NRL Round 7 advanced stats – Tackle %

The Eye Test is back for another week are the NRL Round 7 advanced statistics. If you’re new here then here’s a rundown of how Tackle % works from an article I published in 2019:

“Tackle % is calculated by the following formula — (Player Tackles x Team Minutes)/(Player Minutes x Opponent Plays). Opponent Plays is the key factor in this equation as it adjusts for possession. After all, you don’t have an opportunity to complete a tackle unless your opponent has the ball. Without Opponent Plays we’d be looking at a more basic yet still relevant tackles per minute metric. Team Minutes would usually be 80 for a single game, unless there’s Golden Point.”

The aim of Tackle %is to estimating the percentage of opponent plays that ended with a specific player completing a tackle. To get an idea of what the average Tackle % is by position and how it varies, they are listed in the below chart

With that in mind, here’s the Tackle % stats for Round 7

As usual, a Melbourne Storm bench player with fewer than 10 minutes leads the overall Tackle % for Round 7. Christian Welch and Daniel Alvaro were two of the top players for Tackle % for previous years, so it’s no surprise to see them back up there in limited minutes.

It’s not usual to see players with big minutes among the top Tackle % for the round, but for the second week in a row there’s an 80 minute player in there. Api Koroisau did it last week and Andrew McCullough has done it this week, making 53 tackles at at Tackle Rate of 32%

At nearly 40%, the Tackle % from Jesse Bromwich this week is outstanding for someone who has never been renowned as having a high workrate. When limitng to players with 40 minutes plus, McCullough’s effort seems even more impressive, with Koroisau not far behind him this week also playing 80 minutes.

It’s also worth noting Sione Mata’utia making 30% of tackles on an edge, which is very high. Usually it is only middle of the field players (front row, lock, hooker and interchange) that rank highly for Tackle %. I didn’t see any of that game but I would guess that Mata’utia possibly rotated some time through the middle.

Finally we end Tackle % for Round 7 with a look at the season leaders. The season stats tend to wash out any players who have had one or two big games and show those who are more consistent.

As with previous weeks the Gold Coast Titans are highly represent here due to havig to do a mountain of defense in one sided losses. That said, for rookies Erin Clark and Jaimin Jolliffe to be in the top five is a great achievement and a testament to their workrate.

One thing to note with the injuries to Victory Radley and Sam Verrils is that Nat Butcher would be inside the top 15-20 players but hasn’t played enough minutes to qualify. Given the number of Roosters inside at the top of this list that isn’t surprising.


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