How the mighty have fallen (Roosters)
There is a very rare phenomena (well we don’t think it’s happened before) which is the theme of this week’s article – both the NRL and AFL minor premiers from 2015 sit bottom of their respective tables. As such, we thought we’d have a look at the reasons and see if the teams have a common tale of woe (AFL story to come)
The NRL story
The tables from 2015 and round 8 this year look like this:
There are some striking stats that can be gleaned from this:
The two years are almost a mirror of each other, like the league position – it’s uncanny
So what’s the reason?
As mentioned in past articles we at TipBetPro put a heavy emphasis on the 17 players who take to the park each week and then a high weighting to both experience and player ratings. In essence a more experienced team wins more often than not, and the teams with players who influence the result also tend to do a bit better (not rocket science we know)!
So let’s look at the 2015 Finals team against the Roosters who were named last weekend (before late changes):
The shaded players on the left are those who have left or injured and the shaded players on the right are the new players (or those who couldn’t get a game last year).
Now there are some very obvious reasons for the decline, but before we look at the players, let’s look at the experience – the finals team last year had a whopping 1,869 games between them and averaging 110 games each (which is the sweet spot for our rankings system). Roll on a year and the career games have plummeted to 1,287, an average of just 73 games each. Ignoring who has been lost (in terms of skill) this difference would lead to a big fall in performance according to TBP.
In addition to experience, look at the players they have lost as measured by the TBP ranking, which shows the influence players have on a game. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and James Maloney were not only the top 2 rated Roosters players but also amongst the top players in the game last year. The pair counted for 20 points on the TBP system, and whilst their replacements are amongst the most exciting talent in the game (Mitchell and Nikorima) this costs the Roosters around 13 points a game! At the total level if the two teams played each other the margin would be 25 points based on player ratings alone!
Obviously the loss of Mitchell Pearce’s experience and the impact that this has had on the club doesn’t help either, nor does a casualty list and suspension list like this:
Although the round 9 teams have both Pearce and Waerea-Hargreaves back, adding nearly 350 games of experience.
Was the writing on the wall?
Like Fremantle in the AFL, the minor premiers were unable to take their home and away dominance and win the title. Coupled with the big losses of some star players, 2016 was always looking like it would be a harder season than last.
But did anyone expect such a fall from grace?
Certainly in our pre-season write up we thought not, saying:
Sydney - Not great in the way of elite talent or depth with the loss of several players from their brilliant (finals aside) 2015 campaign. All the same, the Roosters still have a very solid starting 13 and it would not surprise if they were amongst it come finals time
What does the future hold?
As mentioned above, the Roosters have some serious talent coming through and whether forced upon them by circumstance or not, they must go into rebuild phase now – surely 2016 has gone.
We think they will be back, but just not this year. Can they get above the Knights? We reckon so, but you never know.
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