The Chinese calendar be damned — this is the year of the Rooster.
At least statistically.
We’ve been discussing in these (web)pages just how staunch this club has been defensively and now more figures are coming to light that show how dominant the Bondi club actually have been in defence.
First, to recap a few indicators:
– The Roosters have equalled the NRL record in keeping five teams to nil in a single season, and still have six games left to break that little-known record;
– Michael Jennings has improved his defence from missing nearly three tackles per game in 2012 to less that one a game in 2013 (10 in 17 games, with 31 one-on-one tackles);
Well, the SMH did a great job yesterday in breaking down more defensive stats for the Roosters this season:
…A comparison of the defensive statistics of all the premiers since the NRL’s foundation in 1998 puts Robinson’s Roosters at the top of nearly all major categories.
The Roosters are conceding only 2.3 line breaks per game and allowing opposition teams to produce on average 7.4 offloads a game. None of the past 15 premiers come close. They are best in the NRL this season in missed tackles, averaging just 19.7 per game, with the Dragons the closest of the past five premiers, averaging 27.3 missed tackles a game in 2010.
In fact, no premiership-winning team has managed fewer missed tackles a game on average since the Brisbane Broncos in 1998.
Robinson’s men leak 11.6 points per game, by far the best defensive record this season.
Only Melbourne in 2007, who were later stripped of their title for breaching the salary cap, managed to average fewer points against them (10.9 points per game) in a season. While there are still six games remaining in the regular season as well as at least two finals appearances, the Roosters have managed to build an impressive foundation for a shot at their first premiership since 2002.
But wait, the incredible numbers continue to roll in.
On the Footy show last night David Middleton revealed that the Roosters have actually conceded more penalties than points in nine games this year, which just has to be some kind of record — and which included last week when we conceded 14 penalties and 12 points.
This follows on from the statistical analysis of penalties conceded dating back to 1998 from Brad H’ghar (@jr_136) in the preview of tonight’s game but which we can details little bit here:
…and this analysis by loyal 26 Rounds reader DMW who broke it down by the number of penalties awarded over the past five seasons:
The focus is on the number of penalties received, and it’s no surprise to find the top 3 sides well represented by strong leadership through their captains.
Check out the following breakdown:
2013 – 14th Roosters (106)
1. Nth Qld – Thurston (135), 2. Cronulla – Gallen (132), 3. Brisbane – Thaiday (130)
2012 – 12th Roosters (131)
1. Souths – Crocker (154), 2. Cronulla – Gallen (151), 3. Manly – Lyon (144)
2011 – 8th Roosters (139)
1. West Tigers – Farah (170), 2. Brisbane – Lockyer (161), 3. Cronulla – Gallen (156)
2010 – 14th Roosters (128)
1. St George-Illawarra – Hornby (172), 2. Cronulla – Gallen (171), 3. West Tigers – Farah (165)
2009 – 16th Roosters (115)
1. St George-Illawarra – Hornby (167), 2. Parramatta – Cayless (162), 3. New Zealand Warriors – Price (162)
So in this writer’s astute summation:
The Roosters concede the least amount of points of any team on a near-historic level in 2013, even though they clearly provide the opposition more opportunity to do so than any other team in the competition while receiving fewer penalties on the whole than the majority of teams — and have done so pretty much dating back to 1998.
What the fuck?