, one try assist, three tackle breaks.

John Bateman. Twelve runs for 113 metres, 23 post contact metres, one line break assist, one try assist, five tackle breaks, two offloads, 21 tackles.

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 44, Ryan Sutton 34, Jack Murchie 34
Most metres gained: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 166, Nick Cotric 154, Jarrod Croker 152

Siliva Havili, John Bateman and Josh Papalii broke the 100m mark amongst the forwards.

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7
Nick Cotric 7
Jarrod Croker 8
Joey Leilua 5
Jordan Rapana 4
Jack Wighton 8
Sam Williams 6
Josh Papalii 7
Josh Hodgson 6
Dunamis Lui 6
John Bateman 8
Elliott Whitehead 7
Ryan Sutton 7

Siliva Havili 7
Emre Guler 5
Sia Soliola 6
Jack Murchie 6

Do you agree or disagree with the ratings? Let us know!

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gergreg » April 29, 2019, 1:47 pm

In before Red complaining about Williams score!

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by simo » April 29, 2019, 1:54 pm

Williams at best a 5 (he wasnt at best)
Dont delete this GE

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by SeeBee101 » April 29, 2019, 4:54 pm

Murchie was a 4 from me. Don't quite understand all the fuss about him. He hasn't done anything special at the Mounties for the past two seasons. Hopefully we will see the return of the Horse or Young this week.

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » April 29, 2019, 5:28 pm

Murchie did a lot of work in defence - though he missed some tackles too. I can see why someone might say a 6 is a bit generous, but a four would be harsh. He ended up putting in 60 minutes, which is a lot for him at first grade. I think he might have put on a bit too much size... his body is no doubt still developing. Plenty of upside for him.
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 2, 2019, 4:00 pm

Through green eyes: Of rucks and penalties

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The Canberra Raiders suffered their second loss of the season last Sunday against the Manly Sea Eagles. Most would have expected that the Raiders would go on with the match, when Manly half Daly Cherry-Evans left the field with an ankle injury very early in the second half.

Instead, Manly produced a lot of offloads, a lot of second phase play, and got a lot of momentum. And as is often the case, the team with momentum gets even more momentum, with a a flow of penalties. The home team had almost 60 per cent of the ball and received eight penalties to two for the Raiders. The penalties ended up at 13-5 in favour of the Sea Eagles.

In Round 6, there was considerable comment around the speed of the ruck after the Bulldogs spent a lot of time lying on the opposition in the clash with the Rabbitohs. South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett was critical of the tactic.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart wasn't critical of the refereeing after the match. Desriably, he's been very careful to avoid that in 2019. He was asked if the referees had clamped down on the ruck speed in Round 7 because of Bennett's comments:

"Considering the amount of penalties they got – and that's not to say they were all wrong – I thought we did a pretty good job defensively. We didn't defend anywhere as near as good as we have. I thought to be only 4-3 in tries, considering the weight of penalties, was not too bad."

"In one or two instances there was some penalties there on discipline but I haven't told them anything this week in regards to changing anything in the ruck… so it was probably our turn."


Referees boss Graham Annesley, however, had a lot to say about the topic in his Monday media briefing.

The NRL officials have been very keen to dispel the view that some teams are taking advantage of the new approach to refereeing in 2019 - which is to keep the whistle in the pocket as much as possible, and allow the game to "flow". I've written before about how I think some teams testing the referees to the limit on ruck speed and off side.

On Monday, Graham Annesley again produced some statistics on the speed of the play the ball. On average, he says that the speed of the ruck is faster than in previous years (after Round 7 for each year):

2016 3.60 seconds
2017 3.56 seconds
2018 3.59 seconds
2019 3.45 seconds

That's all very well... but that masks what individual clubs are doing. So it was particularly interesting this week to see him also reveal statistics by club. These statistics showed the percentage of of play the balls (PTB) in excess of four seconds, for each team in defence from Round 7... and penalties in the PTB as share of the total.

Roosters (17.9 per cent) V Dragons (14.8 per cent) 4 of 10 penalties for PTB infringements
Storm (28.9 per cent) V Warriors (17.9 per cent) 6 of 9
Bulldogs (11 per cent) V Cowboys (13 per cent) 6 of 10
Panthers (22.7 per cent) V Rabbitohs (12.9 per cent) 6 of 14
Tigers (29.4 per cent) V Titans (38.3 per cent) 12 of 20
Broncos (33.3 per cent) V Sharks (24.8 per cent) 7 of 9
Sea Eagles (23.1 per cent) V Raiders (31.7 per cent) 11 of 18
Knights (34.9 per cent) V Eels (31.4 per cent) 9 of 16

The broad conclusion Graham Annesley was making was that where players are slowing the ruck, there are more PTB penalties and total penalties.

In Round 6, around 37-38 per cent of the the PTBs were in excess of four seconds when the Bulldogs were defending. In that match, the Bulldogs conceded 12 penalties, the Rabbitohs eight. In Round 7, he pointed to games involving the Titans, Raiders, Knights and Eels - teams with over 30 per cent of PTBs in excess of four seconds when defending - as ones with high PTB and total penalties. At face value, they show why the Raiders are a team in the officials' sights on ruck speed - at least last week.

One of the most striking things about this data is how forensic the NRL officials have become in monitoring what is going on in the game - and how closely they are monitoring individual clubs. The fans used to have arguments about whether referees had "tip sheets" on clubs. Forget that. It appears that there is a whole other level of analysis that the officials have at their disposal these days. I'm not sure if that is a good thing, or not.

But there are some other striking things about the data. Let's do another cut. Let's rank the teams in order of those who slowed down the PTBs the most in Round 7 (according to the referees' metric) and compare that to the number of penalties conceded by each team and the average penalties conceded per game this year. I'd add PTB penalties, but I just don't have that data by team.

Titans (38.3 per cent) 10 and 7.9
Knights (34.9 per cent) 8 and 6.3
Broncos (33.3 per cent) 3 and 4.7
Raiders (31.7 per cent) 13 and 7.7
Eels (31.4 per cent) 8 and 4.3
Tigers (29.4 per cent) 10 and 5.4
Storm (28.9 per cent) 3 and 5.4
Sharks (24.8 per cent) 6 and 6.9
Sea Eagles (23.1 per cent) 5 and 7
Panthers (22.7 per cent) 8 and 7.3
Roosters (17.9 per cent) 8 and 6.4
Warriors (17.9 per cent) 6 and 5.9
Dragons (14.8 per cent) 8 and 6.1
Cowboys (13 per cent) 4 and 5.4
Rabbitohs (12.9 per cent) 6 and 5.6
Bulldogs (11 per cent) 6 and 6.3

The data shows the most remarkable thing. The least disciplined team last week was the Raiders. Yet they slowed down the PTB less than one of the two most disciplined teams, the Broncos. Graham Annesley actually highlighted the Storm as a team amongst those who were slowing the PTB (around 30 per cent), yet they were the other most disciplined team. The Titans and Knights slowed the PTB much more than the Raiders, but were also penalised less.

It looks like there were a couple of holes in Graham Annesley's analysis.

Now, there are other variables. The referees reward dominant tackles and allow players to lie in the ruck longer. Teams with momentum get rewarded in the ruck. But you'd have to think that something else was going on, on the weekend. That's right... I suspect it is the old, unrecognised bias. The officials are not being deliberately biased... but a body of psychological studies show that sports officiating is influenced by the "star power" of athletes and teams. They get the better of judgement calls, simply because they have the reputation of "being better" or "being good at what they do". The Storm get away with lying in the ruck more than other teams, because "they're good in the ruck".

The Raiders now rank as the second least disciplined team in the competition. I should hasten to add that they don't do badly in terms of penalties received. They rank fifth in the league, with seven per match on average. But after the weekend, they now receive less penalties than they concede. What can the Raiders do? They just have to be better. The only thing they can do is focus on the things they control. And that doesn't include the officiating.

***

The Raiders head to Wagga Wagga for a meeting with the Penrith Panthers on Saturday. Canberra has taken a home game "away" and I can see the arguments in favour of doing that. But personally, I think there are other ways the Raiders could support rugby league in the region... and I don't support taking NRL games to poorer quality venues, and which guarantee lower crowds. I'm also not sure the Raiders can really afford to lose their home ground advantage in this contest. In a choice between Canberra and Wagga, there's no doubt about which ground the Panthers would prefer to be playing. It's a danger game for Canberra. The Panthers play a brand of footy that the Raiders have found difficult to contain in the past two years. The Raiders will need to get back to what they were doing in the first six rounds of 2019 if they're to do it on Saturday. But if both teams play to their potential, Canberra should be too strong. I am tipping the Raiders by four at "home".

***

The Canberra Raiders Jersey Flegg team faces the Panthers in the warm up game at Wagga, while the Raiders NSW Cup affiliate Mounties play the Panthers at their home ground, Aubrey Keech Reserve, in the south west of Sydney. The Canberra Raiders Cup heads into Round 4 this weekend, with three games on Saturday and one on Sunday. Unfortunately the Saturday matches clash with the Raiders, but you can keep an eye on the top of the table clash between the Tuggeranong Bushrangers and Goulburn Bulldogs via the Bar TV Sports live stream. And there is another great clash between the West Belconnen Warriors and Queanbeyan Blues at Kippax on Sunday. Hopefully, new Blues recruit, and former Raider, Joel Monaghan, will make an appearance. So no matter where you are... Wagga, Canberra or Sydney, there' a match you can head out to!



***

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the match against the Sea Eagles. Let us know if you agree with the ratings... or not!

Total points

John Bateman 54
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 51
Josh Papalii 51
Jarrod Croker 49
Josh Hodgson 49
Jack Wighton 48
Joey Leilua 47
Sia Soliola 47
Elliott Whitehead 45
Nick Cotric 45
Ryan Sutton 45
Siliva Havili 42
Dunamis Lui 37
Jordan Rapana 36
Sam Williams 30
Corey Horsburgh 23
Hudson Young 15
Joe Tapine 13
Aidan Sezer 12
Bailey Simonsson 6
Jack Murchie 6
Emre Guler 5
JJ Collins 4

Average points per match

John Bateman 7.7
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.3
Josh Papalii 7.3
Jarrod Croker 7.0
Josh Hodgson 7.0
Jack Wighton 6.9
Joey Leilua 6.7
Sia Soliola 6.7
Elliott Whitehead 6.4
Nick Cotric 6.4
Ryan Sutton 6.4
Aidan Sezer 6.0
Bailey Simonsson 6.0
Jack Murchie 6.0
Jordan Rapana 6.0
Sam Williams 6.0
Siliva Havili 6.0
Corey Horsburgh 5.8
Dunamis Lui 5.3
Emre Guler 5.0
Joe Tapine 4.3
JJ Collins 4.0
Hudson Young 3.8

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If you can put some sentences together and you'd like to write a regular column for The Greenhouse, let us know! We are keen to have more contributing writers!
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TongueFTW
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by TongueFTW » May 2, 2019, 4:11 pm

Referees should not be given historical data on teams' ruck speed. They should either be given "live" data, or nothing at all. Dominant/surrender tackles need to be excluded from any "live" data given to them. They need to call games as they see them, not with preconceived notions.

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The Rickman
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by The Rickman » May 2, 2019, 4:31 pm

God, we need to stop whinging about this sort of thing and just get on with it.

We were poor against Manly after getting out to a good lead, that's all that needs to be said.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the referees.
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 2, 2019, 5:51 pm

The Rickman wrote:
May 2, 2019, 4:31 pm
God, we need to stop whinging about this sort of thing and just get on with it.

We were poor against Manly after getting out to a good lead, that's all that needs to be said.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the referees.
I might have agreed with that, if the referees' boss had not tried to tell me that the grass is blue and the sky is green. There's a lot of self justification, and the referees shouldn't expect to be above all criticism.

I'm not saying the Raiders lost because of the refereeing. I'm right behind the view that the team cannot ever use the officiating as an "excuse". We've been guilty of the latter before, when the focus should have been on accountability for the Raiders' own performance. Indeed, that's why I concluded that the Raiders' response just needs to be... we can't control that, we just need to be better.

But, in my view, it is completely reasonable for people who choose to comment on the game in general to point out we're being sold rubbish by the NRL. It is also completely reasonable for those who comment on the game to expect that the referees do better.
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gergreg
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gergreg » May 2, 2019, 6:05 pm

GE, I normally watch Annesleys analysis but too busy this week. Did he provide some background on how the 'timing' for the PTB speeds is determined? Is it from when the player is called held or tackled yo the ground? I'll just leave the Storm out of this for a moment because I think they are far and away the worst offenders but the surprising one for me is the Bulldogs, they have been really pushing the limits in the ruck the last few weeks, but it doesn't really show in that data.

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 2, 2019, 6:21 pm

gergreg wrote:
May 2, 2019, 6:05 pm
GE, I normally watch Annesleys analysis but too busy this week. Did he provide some background on how the 'timing' for the PTB speeds is determined? Is it from when the player is called held or tackled yo the ground? I'll just leave the Storm out of this for a moment because I think they are far and away the worst offenders but the surprising one for me is the Bulldogs, they have been really pushing the limits in the ruck the last few weeks, but it doesn't really show in that data.

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He doesn't explain how they calculate it. But he did say how he'd made special mention of the Bulldogs and how they'd approached the 40 per cent mark on this metric in Round 6, but turned it around massively in Round 7, after the criticism.
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gergreg » May 2, 2019, 7:38 pm

So meaningless stats. I hope they give more detail to the clubs.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by zim » May 2, 2019, 7:50 pm

Loved the write up GE. I prefer to stay away from there debates but it was still an interesting read.

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 2, 2019, 7:51 pm

gergreg wrote:
May 2, 2019, 7:38 pm
So meaningless stats. I hope they give more detail to the clubs.

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Not sure why you say they're meaningless. They'll measure them the same for every club.
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gergreg » May 2, 2019, 8:05 pm

I'm not having a go at you but they are meaningless. There is a big difference between if they are judged from the time held is called/player placed on the ground to when contact is initially made. As I've mentioned before some teams are expert at grabbing an attacker and twisting them around like a bottle top and then when held is called throwing them to the ground.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 2, 2019, 8:25 pm

gergreg wrote:
May 2, 2019, 8:05 pm
I'm not having a go at you but they are meaningless. There is a big difference between if they are judged from the time held is called/player placed on the ground to when contact is initially made. As I've mentioned before some teams are expert at grabbing an attacker and twisting them around like a bottle top and then when held is called throwing them to the ground.

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Regardless, the teams you expect are still slowing the PTB the most... maybe EXCEPT the Raiders! :)

It would be difficult to interpret it as initial contact... as the tackle isn't completed. There'd be no post contact metres statistic if it were the case. In any event, I'm happy for an NRL statistician to correct me!
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by edwahu » May 2, 2019, 8:30 pm

gergreg wrote:
May 2, 2019, 6:05 pm
GE, I normally watch Annesleys analysis but too busy this week. Did he provide some background on how the 'timing' for the PTB speeds is determined? Is it from when the player is called held or tackled yo the ground? I'll just leave the Storm out of this for a moment because I think they are far and away the worst offenders but the surprising one for me is the Bulldogs, they have been really pushing the limits in the ruck the last few weeks, but it doesn't really show in that data.

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The player being called held and tackled to the ground is the same thing, the point the tackle is completed. I believe the time is measured from that point unti the ball clears the tackled players foot in the PTB.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gergreg » May 2, 2019, 10:06 pm


edwahu wrote:
gergreg wrote:
May 2, 2019, 6:05 pm
GE, I normally watch Annesleys analysis but too busy this week. Did he provide some background on how the 'timing' for the PTB speeds is determined? Is it from when the player is called held or tackled yo the ground? I'll just leave the Storm out of this for a moment because I think they are far and away the worst offenders but the surprising one for me is the Bulldogs, they have been really pushing the limits in the ruck the last few weeks, but it doesn't really show in that data.

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The player being called held and tackled to the ground is the same thing, the point the tackle is completed. I believe the time is measured from that point unti the ball clears the tackled players foot in the PTB.
Yes I know it's the same, sorry I didn't word or phrase it correctly. I guess like you and GE state it is probably impossible to 'start the clock' from point of contact because of offloads. So a good wrestling team that takes 4 seconds from the time tackle is called til the ball is played could have wrestled the player to the ground for over 4 seconds. Gives their side 8 seconds to reset.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 2, 2019, 10:12 pm

gergreg wrote:
May 2, 2019, 10:06 pm
edwahu wrote:
gergreg wrote:
May 2, 2019, 6:05 pm
GE, I normally watch Annesleys analysis but too busy this week. Did he provide some background on how the 'timing' for the PTB speeds is determined? Is it from when the player is called held or tackled yo the ground? I'll just leave the Storm out of this for a moment because I think they are far and away the worst offenders but the surprising one for me is the Bulldogs, they have been really pushing the limits in the ruck the last few weeks, but it doesn't really show in that data.

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The player being called held and tackled to the ground is the same thing, the point the tackle is completed. I believe the time is measured from that point unti the ball clears the tackled players foot in the PTB.
Yes I know it's the same, sorry I didn't word or phrase it correctly. I guess like you and GE state it is probably impossible to 'start the clock' from point of contact because of offloads. So a good wrestling team that takes 4 seconds from the time tackle is called til the ball is played could have wrestled the player to the ground for over 4 seconds. Gives their side 8 seconds to reset.

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But that is actually fair... isn't it? The teams with the ball still have a chance to offload and make post contact metres. The defending team can't reset as they ball is still potentially in play.
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gergreg » May 2, 2019, 11:06 pm

You get a bloke with two men wrestling up top and one around the waist the ball isn't coming out. Cam Smith rarely makes first contact these days but is generally third man in locking up the arm or neck and unless the attacking side has their forwards playing 1 or 2 passes off the ruck he'll do it all game - and what is his tackle efficiency?
I don't mind the stats so long as they also do stats from the time forward momentum is stopped to the play the ball. I just think that is a better indicator of sides manipulating the ruck because you could also do stats on attacking players diving to the ground for quick play the balls, which they sometimes interpret these days as submissive plays and allow the defence more time.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » May 3, 2019, 2:03 pm

-PJ- wrote:
April 27, 2019, 11:36 am
Hey Red, how's it going ?

Mate..do you get the Big League mag every week ?

I don't but I'm hanging out for a Raiders poster and was wondering if you could give me the heads up when to buy the issue with said poster in it..

I'd be forever grateful..
No luck this week PJ - Big League poster is the Sharks

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gergreg » May 3, 2019, 3:08 pm

RedRaider wrote:
-PJ- wrote:
April 27, 2019, 11:36 am
Hey Red, how's it going ?

Mate..do you get the Big League mag every week ?

I don't but I'm hanging out for a Raiders poster and was wondering if you could give me the heads up when to buy the issue with said poster in it..

I'd be forever grateful..
No luck this week PJ - Big League poster is the Sharks
GE is burning the 20 issues he purchased as we speak.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by The Rickman » May 3, 2019, 3:21 pm

Big League obviously hates us as much as the NRL schedulers do!!
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