There have been 23 Rankings this year, with the round one clash against the Bunnies not being ranked as the rankings as based as much on continued form as individual games. The rankings tally board and average rankings scores can be seen at the foot of this article. And no doubt many of the final standings will cause a few people to ark up. But to reiterate:
- All the rankings have been tallied per player, per week, and given a score for each “ranking” i.e. ranked one, you get a point for that week, ranked two you get two points and so on, all the way to a Not Ranked (NR) which gets a score of 11. The player with the lowest average score will be named the “26 Rounder” as the Roosters’ most valuable player in 2013.
- Players that were injured or suspended are accounted for, although they scored an 11 for each week they were out, ensuring we get the most consistent player over the 26 Rounds.
I’ll endeavour to explain each ranking and how we got to where we are, but some need no explanation such as numbers one and two.
Without further ado, we’ll rank the top ten here for your reading pleasure, including season stats pulled from NRL.com, RLtables, NRL Stats and the NRL Dream Team app.
1. Sonny Bill Williams
Ranking average: 3.08
2013 Stats: 21 games, eight tries, seven try assists, 12 line break assists, 12 line breaks, 518 tackles, 25 missed tackles, 27 one-on-one tackles, 56 tackle busts, 54 offloads, 19 errors, 15 penalties conceded, 2,250 metres gained, 251 runs
2013 Averages per game: 0.4 tries, 0.33 try assists, 0.57 line break assists, 0.57 line breaks, 24.6 tackles, 1.2 missed tackles per game, 1.3 one-on-one tackles, 2.7 tackle busts, 2.57 offloads, 0.9 errors, 0.71 penalties conceded, 107.1 metres per game, 11.95 runs per game at 8.99 metres per run.
2013 analysis: We’ve covered off, in great detail, the magnificent efforts of the inaugural 26 Rounder elsewhere today. It’s been an honour to have been a paying member for the 2013 season, and this guy has had a lot to do with it.
2. James Maloney
Ranking average: 3.56
2013 Stats: 22 games, nine tries, 97 goals, 20 try assists, 16 line breaks, 16 line break assists, 362 tackles, 23 one-on-one tackles, 76 missed tackles, 48 tackle busts, six offloads, 25 errors, one 40/20, 1,312 metres gained, 130 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.41 tries, 4.41 goals, 0.91 try assists, 0.73 line breaks, 0.73 line break assists, 16.45 tackles, 1.04 one-on-one tackles, 3.45 missed tackles, 2.18 tackle busts, 0.27 offloads, 1.14 errors, 59.64 metres gained, 5.91 runs, 10.09 metres per run.
2013 analysis: If it weren’t for a form slump post Origin when the BBQ slipped down as far as ninth in the rankings, we might be looking at a different 26 Rounder. As it stands though, Maloney is a deserving number two after topping the rankings on six occasions.
He made his first State Of Origin squad and is a game away from playing his second grand final in three years — and has raised his post-career media profile simply by revealing his mother caught him barbecuing alone.
In short: a break-out year for the five-eighth.
3. Mitchell Pearce
Ranking average: 3.73
2013 Stats: 23 games, five tries, 22 try assists, six line breaks, 19 line break assists, 480 tackles, 27 one-on-one tackles, 60 missed tackles, 30 tackle busts, 15 offloads, 13 errors, 765 metres gained, 98 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.22 tries, 0.96 try assists, 0.26 line breaks, 0.86 line break assists, 20.87 tackles, 1.17 one-on-one tackles, 2.61 missed tackles, 1.3 tackle busts, 0.65 offloads, 0.57 errors, 33.26 metres per game, 4.26 runs, 7.81 metres per run
2013 analysis: This might shock some considering MP7 topped the rankings just twice, but it was a consistent season for the 24-year-old halfback. The difference between his best and worst games was narrow as he put together the best season of his young career.
He bounced back brilliantly from a hail of criticism following a sub-par State Of Origin 3 with a master-class against Cronulla followed by a form stretch where his decisions on the left side attack where incredible.
He can answer all the critics by leading this team to a grand final victory — and even getting to his second gee eff in four years would go a long way to shutting them up.
4. Michael Jennings
Ranking average: 4.43
2013 Stats: 23 games, 17 tries, 6 try assists, 16 line breaks, 9 line break assists, 347 tackles, 41 one-on-one tackles, 18 missed tackles, 76 tackle busts, nine offloads, 23 errors, 2,490 metres gained, 224 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.74 tries, 0.26 try assists, 0.7 line breaks, 0.39 line break assists, 15.08 tackles, 1.78 one-on-one tackles, 0.78 missed tackles, 3.3 tackle busts, 0.39 offloads, 1.0 errors, 108.26 metres gained, 9.74 runs, 11.11 metres per run.
2013 analysis: This position will definitely shock considering the man below him, but Jenko played every game possible for the Roosters this year and kept his ranking when he had to sit out for Origin 2. He also started out the season red-hot while the man below was suspended for five games. It’s a simple case of having played more games.
Well, actually, it’s more than that. Jenko has been incredible this year, missing under a tackle a game and making the left-side defence a brick wall. He led the club in one-on-one tackles in the regular season as well as tries, and has turned his unfair “lazy” tag around in less than a season.
He was ranked number one for the first two weeks before settling around the 4-7 range. Now, he stands a chance of rising from the Windsor Wolves to a grand final within 18 months.
5. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Ranking average: 4.47
2013 Stats: 19 games, one try, two try assists, four line break assists, 589 tackles, 14 one-on-one tackles, 23 missed tackles, 18 tackle busts, 28 offloads, six errors, 2,324 metres gained, 262 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.05 tries, 0.11 try assists, 0.21 line break assists, 31 tackles, 0.74 one-on-one tackles, 1.21 missed tackles, 0.95 tackle busts, 1.47 offloads, 0.32 errors, 122.31 metres gained, 13.79 runs, 8.87 metres per run.
2013 analysis: If JWH wasn’t suspended five games, chances are he’d be ranked as high as second — but five weeks out was a huge loss for the front rower who has elevated himself, along with Andrew Fifita, to the ranks of top props in the NRL.
He topped the rankings three times and never dropped out of the top five on the occasions he did play. His efforts and body language at marker have set the tone for the best defensive team in the NRL all year, and he should be among the first picked for the Kiwi squad in the end-of-year Rugby League World Cup.
6. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Ranking average: 6.26
2013 Stats: 22 games, eight tries, two try assists, 18 line breaks, 64 tackles, 11 one-on-one tackles, 14 missed tackles, 89 tackle busts, seven offloads, 22 errors, 2,985 metres gained, 331 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.36 tries, 0.09 try assists, 0.82 line breaks, 2.91 tackles, 0.5 one-on-one tackles, 0.64 missed tackles, 4.05 tackle busts, 0.32 offloads, 1.0 errors, 135.68 metres gained, 15.04 runs, 9.02 metres per run.
2013 analysis: This too may shock, considering a winger is ahead of one of the game’s best hookers, but RTS has been consistently brilliant all year while Friend, you may recall, started out the season slowly before hitting a purple patch of form around Origin time.
And RTS has been undeniably superb this year. He should be in the discussions for winger of the year in the upcoming Dally Ms if the judges are fair dinkum. His workrate is incredible and can break the line from anywhere on the field using nothing more than this:
7. Jake Friend (Tied)
Ranking average: 6.91
2013 Stats: 24 games, six tries, eight try assists, six line breaks, seven line break assists, 908 tackles, 23 one-on-one tackles, 26 missed tackles, 25 tackle busts, six offloads, three errors, one 40/20, 965 metres gained, 112 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.25 tries, 0.33 try assists, 0.25 line breaks, 0.29 line break assists, 37.83 tackles, 0.96 one-on-one tackles, 1.08 missed tackles, 1.04 tackle busts, 0.25 offloads, 0.13 errors, 40.21 metres gained, 4.67 runs, 8.61 metres per run.
2013 analysis: Friend started a little slow, with many Roosters fans calling for understudy Daniel Mortimer to get some more time at hooker. But towards the end of the year people were talking up Friend as the likely successor to Cam Smith for the Maroons.
He showed more creativity this year than many thought he had. His service out of dummy half remained superb, and his running game went to another level at the back end of the year.
Oh, and he also made only three errors all year. So there’s that.
7. Boyd Cornder (Tied)
Ranking average: 6.91
2013 Stats: 19 games, nine tries, one goal, two try assists, eight line breaks, two line break assists, 503 tackles, 10 one-on-one tackles, 31 missed tackles, 35 tackle busts, one offload, 15 errors, 1,857 metres gained, 214 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.47 tries, 0.11 try assists, 0.42 line breaks, 0.11 line break assists, 26.47 tackles, 0.53 one-on-one tackles, 1.63 missed tackles, 1.84 tackle busts, 0.79 errors, 97.73 metres gained, 11.26 runs, 8.68 metres per run.
2013 analysis: It was a break-out year for Boyd after a slow start hampered by a shoulder injury and one that ended early following ankle surgery — although the rumblings are strong he will return this week.
At one stage Boyd had scored eight tries in seven games around Origin time, and the Roosters scored on the play immediately following his play-the-ball on nine occasions this year.
If he can somehow avoid any further serious injury, he’ll be the cornerstone of the Blues’ forward pack for the next decade and one of the first picked for the Aussies.
9. Daniel Tupou
Ranking average: 9.60
2013 Stats: 23 games, 12 tries, three try assists, 17 line breaks, 73 tackles, 11 one-on-one tackles, 17 missed tackles, 76 tackle busts, 11 offloads, 21 errors, 2,165 metres gained, 221 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.52 tries, 0.13 try assists, 0.74 line breaks, 3.17 tackles, 0.48 one-on-one tackles, 0.74 missed tackles, 0.48 offloads, 0.91 errors, 94.13 metres gained, 9.61 runs, 9.8 metres per run.
2013 analysis: Speaking of Origin, this kid will play it some day. He had a season where his involvement and tackle-busting runs reminded this writer of Izzy Folau only with more overall skill, but would follow that up with a quiet game and single-digit runs.
If he can maintain consistency and get involved no matter the situation he’ll play Origin at some point in his career.
10. Sam Moa (tied)
2013 Stats: 20 games, three tries, two try assists, four line breaks, one line break assist, 451 tackles, six one-on-one tackles, 24 missed tackles, seven offloads, five errors, 1,994 metres gained, 228 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.15 tries, 0.1 try assists, 0.2 line breaks, 22.55 tackles, 0.3 one-on-one tackles, 1.2 missed tackles, 0.35 offloads, 0.25 errors, 99.7 metres gained, 11.4 runs, 8.75 metres per run.
2013 analysis: Thank you Craig Fitzgibbon for bringing this chap back to Australia.
It’s a shame that the Roosters gave away the Wrecking Ball tag to FPN because this guy is perfectly suited to the moniker. He has three jobs: run, tackle, hurt. He does all three as well as any other front rower in the game.
10. Anthony Minichiello (tied)
Ranking average: 9.73
2013 Stats: 21 games, six tries, one try assist, four line breaks, one line break assist, 77 tackles, four one-on-one tackles, 17 missed tackles, 53 tackle busts, 11 offloads, 17 errors, 2,383 metres gained, 278 runs.
2013 Averages per game: 0.29 tries, 0.19 line breaks, 3.67 tackles, 0.19 one-on-one tackles, 0.81 missed tackles, 2.52 tackle busts, 0.52 offloads, 0.82 errors, 113.48 metres gained, 13.24 runs, 8.57 metres per run.
2013 analysis: Mini has had a decent year considering the calls have been thick and fast for the Roosters to put RTS back there and shift Mini to the wing, but in his three-game absence even the biggest of doubters who think he’s well past it saw what he still brings to the table i.e. positional excellence an safety under the high-ball.
He’s bound for the wing next year it seems, and it may extend his career a year or two if he can maintain a semblance of speed.