Broncos Analysis: Round 15 player analysis and round 16 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 Kontoni Staggs, 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 15 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.PNG

Round 16 lineup

Based on the above analytical comparison, and with Haas, Sims, Gillett, Savelio and Taueli unavailable through injury, the 17 players which comprise the Broncos’ most productive team for their Round 16 clash versus the Raiders would appear to be:

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

Freddie08

Broncos Analysis: Round 13 player analysis and round 14 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 Kontoni Staggs, 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 13 of the NRL and Intrust Super Cup, the player rankings are as follows:

Forwards

Forwards

Centres and wingers

Centres and Wingers.PNG

Halves, hooker and fullback

Halves.PNG

Round 8 lineup

Based on the above analytical comparison, and with Haas, Sims, Gillett, Savelio and Taueli unavailable through injury, the 17 players which comprise the Broncos’ most productive team for their Round 14 clash versus the Storm would appear to be:

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

Freddie08

Match Review: Broncos vs Eels

Another unconvincing victory for the Broncos, as they triumphed 18– 10 against an unlucky Parramatta Eels side at Suncorp Stadium.

In terms of the Broncos’ squad for the match, Nikorima and Milford continued their respective roles in the halves, despite both players underperforming this season. In the outside backs, Kahu, who was cleared to play again after suffering a broken jaw in round 1, partnered Roberts in the centres, with Isaako and the consistently impressive Oates, once again deployed on the wings. Despite significantly underperforming this season, the Broncos also persisted with Boyd and McCullough in the fullback and hooking roles. In the second row, the Broncos again went with the improving Su’A and the energetic Pangai Junior, with the hardworking and defensively solid Ofahengaue filling the lock role. In the front row, the Broncos persisted with the productive Lodge and underperforming Thaiday. On the bench, the Broncos handed a richly deserved debut to Fai, and for the second week in a row, gave opportunities to Tagataese, Mago and Staggs, who have all impressed with their performances in the Intrust Super Cup this season.

As for the Broncos’ on field performance versus the Roosters, the Broncos’ defence was again terrible, as the home side amassed 41 missed tackles.

Defence

The chief culprits were 7 individual Broncos players who each missed at least 3 tackles (Ofahengaue (3), Kahu, Milford, Thaiday and Su’A (4), Lodge (5) and Pangai Junior (6)).

While a good portion of the team’s defending was unacceptable, credit needs to be given to Isaako, Nikorima, and Mago who each only missed 1 tackle for the match, while Tagataese, Staggs and Fai did not miss a tackle.

In attack, Oates (248), Lodge (190), Pangai Junior (173), Ofahengaue (136), Su’A (136) and Kahu (116) were excellent in terms of their contribution to the Broncos’ go forward, amassing well in excess of 100 run metres each. While Tagataese, Staggs, Mago and Fai were only afforded 22, 20, 20 and 14 minutes of game time respectively, Isaako (99) underwhelmed, and the production level of Roberts (74) and Thaiday (70) was unacceptable.

Running

The repeated lack of run metres from the likes of Thaiday and Roberts and Isaako and the nepotism the Broncos have shown in refusing to give opportunities to the likes of Shibasaki, Seve and Carrigan, and give increased game time to Tagataese and Fai, despite all five players excelling in the Intrust Super Cup, is very disappointing.

In terms of offloads, it was another disappointing effort from the Broncos, with only 4 offloads from their 37 sets for the match.

Passing

Once again, the problem with the 4 offloads the Broncos did make, was that the players simply failed to capitalise on the line break opportunities those offloads created.

That is:

  • McCullough, who was often the recipient of the offloads, failed to subsequently challenge the opposition’s defensive line;
  • Milford, Nikorima and Boyd didn’t get close enough to the ruck to take receipt of the offloads and attempt to break the line with their speed and footwork;
  • following the offloads, the Broncos failed to quickly shift the ball laterally to give their centres and wingers the opportunity to break the opposition’s stretched defence.

The lack of offloads and Broncos’ inability to capitalise on the offloads they made, kept the Eels in the contest throughout, as the Broncos spine struggled to create (only 1 line break assist from Nikorima).

In terms of the Broncos’ kicking game versus the Eels, the Broncos kicked for a whopping 774 metres, but only executed 4 grubber kicks, from which they failed to force a drop out.

Kicking

While the contribution of Boyd (0 kicking metres and 0 grubber kicks) was again unacceptable, Milford (490 kicking metres and 2 grubbed kicks) and Nikorima (174 kicking metres and 1 grubber kick) were excellent, and McCullough (88 kicking metres and 0 grubber kicks) delivered his best kicking performance of the season.

Reducing the Broncos over reliance on Milford in terms of their kicking game, makes the Broncos a far more threatening prospect in attack. While Boyd and McCullough, in particular, need to improved their kicking contribution, if they are to be repeatedly selected in the fullback and hooking role, Nikorima’s kicking contribution versus the Eels, as Milford’s halves partner, was very impressive.

Overall, it was an engrossing match to watch, largely due to both teams’ poor defensive performances and both teams’ poor attack, keeping the contest competitive until close to the final whistle

That said, as a Broncos fan who is searching for the team to:

  • employ an attacking style which both plays to the strengths of its key playmakers and is able to regularly generate line break and line break assist opportunities; and
  • consistently demonstrate a certain level of resistance in defence (no player with more than 2 missed tackles per match);

the Broncos performance versus the Eels was another disappointing effort from the Brisbane club.

Freddie08

The stats and images referenced in this post are sourced from http://www.nrl.com.

Match Review: Broncos vs Roosters

A much needed, albeit unconvincing, victory for the Broncos as they overcame the Roosters 28– 22 at Suncorp Stadium.

In terms of the Broncos’ squad for the match, with Bird unavailable due to injury and otherwise out of form, Nikorima and Milford retained their respective roles in the halves and Opacic continued to partner Roberts in the centres. Isaako and the impressive Oates were once again deployed on the wings. Despite significantly underperforming this season, the Broncos also persisted with Boyd and McCullough in the fullback and hooking roles. In the second row, the Broncos went with the improving Su’A and the energetic Pangai Junior, with the hardworking and defensively solid Ofahengaue filling the lock role. In the front row, the Broncos persisted with the productive Lodge and underperforming Thaiday. On the bench, the Broncos retained the underperforming Sims and elected to give opportunities to Tagataese, Mago and Staggs, who have all impressed with their performances in the Intrust Super Cup this season.

As for the Broncos’ on field performance versus the Roosters, the Broncos’ defence was again terrible, as the home side amassed 48 missed tackles.

Defence

The chief culprits were 9 individual Broncos players who each missed at least 3 tackles (McCullough, Pangai Junior, Su’A, Ofahengaue and Staggs (3), Boyd, Nikorima, Thaiday and Sims (4), and Roberts (5)).

While the vast majority of the team’s defending was deplorable, credit needs to be given to Oates, Isaako, Milford and Lodge, who each only missed 1 tackle for the match, while Tagataese was the lone Bronco not to miss a tackle.

In attack, Pangai Junior (182), Oates (147), Ofahengaue (133), Lodge (131), Roberts (127), Su’A and Isaako (126) were excellent in terms of their contribution to the Broncos’ go forward, amassing well in excess of 100 run metres each. While Opacic only lasted 2 minutes before succumbing to an injury which ended his involvement, and Tagataese and Mago were only afforded 21 and 14 minutes of game time respectively, Sims (91) and Thaiday (79) both underwhelmed with their respective efforts and the production level of Staggs (64) was unacceptable.

Run Metres

The repeated lack of run metres from the likes of Thaiday and Sims in particular, and the nepotism the Broncos have shown in refusing to give opportunities to the likes of Carrigan and Fai, and give increased game time to Tagataese, despite all three players excelling in the Intrust Super Cup, is very disappointing.

In terms of offloads, it was another disappointing effort from the Broncos, with only 9 offloads from their 38 sets for the match.

Offloads

Ironically, of the 9 offloads the Broncos did manage to make, 1 resulted in a line break and a try to Staggs. The problem with the other 8 offloads the Broncos made, was that the players simply failed to capitalise on the line break opportunities those offloads created.

That is:

  • McCullough, who was often the recipient of the offloads, failed to subsequently challenge the opposition’s defensive line;
  • Milford, Nikorima and Boyd didn’t get close enough to the ruck to take receipt of the offloads and attempt to break the line with their speed and footwork;
  • following the offloads, the Broncos failed to quickly shift the ball laterally to give their centres and wingers the opportunity to break the opposition’s stretched defensive line.

While the lack of offloads didn’t ultimately prevent the Broncos from scoring points against the Roosters, there are major doubts as to whether the Broncos could repeatedly score tries via a number of those same attacking plays match after match (e.g. a brilliant in and away move from Roberts for Isaako’s try, an amazing length of the field run from Roberts for a try of his own, and a sensational broken play run from Isaako at the death).

In terms of the Broncos’ kicking game versus the Roosters, the Broncos kicked for a total of 460 metres, and executed 6 grubber kicks, from which they forced 1 drop out.

Kicking.PNG

While Milford was an excellent contributor with 364 kicking metres, Nikorima’s 63 kicking metres and 1 forced drop out was underwhelming, and the contribution of Boyd (0 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs) and McCullough (0 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs) was unacceptable.

The Broncos over reliance on Milford in terms of their kicking game, makes the Broncos a far less threatening prospect in attack, and is an aspect of the Broncos’ attacking strategy, which Boyd and McCullough, in particular, need to improved their contribution to, if they are to be repeatedly selected in the fullback and hooking role.

Overall, it was an exciting match to watch, largely due to some spectacular tries scored by both sides and both teams’ poor defensive performances.

Whilst an entertaining spectacle, as a Broncos fan who is searching for the team to:

  • employ an attacking style which both plays to the strengths of its key playmakers and is able to regularly generate line break and line break assists opportunities; and
  • consistently demonstrate a certain level of resistance in defence (no player with more than 2 missed tackles per match);

the Broncos performance versus the Roosters was disappointing.

Freddie08

The stats and images referenced in this post are sourced from http://www.nrl.com.

Broncos News: Round 11 team announcement and reaction

The Broncos have announced the following preliminary side to take on the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium:

  1. Darius Boyd
  2. Corey Oates
  3. James Roberts
  4. Tom Opacic
  5. Jamayne Isaako
  6. Anthony Milford
  7. Kodi Nikorima
  8. Matt Lodge
  9. Andrew McCullough
  10. Sam Thaiday
  11. Tevita Pangai Junior
  12. Jaydn Su’A
  13. Joe Ofahengaue
  14. Sam Tagataese
  15. Gehamat Shibasaki
  16. Korbin Sims
  17. Patrick Mago

Reaction

Injuries to Bird, Glenn and Haas, versus Manly, and the ongoing absence of Gillett and McGuire (also due to injuries), has finally forced the Broncos to look outside their favoured 17 man match day squad for the clash versus the Roosters. Specifically, the Broncos have elected to give opportunities to Shibasaki, Tagataese and Mago, who have been performing well in the Intrust Super Cup for the Norths Devils and Souths-Logan Magpies respectively. While Shibasaki, Tagataese and Mago’s inclusion in the match day squad is great news for the players and deserved reward for their consistently productive performances in the Intrust Super Cup, it is disappointing that:

  • Shibasaki (who is averaging 137 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 line break per match for the Norths Devils) has only made the bench, while less productive centres and wingers are starting (i.e. Roberts (who is averaging 78 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 line break per game), Isaako (who is averaging 87 run metres, 1 missed tackles and 0 line breaks per match) and Opacic (who is averaging 58 run metres, 1 missed tackle and 0 line breaks per game));
  • Carrigan (who is averaging 125 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per match for the Wynnum Manly Sea Eagles) and Fai (who is averaging 114 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per game for the Souths-Logan Magpies), have once again missed out on selection, in favour of the less productive Thaiday (who is averaging 57 run metres, 1 missed tackle and 0 offloads per match), Su’A (who is averaging 87 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per game) and even Ofahengaue (who is averaging 102 run metres, 1 missed tackle and 0 offloads per match);
  • Tagataese (who is averaging 96 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per match for the Norths Devils) has missed selection in the starting line-up, despite outperforming Thaiday (who is averaging 57 run metres, 1 missed tackle and 0 offloads per match), Su’A (who is averaging 87 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per game) and even Ofahengaue (who is averaging 102 run metres, 1 missed tackle and 0 offloads per match); and
  • Mago (who is averaging 91 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 0 offloads per game for the Souths-Logan Magpies) has missed selection in the starting line-up, despite significantly outperforming Thaiday (who is averaging 57 run metres, 1 missed tackle and 0 offloads per game), so far this season.

The continued non-selection of the Broncos’ most productive centre/ winger in Seve (who is averaging 148 run metres, 1 line break and 2 missed tackles per game for the Souths-Logan Magpies), and the Broncos’ preference to select the club’s 9th (Isaako), 10th (Roberts) and 11th (Opacic) most productive centre/winger, over Pearson (the club’s 4th most productive option, who is averaging 115 run metres, 1 line break and 2 missed tackles per game for the Redcliffe Dolphins), is perplexing.

Outside of the forward and centre and winger positional groups, Boyd and McCullough’s continued selection over Scarlett and Dargan, in the halves, hooker and fullback contingent, is baffling.

Dargan (who is averaging 0 line breaks, 0 line break assists, 1 missed tackle, 145 kicking metres and 1 forced drop out per match for the Norths Devils) and Scarlett (who is averaging 0 line breaks, 0 line break assists, 2 missed tackles, 227 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs per game for the Souths-Logan Magpies) are clearly outperforming McCullough (who is averaging 0 line breaks, 0 line break assists, 1 missed tackle, 48 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs per match) and Boyd (who is averaging 0 line breaks, 0 line break assists, 1 missed tackle, 10 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs per game).

Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Broncos continue to select the underperforming McCullough and Boyd in critical play making roles.

While the absence of Haas is a big blow, the unavailability of Glenn, Gillett and Bird, who have all been atrocious defensively this season and relatively unproductive offensivey, is a blessing in disguise for the Broncos. Unfortunately, there still remains clear and repeated failing in the side the Broncos has selected for the clash versus the Roosters (i.e. a lack of line breaks, line break assists and kicking metres from his chosen fullback (Boyd) and hooker (McCullough); a lack of run metres and/or line breaks amongst his chosen centres (Opacic and Roberts) and one of the wingers (Isaako); a lack of run metres in one of the chosen second rowers (Su’A); and a lack of run metres and offloads from one of the starting props (Thaiday) and a bench forward (Sims)). That combined with the non-selection of more productive players (Carrigan, Fai, Seve, Pearson, Dargan and Scarlett) and the Roosters impressive performance versus the Warriors, leads me to predict that the Broncos will suffer another loss versus the Bondi based club.

Freddie08

The stats referenced in this post are sourced from the NRL and QRL.

Broncos Analysis: Round 10 Player Analysis and Round 11 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 Kontoni Staggs, 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 10 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 8 lineup

Based on the above analytical comparison, and with Haas, Glenn, Gillett, Savelio, Taueli, McGuire and Kahu unavailable through injury, the 17 players which comprise the Broncos’ most productive team for their Round 11 clash versus the Roosters would appear to be:

  1. Anthony Milford
  2. Corey Oates
  3. Marion Seve
  4. Gehamat Shibaski
  5. Jonus Pearson
  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. Sam Tagataese
  16. Patrick Mago
  17. Jaydn Su’A

Freddie08

Match Review: Manly vs Broncos

Another disappointing defeat for the Broncos as they were beaten by Manly 38 – 24 at Suncorp Stadium.

In terms of the Broncos’ squad for the match, Bennett promoted Nikorima from the bench to replace the out of form Bird in the halves, alongside Milford. Rather than drop Bird from the match day squad, Bennett elected shift the New South Welshman into to the centres, alongside Roberts, and at the expense of the more defensively solid Opacic. Despite significantly underperforming this season, Bennett once again went with Boyd and McCullough in the fullback and hooking roles. In the second row, Bennett elected to persist with the improving Su’A and the defensively porous Glenn on the edges, with the solid and energetic Pangai Jnr filling the lock role. In the front row, Bennett persisted with the productive Lodge and underperforming Thaiday. On the bench Bennett retained the impressive Haas and Ofahengaue as well as the underperforming Sims and Opacic.

As for the Broncos’ on field performance versus Manly, the Broncos’ defence was terrible, with a whopping 48 missed tackles.

Defence

That was thanks in no small part to 8 individual Broncos players who missed at least 3 tackles each (Boyd, Isaako and Glenn (3), Bird, Nikorima and Su’A (5), and McCullough and Sims (6)).

While a significant portion of the team’s defending was horrendous, credit needs to be given to Ofahengaue, Pangai Junior, Lodge and Oates, who each only missed 1 tackle for the match.

In attack, Pangai Junior (163), Oates (141), Su’A (140) and Lodge (122) were excellent in terms of their contribution to the Broncos’ go forward, amassing well in excess of 100 run metres each. While the run metre contribution of Ofahengaue (103) was also respectable, and youngster Haas only lasted 9 minutes, before succumbing to another injury which ended his involvement, Boyd (98), Glenn (88), Roberts (81) and Isaako (76) all underwhelmed with their respective efforts, while the production level of Thaiday (52), Bird (28), Sims (22) and Opacic (12) was simply unacceptable.

Attack

The repeated lack of run metres from the likes of Bird, Opacic, Thaiday and Sims in particular, and the nepotism Bennett is showing in refusing to give opportunities to the likes of Seve, Shibasaki, Fai and Tagataese, who are all excelling in the Intrust Super Cup, is bordering on negligence from the Broncos’ coach.

In terms of offloads, it was another disappointing effort from the Broncos, with only 9 offloads from their 34 sets for the match.

Passing

While the lack of offloads didn’t prevent the Broncos from scoring points against Manly, there are serious questions as to whether the Broncos could repeatedly score tries via those same attacking plays match after match (e.g. a dummy half scoot and barged effort close to Manly’s try line, a freak chip kick play from Nikorima and Milford, and individual brilliance from Roberts for Isaako try).

With halves Milford and Nikorima lacking the creative passing game to regularly generate line breaks through their slight of hand with the ball, but blessed with excellent footwork and acceleration, the creation of second phase play, via offloads, and the ensuing disorganisation in the opposition’s defence, appears to be the most logical attacking strategy to accentuate Milford and Nikorima’s strengths and give them the best opportunity to regular break the opposition’s defensive line or take advantage of simpler line break assist opportunities.

In terms of the Broncos’ kicking game versus Manly, there was regression in the team’s overall production, in contrast to the side’s recent effort versus the Bulldogs (553 metres versus the Bulldogs, and executed 7 grubber kicks, from which they forced 2 drop outs).

Kicking

In total, the Broncos kicked for 420 metres versus Manly, and only executed 2 grubber kicks, from which they failed to force a drop out.

While Milford was again very good (299 kicking metres) and Nikorima’s contribution was solid (99 kicking metres), the contribution by Boyd (0 kicking metres) and McCullough (0 kicking metes) and the lack of any forced drop outs was very disappointing.  It is an aspect of the Broncos’ attacking strategy where Boyd and McCullough have struggled to contribute all season, and drastic improvements from those two players, in particular, is required, if they are to be repeatedly selected in the fullback and hooking role.

Overall, it was a poor performance from the Broncos versus Manly, characterised by terrible defending from Boyd, Isaako and Glenn, but particularly, Bird, Nikorima, Su’A, McCullough and Sims.

While in attack, there was some promising performances from Su’A and Pengai Junior, as well as the usual suspects Lodge and Oates, the Broncos lack of a coherent attacking strategy does not bode well for the future, and at least 2 of the Broncos tries versus Manly (McCullough and Thaiday) were very suspect.

Personnel and tactical changes are urgently needed if the Broncos hold any hope of turning their season around. Positively, the likes of Scarlett, Dargan, Seve, Shibasaki, Pearson, Mosese Pangai, Carrigan, Fai and Tagataese all waiting in the wings and consistently producing in the Intrust Super Cup. Unfortunately, nepotism is evidently rife within the Broncos as repeatedly underperforming players such as Boyd, Isaako, Roberts, Bird, McCullough, Thaiday, Glenn, Sims and Opacic are continually selected. That fault squarely sits with the coach, and with Bennett notoriously stubborn, I don’t expect to see any changes in personnel or on field performances anytime soon.

Freddie08

The stats and images referenced in this post are sourced from http://www.nrl.com.

Broncos News: Round 10 team announcement

The Broncos have announced the following preliminary side to take on Manly at Suncorp Stadium:

  1. Darius Boyd
  2. Corey Oates
  3. James Roberts
  4. Jack Bird
  5. Jamayne Isaako
  6. Anthony Milford
  7. Kodi Nikorima
  8. Matt Lodge
  9. Andrew McCullough
  10. Sam Thaiday
  11. Alex Glenn
  12. Jaydn Su’A
  13. Tevita Pangai Jnr
  14. Payne Haas
  15. Joe Ofahengaue
  16. Korbin Sims
  17. Tom Opacic

Reaction

Same old same old from Bennett, who continues to marginalise those players from outside his favoured 17 man match day squad, who are excelling in the Intrust Super Cup, in preference of selecting persistently underperforming players such as Bird, Thaiday, Glenn, Su’A, Sims and Opacic.

In terms of the individual positional groups, starting with the halves, hooker and fullback contingent, Bennett has finally reacted to Bird’s persistent underperformance in the halves, by replacing the New South Welshman (who is averaging 0 line breaks, 0 line break assists, 3 missed tackles, 36 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs per game) with the more penetrative and defensively secure Nikorima (who is averaging 1 line break, 0 line break assists, 2 missed tackles, 86 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs per match).

While Bird’s removal from the starting halves, hooker and fullback contingent is a positive one for the Broncos, Boyd and McCullough somehow continue to be selected. This is despite:

  • ranking 5th (McCullough) and 6th (Boyd), out of the Broncos’ 9 contracted players in the halves, hooker and fullback positional group, in terms of production in the key performance areas of line breaks, line break assists, missed tackles, kicking metres and forced drop outs;
  • both players failing to contribute a line break or line break assist per match so far this season; and
  • both players failing to meaningfully contribute to the Broncos’ kicking game (Boyd is averaging 11 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs per game, while McCullough is averaging 53 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs per match).

In terms of Milford’s selection, while he continues failing to contribute this season in terms of per match line breaks (0) and line break assists (0), his defensive performances have been at an acceptable 2 missed tackles per game standard and he has been an excellent contributor in terms of kicking metres (averaging 290 kicking metres per game) and forced drop outs (1 per match).

While Milford’s and Nikorima’s relative contribution this season, in the key performance areas of line breaks, line breaks assists, missed tackles, kicking metres and forced drop outs, has been sufficient to justify their selection in the halves, hooker and fullback positional group, when you contrast the per game production of Scarlett (1 line break, 1 line break assist, 3 missed tackles, 227 kicking metres and 1 forced drop out for the Souths-Logan Magpies) and Dargan (0 line breaks, 1 line break assist, 2 missed tackles, 151 kicking metres and 1 forced drop out for the Norths Devils) to that of Boyd and McCullough, the latter’s selection seems an ongoing misjudgement from Bennett.

In terms of Bennett’s selections in the centre and winger positional group:

  • Oates, who has this season averaged 138 run metres, 1 line break and 1 missed tackle per match, was an easy decision to make.
  • It terms of Isaako (88 run metres, 0 line breaks and 1 missed tackle per game) and Roberts (77 run metres, 1 line break and 2 missed tackles per match), while both players have demonstrated that they are defensively secure, neither player has sufficiently contributed to the Broncos’ run metres.
  • The selection of the out of sorts Bird (who has been averaging only 55 run metres, 0 line breaks and 3 missed tackles per game) over the equally underwhelming but more defensively secure Opacic (who is averaging 62 run metres, 0 line breaks and 1 missed tackle per match), reeks of a decision based on the exorbitant salary the Broncos are paying Bird, rather than a decision based on Bird’s on field production.

Given the per game contribution this season of Isaako, Roberts and Bird, in the key performance areas of run metres, line breaks, and missed tackles, and the comparative performances this season of Seve (who is averaging 149 run metres, 1 line break and 2 missed tackles per game for the Souths-Logan Magpies), Shibasaki (who is averaging 137 run metres, 1 line break and 2 missed tackles per game for the Norths Devils), and Pearson (who is averaging 118 run metres, 1 line break and 2 missed tackles per match for the Redcliffe Dolphins), Bennett’s selection of Isaako, Opacic and Roberts in the centre and winger positional group for the Manly clash, seems illogical.

Regarding the forward positional group, while McGuire remains unavailable through injury, Bennett’s selection of Haas (who is averaging 138 run metres, 0 missed tackles and 1 offload per match for the Wynnum Manly Sea Eagles), Lodge (who is averaging 122 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per game for the Broncos), Ofahengaue (who is averaging 102 run metres, 1 missed tackle and 0 offloads per game for the Broncos) and Pangai Jnr (who is averaging 96 run metres, 1 missed tackle and 1 offload per game for the Broncos) is justifiable given their relative contribution in the key performance areas of run metres, missed tackles and offloads.  That said, Bennett’s persistent selection of the underperforming Su’A, Sims, Thaiday and Glenn, remains perplexing.

Out of the contracted Broncos’ forwards, Su’A, Sims, Glenn and Thaiday are currently ranked 12th, 14th, 16th and 18th, in terms of on field production.  Looking closer at the respective production level of each player:

  • For Su’A, while he has been solid defensively (averaging only 1 missed tackle per game) and has contributed to generating some second phase football (1 offload per game), which is crucial to the attacking effectiveness of the Broncos’ halves, hooker and fullback, the young New Zealander has failed to generate sufficient run metres (only averaging 79 metres per match) to justify his selection ahead of more productive forwards in the Broncos’ broader squad (e.g. Carrigan, Fai, Tagataese, Staggs and Mago).
  • Concerning Sims, while Sims’ per game run metre production (80 run metres) remains marginally superior to Su’A’s, and his defensive effort so far this season has been acceptable (2 missed tackles per game), Sims has failed to demonstrate his ability and/or intent to offload the ball (averaging 0 offloads per match).  Given the superior run metre and offload production of Sims’ internal competition (e.g. Carrigan, Fai, Tagataese, Staggs, Mago, Flegler) and their at least equivalency to Sims’ defensive performances, Sims’ repeated selection doesn’t appear to be justified.
  • Regarding Glenn’s selection, while the New Zealander has shown improved production in recent weeks in terms of run metres, like Thaiday and Sims, Glenn has failed to contribute in terms of generating second phase football (0 offloads per game). More concerning though is the high number of tackles Glenn is continuing to miss per match (4 missed tackles). Given the reduced amount of missed tackles and superior run metre and offload production of Glenn’s internal competition (e.g. Carrigan, Fai, Tagataese), Glenn’s selection doesn’t appear to be warranted.
  • As for Thaiday, while he has been solid defensively (averaging only 1 missed tackle per game), the experienced forward has failed to contribute both in terms of generating second phase football (0 offloads per game) and sufficient run metres (only averaging 58 metres per match). Thaiday’s repeated selection despite his ongoing poor offensive performances has been a issue for the Broncos for a couple of seasons, and his contribution thus far this season, relative to that of other forwards in the broader Broncos’ squad (e.g. Carrigan, Fai, Tagataese, Staggs, Mago, Flegler, Su’A Sims, Gillett (when fit) and Funaki), clearly demonstrates that Thaiday should not be being selected in the 17 man match day squad.

In terms of potential alternatives Bennett could have, and arguably should have, selected ahead of Su’A, Sims, Glenn and Thaiday, the relative per game production this season of the following players, indicate that they warrant selection ahead of that quartet:

  • in the second row, Carrigan, who is averaging 122 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per match for the Wynnum Manly Sea Eagles;
  • at prop or in a bench prop role, Fai, who is averaging 112 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per game for the Souths-Logan Magpies;
  • at prop or in a bench prop role, Tagataese, who is averaging 100 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per match for the Norths Devils;
  • in a bench second row role, Staggs, who is averaging 86 run metres, 2 missed tackles and 1 offload per match for the Redcliffe Dolphins.

As has been evidence in the Broncos’ performance in the opening 9 rounds of the NRL, there are clear and repeated failing in the side Bennett has selected (i.e. a lack of line breaks, line break assists and kicking metres from his chosen fullback (Boyd) and hooker (McCullough); a lack of run metres and/or line breaks amongst his chosen centres (Bird and Roberts) and one of the wingers (Isaako); a lack of run metres or offloads or too many missed tackles in the chosen second row (Su’A and Glenn); and a lack of run metres and offloads from one of the starting props (Thaiday) and a bench forward (Sims)). Given that and Manly improved showing versus the Roosters in Round 8,  I’m anticipating that the Broncos will suffer another loss.

Freddie08

The stats referenced in this post are sourced from the NRL and QRL.

 

 

Broncos Analysis: Round 9 Player Analysis and Round 10 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 Kontoni Staggs, 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 9 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, Hooker and Fullback

Round 8 lineup

Based on the above analytical comparison, and with Haas, Gillett, Savelio, Taueli, McGuire and Kahu unavailable through injury, the 17 players which comprise the Broncos’ most productive team for their Round 10 clash versus Manly would appear to be:

  1. Anthony Milford
  2. Corey Oates
  3. Marion Seve
  4. Gehamat Shibaski
  5. Jonus Pearson
  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. Sam Tagataese
  16. Patrick Mago
  17. Kontoni Staggs

Freddie08

 

Match Review: Broncos vs Bulldogs

A scrappy victory for the Broncos as they ousted the Bulldogs 22-20 in a close match at Suncorp stadium.

In terms of the Broncos’ squad for the match, youngster Haas was reward for his encouraging NRL debut versus South Sydney, as he retained his spot on the bench for the Broncos.  Elsewhere, Milford (Five-eighth), Bird (Halfback), McCullough (Hooker) and Boyd (Fullback) made up what has been a largely unproductive halves, hooker and fullback combination. In the outside backs, Isaako (Right Wing) and Oates (Left Wing) occupied the wing positions and Roberts (Right Centre) and Opacic (Left Centre) once again filled the centre roles. In the forwards, the impressive Lodge (Prop) and underperforming Thaiday (Prop) were given the responsibility of leading the Broncos’ forward pack, with the energetic Pangai Jnr (Lock) assuming McGuire’s regular starting position, and the underwhelming Su’A (Right Second Row) and defensively porous Glenn (Left Second Row) completing the Broncos’ starting line-up. On the bench, apart from Haas, Bennett elected to go with the impressive Ofahengaue (Bench Forward), underperforming Sims (Bench Forward), and Nikorima (Utility).

As for the Broncos’ on field performance versus the Bulldogs, the Broncos’ defence was excellent, only missing 14 tackles for the match.

Defence

While Lodge’s defensive effort (3 missed tackles) was underwhelming, he was the only Broncos player to miss more than 2 tackles during the game (the acceptable standard of missed tackles per match). Even the defensively porous Glenn, who had been averaging 5 missed tackles per match in the lead up to the Bulldogs clash, showed substantial improvement, only missing a solitary tackle for the match. A special mention should also go to Boyd, McCullough, Nikorima, Opacic, Roberts and Isaako, who didn’t miss a tackle during the game.

In attack, Lodge (180 run metres), Oates (171 run metres), Pangai Jnr (146 run meters), Su’A (128 run metres), Roberts (120 run metres) and Ofahengaue (115 run metres), were all excellent in their contributions to the Broncos’ go forward, contributing well in excess of 100 run metres each. While the run metre contribution of Isaako (109 run metres), Glenn (93 run metres) and Boyd (91 run metres) was admirable, and youngster Haas only lasted 7 minutes, before succumbing to injury which ended his involvement, Opacic (87 run metres), Sims (66 run metres) and Thaiday (61 run metres) were very disappointing in terms of their contribution.

Attack

While Su’A, Glenn, Roberts and Isaako, in particular, showed improvement in their contribution, the lack of run metres once again from Thaiday, Opacic and Sims, combined with Bennett’s refusal to give opportunities to the likes of Carrigan, Seve and Fai, who are all excelling in the Intrust Super Cup, was disappointing.

In terms of offloads, it was a much-improved effort from the Broncos, with 12 offloads for the match.

Passing

While Pangai Jnr (3 offloads) and Su’A (2 offloads) led the way in offloads for the Broncos, Boyd, Milford, Bird, McCullough and Nikorima weren’t able to make the most of the disorganisation in the Bulldogs’ defensive line, to individually break the opposition’s defensive line or take advantage of simple line break assist opportunities.

While the 12 offloads the Broncos produced were a significant improvement on the side’s’ recent efforts, more is needed, particularly from the Broncos’ forward pack. A lack of offloads has been a significant contributor to the Broncos’ stuttering attack so far this season, with the Bennett instead relying on moments of individual brilliance from select players to enable the team to score points.  Versus the Bulldogs, it was Boyd (a double cut-out pass to Oates), Glenn (a lovely angled run off a regulation pass from Milford) and Roberts (a well-timed short pass to Ofahengaue), who were the key point scoring contributors.

That said, relying on individual players to display moments of brilliance match after match in order for their team to score points, is an unsustainable attacking strategy (as the Broncos have proven this season).

Unfortunately, Bennett and the players don’t seem to be learning from their mistakes and playing to the strengths of their key playmakers (Milford, Bird and Nikorima). Until that happens, the Broncos’ stuttering attack is unlikely to improve.

In terms of the Broncos’ kicking game versus the Bulldogs, there was a further improvement on the Broncos’ recent performance versus South Sydney (539 kicking metres and 4 forced drop outs).

In total, the Broncos kicked for 553 metres versus the Bulldogs, and executed 7 grubber kicks, from which they forced 2 drop outs.

Kicking

While Milford’s contribution to the Broncos’ kicking game was again excellent (380 kicking metres and 1 forced drop out), the contribution of Bird (19 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs), McCullough (57 kicking metres and 1 forced drop out), Boyd (18 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs) and Nikorima (24 kicking metres and 0 forced drop outs) was again disappointing.

Overall, it was a much-improved performance from the Broncos, with a substantial reduction in missed tackles and an increased volume of quality run metres and offloads from a number of the Broncos’ forwards. That said, more offloads are needed from the Broncos forward pack, along with:

  • an increased volume of line breaks and line break assists from the Broncos chosen halves, hooker and fullback,
  • greater run metre production from Thaiday, Sims and Opacic, and
  • improved contribution to the kicking game from Boyd, Bird, McCullough and Nikorima.

In the past 2 rounds, versus the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs, the Broncos halve won ugly. That can be the sign of a champion team or a poor team who has run into some dumb luck. Given the ongoing stuttering nature of the Broncos’ attack, and the consistently poor defensive play of a number of Broncos players so far this season, its difficult to believe the current Broncos are a premiership elect side who are just winning ugly at present.

Objectively, significant improvements in a number of facets of the Broncos play is required, before the Broncos can genuinely be considered a potential premiership winner this season.

Freddie08

The stats and images referenced in this post are sourced from http://www.nrl.com.