Broncos Analysis: Round 25 Player Analysis and Finals Week 1 Team Selection

Following each round of the NRL Premiership and Intrust Super Cup, each contracted Broncos player’s season-to-date performance is analysed and ranked against their internal competition.

This analysis process initially categorises players into one of three positional categories (with the exception of Corey Oates, Darius Boyd, Jack Bird and Jamayne Isaako, who are each considered in two positional categories due to their versatility):

  • forwards
  • centres and wingers
  • halves, hooker and fullback.

Once categorised, each player’s output in defined key performance indicators (KPIs) for their respective positional category is then considered, using data sourced from the NRL and QRL.

Different weightings are then assigned to the KPI data considered for each positional group based on the assumption that the cornerstones of the Broncos’ tactical approach is as follows:

  • To minimise missed tackles (=<2 missed tackles per player per game) in all positional categories.
  • To generate 100+ run metres and multiple offloads per game from each player in the forward positional group (to create second phase play for the halves, hooker and/or fullback to individually break the opposition’s defensive line or create line break opportunities for the centre and wing positional group).
  • To generate 100+ run metres and multiple line breaks per game from each player within the centre and wing positional group.
  • To have at least 2 long kicking options and 2 short kicking options amongst the halves, hooker and fullback positional group.

The findings provide an invaluable insight as to:

  • how each player ranks against their internal competition within their positional category; and
  • which 17 players make up the Broncos’ most productive team.

Internal player rankings

Following Round 25 of the NRL and Intrust Super Cup, the player rankings are as follows:

Forwards

Forwards

Centres and wingers

Centres &amp; Wingers

Halves, hooker and fullback

Halves

Finals Week 1 lineup

Based on the above analytical comparison, and with Haas, Su’A, Gillett, Savelio, Pearson and Bird unavailable through injury, the 17 players which comprise the Broncos’ most productive team for their Finals Week 1 clash versus the Dragons would appear to be:

  1. Anthony Milford
  2. Corey Oates
  3. Corey Allan
  4. Kontoni Staggs
  5. Gehamat Shibasaki
  6. Todd Murphy
  7. Troy Dargan
  8. Matt Lodge
  9. Kodi Nikorima
  10. Joe Ofahengaue
  11. David Fifita
  12. Tevita Pangai Junior
  13. Patrick Carrigan
  14. Jamayne Isaako
  15. George Fai
  16. Josh McGuire
  17. Sam Tagataese

Freddie08

Bird keen to fly from Broncos nest?

Reports out of Sydney today are saying that Jack Bird is unhappy at the Broncos and is attempting to organise a move back to New South Wales and ideally the Sharks.

This follows reports a month or so ago that Broncos’ head of recruitment Peter Nolan was attempting to organise a trade with the Parramatta Eels, which would have involved Bird joining the Eels and Mitch Moses moving to the Broncos for season 2019.

While Bird has been suffering from a sternum injury for the majority of the season, his on field performances for the Broncos, when fit, have been hugely disappointing, both as a halves or centre/wing option.

Centres and Wingers

HalvesPerformance data after Round 22

To put it bluntly, Bird was a bad recruitment decision by the Broncos. An average centre at best, Bird struggled for the Sharks last season and has continued that poor form for the Broncos this season. While all clubs make some dud recruitment decisions from time to time, the Broncos’ decision to sign Bird on significant money ($750,000+ per season), and without a history of excellent on field production, was a big blunder by the Broncos’ recruitment team Peter Nolan, Darren Lockyer and Wayne Bennett.

Credit to Peter Nolan though for owning his part in that decision and trying to explore options to trade Bird to another club.

Fingers crossed some other club will be dumb enough to take Bird and a sizeable portion of this salary off the Broncos’ books for season 2019.

Freddie08

Broncos Analysis: Round 22 Player Analysis and Round 23 Team Selection

Following each round of the NRL Premiership and Intrust Super Cup, each contracted Broncos player’s season-to-date performance is analysed and ranked against their internal competition.

This analysis process initially categorises players into one of three positional categories (with the exception of Corey Oates, Darius Boyd, Jack Bird and Jamayne Isaako, who are each considered in two positional categories due to their versatility):

  • forwards
  • centres and wingers
  • halves, hooker and fullback.

Once categorised, each player’s output in defined key performance indicators (KPIs) for their respective positional category is then considered, using data sourced from the NRL and QRL.

Different weightings are then assigned to the KPI data considered for each positional group based on the assumption that the cornerstones of the Broncos’ tactical approach is as follows:

  • To minimise missed tackles (=<2 missed tackles per player per game) in all positional categories.
  • To generate 100+ run metres and multiple offloads per game from each player in the forward positional group (to create second phase play for the halves, hooker and/or fullback to individually break the opposition’s defensive line or create line break opportunities for the centre and wing positional group).
  • To generate 100+ run metres and multiple line breaks per game from each player within the centre and wing positional group.
  • To have at least 2 long kicking options and 2 short kicking options amongst the halves, hooker and fullback positional group.

The findings provide an invaluable insight as to:

  • how each player ranks against their internal competition within their positional category; and
  • which 17 players make up the Broncos’ most productive team.

Internal player rankings

Following Round 22 of the NRL and Intrust Super Cup, the player rankings are as follows:

Forwards

Forwards

 

Centres and wingers

Centres and Wingers

Halves, hooker and fullback

Halves

Round 22 lineup

Based on the above analytical comparison, and with Haas, Su’A, Gillett, Savelio, Pearson and Bird unavailable through injury, the 17 players which comprise the Broncos’ most productive team for their Round 23 clash versus the Rabbitohs would appear to be:

  1. Sam Scarlett
  2. Corey Oates
  3. Corey Allan
  4. Jamayne Isaako
  5. Gehamat Shibasaki
  6. Anthony Milford
  7. Troy Dargan
  8. Matt Lodge
  9. Todd Murphy
  10. George Fai
  11. Patrick Carrigan
  12. Tevita Pangai Junior
  13. Joe Ofahengaue
  14. Darius Boyd
  15. David Fifita
  16. Josh McGuire
  17. Sam Tagataese

Freddie08

Shibasaki and Opacic re-sign

In recruitment news, the Broncos have today announced the re-signing of young Queensland born outside backs Tom Opacic (23) and Gehamat Shibasaki (19) on two year deals.

While Opacic’s re-signing is a somewhat questionable decision by the club given his offensive performances this season have been have been underwhelming, Shibasaki on the other hand has been a phenomenon for Norths Devils in the Intrust Super Cup this season, averaging 153 run metres per game and only 2 missed tackles per match.

Following the inexplicable decision of the club to release the enormously talented Marion Seve to the Melbourne Storm earlier in the season, securing Shibasaki’s signature was vital for the Broncos.

Shibasaki, along with Corey Oates and Jonus Pearson have been far and away the most productive outside backs at the club this season, with the more fancied internal rivals Boyd, Isaako, Roberts, Kahu and Bird repeatedly underperforming.

Backs

Freddie08

Broncos Analysis: Round 21 player analysis and Round 22 team selection

Following each round of the NRL Premiership and Intrust Super Cup, each contracted Broncos player’s season-to-date performance is analysed and ranked against their internal competition.

This analysis process initially categorises players into one of three positional categories (with the exception of Corey Oates, Darius Boyd, Jack Bird and Jamayne Isaako, who are each considered in two positional categories due to their versatility):

  • forwards
  • centres and wingers
  • halves, hooker and fullback.

Once categorised, each player’s output in defined key performance indicators (KPIs) for their respective positional category is then considered, using data sourced from the NRL and QRL.

Different weightings are then assigned to the KPI data considered for each positional group based on the assumption that the cornerstones of the Broncos’ tactical basis is as follows:

  • To minimise missed tackles (=<2 missed tackles per player per game) in all positional categories.
  • To generate 100+ run metres and multiple offloads per game from each player in the forward positional group (to create second phase play for the halves, hooker and/or fullback to individually break the opposition’s defensive line or create line break opportunities for the centre and wing positional group).
  • To generate 100+ run metres and multiple line breaks per game from each player within the centre and wing positional group.
  • To have at least 2 long kicking options and 2 short kicking options amongst the halves, hooker and fullback positional group.

The findings provide an invaluable insight as to:

  • how each player ranks against their internal competition within their positional category; and
  • which 17 players make up the Broncos’ most productive team.

Internal player rankings

Following Round 21 of the NRL and Intrust Super Cup, the player rankings are as follows:

Forwards

Forwards

Centres and wingers

Backs

Halves, hooker and fullback

Spine

Round 22 lineup

Based on the above analytical comparison, and with Haas, Pangai Junior, Su’A, Gillett, Savelio unavailable through injury and McGuire suspended, the 17 players which comprise the Broncos’ most productive team for their Round 22 clash versus the Cowboys would appear to be:

  1. Sam Scarlett
  2. Corey Oates
  3. Jonus Pearson
  4. Jamayne Isaako
  5. Gehamat Shibasaki
  6. Anthony Milford
  7. Troy Dargan
  8. Matt Lodge
  9. Todd Murphy
  10. George Fai
  11. Patrick Carrigan
  12. David Fifita
  13. Joe Ofahengaue
  14. Corey Allan
  15. Korbin Sims
  16. Patrick Mago
  17. Sam Tagataese

Freddie08

Pangai Junior to re-sign with the Broncos for two more years

In reports out today, Wayne Bennett has apparently confirmed that Tevita Pangai Junior has verbally agreed to a new two year deal with the club, commencing in season 2019.

While the deal won’t be formalised until later in the year, when Pangai Junior’s contract with his existing player manager expires, the apparent agreement he has struck with the club represents a solid retention effort from the Broncos.

Pangai Junior has proven himself this season to be a productive forward (both in terms of run metres and offloads) as well
as being solid in defence (averaging only 2 missed tackles per game).

Forwards 2018 performance data after Round 19

That said, then Broncos desperately need to lock down Oates, Carrigan and Lodge to long term contracts.

Lodge and Oates have been far and away the Broncos most productive contributors in the NRL this season in terms of run metres. The team would have and would significantly struggle to make it out of their own half without the carries of those two players.

Carrigan on the other hand, like Haas, has been absolutely dominating the opposition in the Intrust Super Cup, averaging 139 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per match.

Securing the long term future of those 3 players should be the Broncos’ priority now that Haas’ future is secured.

Freddie08

Gillett Re-signs with the Broncos, but is that a good thing?

Broncos second-rower Matt Gillett has today announced that he has re-signing with the club on a four-year deal.

While the contract will likely see the 29 year old Gillett finish his NRL career at the Broncos, the length the contract and reported financial commitment from the Broncos ($750,000 a season), doesn’t seem a smart decision by the club.

Objectively, Gillett’s on field performances in recent seasons has been poor. While the New South Wales born second-rower can come up with a big hit now and then, it doesn’t compensate for the number of tackles he misses (a shocking average of 4 a game over the past two seasons) and his lack of run metres for an 80 minute player (a disappointing average of 87 metres per match over the past two season).

ForwardsPerformance data after Round 19

To be blunt, Gillett’s re-signing seems like a waste of precious cap space by the Broncos.

I’m really hoping the Broncos don’t lose the soon to be off contract Oates, Lodge and Pangai Jnr because of the amount of cap space tied up in the persistently underperforming Gillett, Glenn, Bird and McCullough.

Freddie08

Is Boyd the best candidate for one of the Broncos’ centre positions?

In team selection news, Darius Boyd has told the media that he would be happy to be deployed in the centres for the remainder of his NRL career if that is what’s best for the team.

From a purely defensive perspective, deploying Boyd (1 missed tackle per game) in the left centre position is a good thing for the Broncos.

While Milford’s defence has substantially improved this season (2 missed tackles per game), Alex Glenn’s poor tackling technique and an average of 4 missed tackles per game, is a huge defensive liability for the Broncos.

That said, from an offensive perspective Boyd (who is averaging 99 run metres and 0 line breaks per game this season) is significantly less productive than a number of his internal centre and winger rivals.

Centres and Wingers 2018 performance data after Round 19

For that reason, I would much rather see the likes of Shibasaki (who is averaging 153 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 0 line breaks per game) or Pearson (who is averaging 118 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 line break per match) deployed in that left centre position.

Freddie08

Su’A re-signs

In recruitment news, the Broncos have announced the re-signing of New Zealand born second rower Jaydn Su’A on a two-year deal.

It is a solid re signing for the Broncos and follows on from the retention of boom prop Payne Haas.

While their on field production this season would indicate Haas, Lodge, Carrigan, Pangai Jnr and Fai should be the starting 5 forwards in season 2019, Su’A, Ofahengaue and McGuire would form a strong bench.

Forwards2018 performance data after Round 19

Given the stand out performances of Lodge and Pangai Jnr this season and both players being off contract at season’s end, it is somewhat of a surprise that the Broncos have prioritised re-signing Su’A over those two players, who have both proven themselves to be far more productive on the field.

Then again this is the same recruitment team that in the last 7 months has spent unnecessary cap space on re-signing persistently underperforming edge forwards Alex Glenn and Matt Gillett.

Freddie08

Broncos Analysis: Round 19 player analysis and Round 20 team selection

Following each round of the NRL Premiership and Intrust Super Cup, each contracted Broncos player’s season-to-date performance is analysed and ranked against their internal competition.

This analysis process initially categorises players into one of three positional categories (with the exception of Corey Oates, Darius Boyd, Jack Bird and Jamayne Isaako, who are each considered in two positional categories due to their versatility):

  • forwards
  • centres and wingers
  • halves, hooker and fullback.

Once categorised, each player’s output in defined key performance indicators (KPIs) for their respective positional category is then considered, using data sourced from the NRL and QRL.

Different weightings are then assigned to the KPI data considered for each positional group based on the assumption that the cornerstones of the Broncos’ tactical basis is as follows:

  • To minimise missed tackles (=<2 missed tackles per player per game) in all positional categories.
  • To generate 100+ run metres and multiple offloads per game from each player in the forward positional group (to create second phase play for the halves, hooker and/or fullback to individually break the opposition’s defensive line or create line break opportunities for the centre and wing positional group).
  • To generate 100+ run metres and multiple line breaks per game from each player within the centre and wing positional group.
  • To have at least 2 long kicking options and 2 short kicking options amongst the halves, hooker and fullback positional group.

The findings provide an invaluable insight as to:

  • how each player ranks against their internal competition within their positional category; and
  • which 17 players make up the Broncos’ most productive team.

Internal player rankings

Following Round 19 of the NRL and Intrust Super Cup, the player rankings are as follows:

Forwards

Forwards

Centres and wingers

Centres and Wingers

Halves, hooker and fullback

Halves

Round 20 lineup

Based on the above analytical comparison, and with Bird, Su’A, Haas, Gillett, Savelio and Taueli unavailable through injury, the 17 players which comprise the Broncos’ most productive team for their Round 20 clash versus the Sharks would appear to be:

  1. Anthony Milford
  2. Corey Oates
  3. Jonus Pearson
  4. Jamayne Isaako
  5. Gehamat Shibasaki
  6. Sam Scarlett
  7. Troy Dargan
  8. Matt Lodge
  9. Kodi Nikorima
  10. George Fai
  11. Patrick Carrigan
  12. Tevita Pangai Jnr
  13. Joe Ofahengaue
  14. Darius Boyd
  15. Josh McGuire
  16. David Fifita
  17. Sam Tagataese

Freddie08