2019 in review - Joe Tapine

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Don Furner
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2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by greeneyed »

2019 in review - Joe Tapine


This is the thirteenth instalment of 2019 in review. As usual, now the Raiders' season is over - the best for 25 years - we are reviewing all 26 players who pulled on a green jersey in first grade this year. So far, we've looked at Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Nick Cotric, Jarrod Croker, Joey Leilua, Jordan Rapana, Jack Wighton, Aidan Sezer, Josh Papalii, Josh Hodgson, Sia Soliola, John Bateman and Elliott Whitehead.

Joe Tapine made 17 appearances for the Raiders in 2019, a little over half the Green Machine's matches. In his first five games of the year, he started in the second row or on the bench - before transitioning to lock in Round 13. His season was significantly affected by injury. He suffered a thumb injury which saw him miss Rounds 3 and 4... and then left the field in his comeback game against the Eels with serious ankle ligament damage. That kept him sidelined until the Round 11 loss to the Cowboys. He also missed the final three games of the regular season with a rib injury.

Tapine missed a month of football in 2018 due to suspension - but he didn’t miss a game for the Raiders due to suspension in 2019. He was sin binned in the remarkable Round 22 win over the Storm, after throwing a punch, but only fined for the offence. He was charged for a chicken wing in the Week 1 finals game against the Storm, but avoided a ban after an early guilty plea. An incident in the Grand Final saw him suspended for a week - but that suspension was served in the end of season representative matches.

With a shift to the middle - and with three games affected by injury/sin binning - Tapine spent less time on the field. He averaged just over 45 minutes game time per match in 2019, compared with almost 80 minutes in 2018. That saw all of his numbers drop this season. He scored just one try (six in 2018) and posted only three try involvements (seven in 2018). His running metres per carry dropped (8.6, ranked equal fifth amongst the Raiders forwards), as did his average metres gained per match (73, ranked seventh). His tackle breaks fell from 59 in 2018 (ranked first amongst the Raiders forwards) to 21 (ranked fifth). His line breaks fell from seven in 2018 (ranked equal first amongst the Raiders forwards) to to two (ranked equal fifth). His attacking and running statistics were mostly outside the top 20 NRL locks.

Consistent with his lower minutes, his defensive numbers fell as well. He made just over 21 tackles per game (ranked sixth amongst the Raiders forwards), compared with 31 in 2018 (ranked fourth). However, his tackle efficiency rate improved (92 per cent, compared with 86 per cent in 2018). His average missed tackles fell (1 per game, compared with over three in 2018), while his try causes fell from 12 to just one. His line break causes fell from 19 to just two. The shift from the edge to the middle no doubt helped those numbers. Tapine's tackle efficiency rate was not far from the benchmark amongst NRL locks and he was amongst the best locks for fewest try and line break causes per match. His average tackles per match were low, compared to his NRL peers at lock.

Tapine's error count was very low, and the number of penalties he conceded fell too (from 18 to 11). That was still relatively high on a per match basis amongst the Raiders forwards (equal second with Elliott Whitehead, behind Josh Hodgson).

Through the year I rated Tapine an average of 5.9/10 - with his overall rating below reflecting a fair bit of time on the sidelines. His ratings in a number of matches were impacted by his early departure through injury - and there was at least one match in which he had not returned from injury to full fitness. I rated him an "8" in one match, the Round 20 victory over the Warriors in Auckland. In that fixture he scored a try and made 18 runs for 172 metres, 66 post contact metres, 1 line break, two tackle breaks and 25 tackles for an 89.3 per cent tackle efficiency rate. That was the only match in which he registered points in Fans' Choice Player of the Year voting. However, he also performed strongly in the Round 17 win over the Dragons, the loss to the Roosters in Round 21 and the Grand Final. I was probably a bit harsh not rating him an "8" in more than one match.

Tapine was selected in the New Zealand squad for the Kiwis' end of season Test matches - but missed the Test against Australia at Wollongong due to suspension. He started at lock in both Tests against the Great Britain Lions - and got the bragging rights up against Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead and John Bateman. He performed particularly strongly in the second win over the Lions, breaking the 100 metres gained mark and making nearly 40 tackles.

I think Tapine has more impact in the second row, particularly in attack, and the shift to lock has blunted that. But his defence did benefit from the move into the middle this year. His 2019 was probably not as strong as 2018. But the more I think about it, the more I believe that the Raiders team as a whole was better for shifting John Bateman into the second row and Tapine to lock. I've got to admit, I wasn't at all convinced of that at the start of the year, quite the contrary. But you've got to hand it to the coaches on this one.

How did you rate Joe Tapine's 2019? Tell us below.

Joe Tapine's 2019: 5.5/10

2019 Statistics: (Stats from Fox Sports Lab)
Games: 17
Average minutes: 45.2
Points: 8
Tries: 2
Try assists: 0
Try contributions: 1
Total try involvements: 3
Total kicks: 0
Kick metres: 0
Total runs: 144
All run metres: 1242
Average metres per carry: 8.6
Average metres per game: 73
Tackle breaks: 21
Offloads: 6
Line breaks: 2
Line break assists: 1
Tackles: 364
Average tackles per game: 21.4
1 on 1 tackles: 11
Missed tackles: 17
Average missed tackles per game: 1
Tackle efficiency: 92 per cent
Try causes: 1
Line break causes: 2
Errors: 4
Penalties conceded: 11
Sin bins: 1

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Laurie Daley
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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by edwahu »

5/10. Maybe harsh but despite having some great games he continues to be inconsistent.

At 26 early next year the time to talk about his potential is well past.

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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by Matt »

Definitely a guy who under performed on ability. I think 5.5-6 is about right

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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by The Nickman »

My original thoughts were 6/10, but can't complain about a 5 or 5.5.

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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by zim »

Once he strung some games together he was looking like his old self. Looked comfortable in the middle towards the end of the year. Expecting a better 2020.

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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by -PJ- »

The more he plays, the better he goes.

His final series was just aces.

He gets a 6 but I'm hoping for a couple of massive years starting March.
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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by sprintman »

Must step up next year

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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by Seiffert82 »

His hit on Addo-Carr in the Qualifying Final changed the entire finals series. His tackle on Williams got the ball rolling for us in the Preliminary final vs Souths.

When on song he's an absolute weapon. I think he's still adjusting to playing bigger minutes in the middle. 8.6m per carry is good, but he can certainly run with even more impact with the ball and has some quality footwork which we don't see enough of.

When you look at our squad and ask the question which players have improvement in them for us to go to that next level, Cotric, Leilua and Tapine top that list.

5.0/10 seems fair.
Last edited by Seiffert82 on November 20, 2019, 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by RedRaider »

4.5/10. Has too many lazy or brain explosion plays in him. I really hope he never turns his back when defending in our goal mouth as he did in the Grand Final to gift the Chooks an early try. Throwing punches and chicken wing tackles are things he is yet to grow out of. I think he is a bench impact player imo. We have a strong starting pack with (or due to injury this year) without him.

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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by Northern Raider »

Very good in patches mixed up with injury, poor discipline and inconsistent effort. 5/10 which includes bonus point for tackle on Addo-Carr.
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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by BadnMean »

As some of you may recall, I have been watching 2019 in review during the off season. Not in order, just on whims.

Just watching the SOuffs semi- Tapine smashes Surgess in the 5th minute, dropped ball results. Tapine smashes their FB in the 12th minute, dropped ball results. He racks up some yards too in the latter season stages. I think he contributes more than he gets credit for at times.

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Re: 2019 in review - Joe Tapine

Post by Seiffert82 »

He makes his fair share of big plays. Always has.

It's just the other 75 minutes of the game which he needs to take care of.

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