2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

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greeneyed
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2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by greeneyed » November 8, 2019, 1:23 pm

2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

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This is the fifth 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 and Joey Leilua.

In 2016, there's no doubt in my mind that Jordan Rapana was the best winger in the NRL, unjustly overlooked as the Dally M Winger of the Year. In 2017, he deservedly won that award and shared, with Nick Cotric, the Canberra Raiders Fans' Choice Player of the Year. For mine, he was the best player in green that year. He was still one of the Raiders' best in 2018, finishing as Best Back, alongside Jack Wighton, in Fans' Choice voting. But there is no doubt, he was not at his best in 2019.

Rapana probably played a good part of the season just passed, hampered by niggling injury. The Raiders' more conservative style probably didn't suit him that well either. Both would have had an impact on his numbers.

He dislocated his shoulder in New Zealand's second Test against England at Anfield late in 2018, requiring surgery. He was expected to spend six months on the sidelines, missing almost half the season. The Raiders considered an application to the NRL for salary cap relief. But in the end, he returned much earlier than expected, in the Round 2 clash against the Melbourne Storm in Canberra.

That wasn't the end of his injury concerns, however, after he suffered a rib cartilage injury in Round 7 against the Sea Eagles, and a posterior cruciate ligament injury against the Roosters in Round 10. His miraculous healing abilities saw him return to the field earlier than expected in both cases. But evenutally, repeated injuries tend to catch up on players.

Rapana ended up making 21 appearances in 2019 - the same number as 2018. He scored seven tries, down from the 10 he scored in 2018 - and well below his record breaking tally of 23 tries in 2016. He ranked fifth at the club for tries scored, and was not in the top 20 wingers in that department. His total try involvements also fell to 10 (18 in 2018).

In 2017, Rapana was equal first in the NRL for line breaks (27) and second in the NRL for tackle breaks - at an average of over six per match. In 2018, he ranked just outside the top 10 players for line breaks (17) and just outside the top 15 players for tackle breaks (just under four per match). In 2019 he ranked on the edge of the top 20 players for line breaks (13) and outside the top 50 players for tackle breaks (2.5 per match).

His work rate out of dummy half was still high, ranking eighth in the NRL for dummy half runs (fourth in 2018). However, he was not making as many metres with the ball in hand (107 metres per match in 2019, compared with 133 metres in 2018) and overall, there is no doubt his attacking strike rate was down this season.

Rapana halved his error count this year - something that goes hand in hand with the Raiders' more conservative style in attack - and he improved his discipline, conceding just six penalties and spending no time in the sin bin - after being binned three times in 2018. His defensive statistics improved overall, conceding nine try causes, compared with 16 in 2018. His missed tackle count fell to one per game, but his tackle count fell too, and he maintained a 73 per cent tackle efficiency rate.

I rated Rapana an average of 6.1/10 through the year. I rated him an "8" in one match, the Round 4 victory over the Cowboys. Jordan Rapana. In that game - his 100th in the NRL - he produced two tries, 18 runs for 178 metres, 47 post contact metres, two line breaks, one try assist, four tackle breaks, three dummy half runs, two tackles. He was my man of the match in that game, but didn't get man of the match honours in Fans' Choice voting. It was the only match in which he received Fans' Choice points. I've rated him a "6" for the season overall.



It looks like 2019 will be the last year for Jordan Rapana in the famous green jersey. At season's end, the 30 year old signed with a Japanese rugby union team, after the Raiders could not fit his desired deal within the salary cap. Rapana would have liked to return to the Green Machine on a short term deal in 2020, once his union commitments are over - but it looks like the NRL will stand in the way of that plan. If we don't see him again in a Raiders jersey... it is genuinely "thanks for the memories, Jordan".

Rapana has played 113 games for the Green Machine. He and Joey Leilua - Leipana - will go down in history as one of Canberra's most lethal centre-wing partnerships. In his 100th Raiders game against the Tigers, Rapana did what he does best - scoring the Canberra Raiders Fans' Choice Try of the Year. He's made a wonderful contribution to the club.

How did you rate Jordan Rapana's 2019? Tell us below.

Jordan Rapana's 2019: 6/10

2019 Statistics: (Stats from Fox Sports Lab)
Games: 21
Average minutes: 74.9
Points: 28
Tries: 7
Try assists: 2
Try contributions: 1
Total try involvements: 10
Total kicks: 7
Kick metres: 103
40/20’s: 0
Total runs: 275
All run metres: 2259
Average metres per carry: 8.2
Average metres per game: 107
Tackle breaks: 52
Offloads: 9
Line breaks: 13
Line break assists: 1
Tackles: 85
Average tackles per game: 4
1 on 1 tackles: 9
Missed tackles: 22
Average missed tackles per game: 1
Tackle efficiency: 73 per cent
Try causes: 9
Errors: 15
Penalties conceded: 6
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edwahu
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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by edwahu » November 8, 2019, 2:34 pm

6/10 is fair. He was still a solid contributor even with his obvious loss of pace.

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Matt
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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by Matt » November 8, 2019, 2:40 pm

Another of our outside backs in the 5.5-6 range for mine. Im happy to go with the 6 though.

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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by Northern Raider » November 8, 2019, 2:53 pm

Rapana was decent this year. If he was a rookie we'd be singing his praises. Thing is he set such a high standard prior to this he was below par when measured against himself. Previous years he's been arguably the best winger in the NRL. Not that level now but still did a good job.
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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by RedRaider » November 8, 2019, 6:28 pm

I think he was injured for much of the year. He always had a go but restricted in impact and still one of the best in the NRL. 6.5/10

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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by The Nickman » November 8, 2019, 8:39 pm

I thought 6.5 myself, but 6 is also pretty spot on

Had a fairly niggly injury interrupted season and it seemed his pace suffered as a result of it. Still tried his guts out and often brought much needed energy though

Will genuinely be sad to see him go
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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by BadnMean » November 8, 2019, 10:59 pm

Vale Jordo.

What an absolute weapon he was at his best.

How to sum him up... He literally played on with a fractured skull :shock: Not that we should encourage that but it tells you something about his desire... The kind of guy who will be the only one on the field chasing a million to one off chance miskick rebound off a field goal in the final seconds- and pull it off. That's Rapana.

Hope he earns squillions in Japan. He's forced his way into the atg Raiders wingers discussion. NRL era team he's a shoe in.

Yeah he had something hindering his explosiveness but we'll always have 2016... and 2017... and 2018... and even '14 and '15 when some of us marvelled at his ability to break tackles and saw what might just be... (yeah, I was on board and not in the dumbfingers camp).

Finishes with his head held high. Skull repair scar and all. What a competitor.

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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by The Nickman » November 9, 2019, 8:56 am

I honestly think in ten years time when I’m naming my raiders team of all time then Rapana is my first winger picked, not even my second.
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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by The Nickman » November 9, 2019, 8:57 am

And to be fair, I’m not even sure who my second would be, seeing as I never really saw Chicka play.
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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by Seiffert82 » November 9, 2019, 11:03 am

6.0/10 for me.

Clearly down on his best. Didn't quite have that tackle busting power this season, but was still rock solid.

Interesting that our entire 3/4 line was down on peak form, but we still made the grand final. Hopefully we can bring it all together next season.

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greeneyed
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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by greeneyed » November 9, 2019, 11:09 am

I think Croker had his best year for a while, but the others were down in form... but injury had a part in that too for Leilua and Rapana.
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Re: 2019 in review - Jordan Rapana

Post by Seiffert82 » November 9, 2019, 12:16 pm

Yeah, Toots looked better as the season went on. Hopefully Cotric has a stable season next year too.

I do worry about a Leilua/Simonsson combo in defence. It'll be interesting to see what Stuart does.

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