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Tackles & Missed Tackles

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Tackles & Missed Tackles

Post by Bren on Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:48 pm

I've been thinking of tackles and missed tackles lately. It's not a particularly useful stat in Blackout Rugby. If you look at the numbers, you'll see your forwards not making many and missing lots and the opposite for backs. Since Season 20 (which I think is when zonal tactics was introduced) this has been what the average starter would get for the New Zealand NT side (normalised to 80 minutes)

1: 2.7 made; 2.8 missed
2: 1.8 made; 2.4 missed
3: 2.3 made; 2.5 missed
4: 2.8 made; 2.5 missed
5: 2.6 made; 2.5 missed
6: 3.2 made; 2.8 missed
7: 3.3 made; 2.3 missed
8: 2.9 made; 1.9 missed
9: 4.6 made; 2.2 missed
10: 5.0 made; 1.6 missed
11: 5.3 made; 1.5 missed
12: 6.3 made; 1.6 missed
13: 6.5 made; 1.7 missed
14: 5.3 made; 1.6 missed
15: 6.9 made; 1.1 missed

An average player is making 4.1 tackles and missing 2.1 a game.

I'm sure we agree that there is nothing about their training that makes forwards worse at tackling than backs. There must be something inherent about the positions that causes such different numbers. Forwards must be making different kinds of tackles than backs.

So, what we need is position-independent tackling statistics (or PITS if you prefer). My idea was to assign different values to tackles and missed tackles based on what position a player is. This is making an assumption that each position contributes equally to defense which may or may not be true. A tackle made by a forward is valuable, a missed tackle by a forward matters little. Conversely, a tackle made by a back isn't particularly valuable but a missed tackle by a back is terrible.

These are the numbers I came up with. They are derived simply by dividing the average player figure (4.1) by the average figure for each position (for loosehead prop that's 2.7 -- so 4.1/2.7 = 1.5)

1: 1.5pts for a made tackle; -0.7pts for a missed tackle
2: 2.3pts for a made tackle; -0.9pts for a missed tackle
3: 1.7pts for a made tackle; -0.8pts for a missed tackle
4: 1.5pts for a made tackle; -0.8pts for a missed tackle
5: 1.6pts for a made tackle; -0.8pts for a missed tackle
6: 1.3pts for a made tackle; -0.7pts for a missed tackle
7: 1.2pts for a made tackle; -0.9pts for a missed tackle
8: 1.4pts for a made tackle; -1.1pts for a missed tackle
9: 0.9pts for a made tackle; -0.9pts for a missed tackle
10: 0.8pts for a made tackle; -1.3pts for a missed tackle
11: 0.8pts for a made tackle; -1.4pts for a missed tackle
12: 0.7pts for a made tackle; -1.3pts for a missed tackle
13: 0.6pts for a made tackle; -1.2pts for a missed tackle
14: 0.8pts for a made tackle; -1.3pts for a missed tackle
15: 0.6pts for a made tackle; -2.0pts for a missed tackle

So, I've gone and assigned these values to each game for each starter. My first measure is just a simple count, you get points for making a tackle and lose points for missed tackles. Covering Season 24/25/26/27... these are our best performers (I've removed anyone who played less than 10 games in that period -- I think you need a broad range of games to smooth outliers)

1. Nick Hand 2.0 - 3.29 (32 starts)
2. Renee Ranger - 2.80 (39 starts)
3. Arran Hopa - 2.72 (53 starts)
4. Chet Street - 2.66 (19 starts)
5. James Jones - 2.65 (54 starts)
6. Christopher Turnball - 2.47 (49 starts)
7. Kevin Norris - 2.41 (60 starts)
8. Ted Belt - 2.41 (12 starts)
9. Teiki Tiki - 2.39 (42 starts)
10. Johnny Storm - 2.32 (53 starts)
11. Maurice Greathead - 2.31 (60 starts)
12. Zach Cassell - 2.28 (55 starts)
13. Nicholas Bowley - 2.28 (53 starts)
14. Orlando Ashburner - 2.28 (50 starts)
15. Jared Tough - 2.27 (59 starts)
16. Aitu Fakalelu - 2.25 (18 starts)
17. Denzel Campion - 2.24 (54 starts)
18. Paul Stackpole - 2.22 (46 starts)
19. Dominic James - 2.22 (39 starts)
20. Gavin Doughan - 2.13 (47 starts)
21. 50 cent - 2.05 (12 starts)
22. Edmund Verigotta - 2.00 (57 starts)
23. Maleli Pareraukawa - 1.93 (57 starts)
24. Brendon Bungey - 1.88 (29 starts)
25. Gene Trett - 1.84 (37 starts)
26. John Roland - 1.79 (54 starts)
27. Gavin Albert - 1.78 (54 starts)
28. Luke Emery - 1.77 (54 starts)
29. Mahonri Semi - 1.76 (59 starts)
30. Joel Myatt - 1.67 (34 starts)
31. Fionn MacIlrea - 1.64 (52 starts)
32. Deacon Hehea - 1.62 (53 starts)
33. Nasoni Whakapapa - 1.45 (54 starts)
34. Tucker Danby - 1.41 (37 starts)
35. Stuart Centre - 1.38 (14 starts)
36. Louis Callaway - 1.30 (23 starts)
37. Cole Godfrey - 1.04 (41 starts)

An average figure would be 2.03 so 50 Cent is above-average and Edmund Verigotta will be below-average.

The other measure is a successful tackle made % but using the figures up there instead. It gives you a similar looking list as before but some do move around a little.

1. Nick Hand 2.0 - 74.4% (32 starts)
2. Teiki Tiki - 73.6% (42 starts)
3. Renee Ranger - 73.4% (39 starts)
4. Ted Belt - 72.7% (12 starts)
5. James Jones - 71.7% (54 starts)
6. Kevin Norris - 69.7% (60 starts)
7. Christopher Turnball - 69.6% (49 starts)
8. Nicholas Bowley - 69.4% (53 starts)
9. Arran Hopa - 69.3% (53 starts)
10. Chet Street - 69.3% (19 starts)
11. Maurice Greathead - 68.9% (60 starts)
12. Jared Tough - 68.6% (59 starts)
13. Zach Cassell - 68.3% (55 starts)
14. Johnny Storm - 68.3% (53 starts)
15. Dominic James - 68.2% (39 starts)
16. Denzel Campion - 68.2% (54 starts)
17. 50 cent - 67.8% (12 starts)
18. Aitu Fakalelu - 67.2% (18 starts)
19. Mahonri Semi - 67.0% (59 starts)
20. Gavin Doughan - 66.9% (47 starts)
21. John Roland - 66.5% (54 starts)
22. Orlando Ashburner - 66.4% (50 starts)
23. Paul Stackpole - 66.3% (46 starts)
24. Edmund Verigotta - 66.0% (57 starts)
25. Tucker Danby - 66.0% (37 starts)
26. Gavin Albert - 66.0% (54 starts)
27. Joel Myatt - 66.0% (34 starts)
28. Maleli Pareraukawa - 65.3% (57 starts)
29. Luke Emery - 65.0% (54 starts)
30. Brendon Bungey - 64.1% (29 starts)
31. Gene Trett - 63.9% (37 starts)
32. Fionn MacIlrea - 63.7% (52 starts)
33. Deacon Hehea - 63.5% (53 starts)
34. Nasoni Whakapapa - 63.2% (54 starts)
35. Louis Callaway - 62.5% (23 starts)
36. Stuart Centre - 59.9% (14 starts)
37. Cole Godfrey - 59.0% (41 starts)

An average figure here is 66.5%

So, my question is -- is there anything about the guys at the top vs the guys at the bottom that would make them better tacklers? Or is this all just a load of crap?

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Re: Tackles & Missed Tackles

Post by Bren on Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:10 pm

I'll give you the first four but I'd hope that variance caused by RNG would even out over a 4 season span.

Though one issue with my numbers could be if players tend to be played against easier opposition than others then that could skew the numbers. i.e. Ranger nearly topping the list at age 27 with his average experience.

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Re: Tackles & Missed Tackles

Post by ivelostmysparky on Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:43 pm

If you want to do this for the Dutch NT you'll have access to their skill levels so you could work out what common factors lead to players being top and bottom of the pile.
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Re: Tackles & Missed Tackles

Post by Bren on Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:02 pm

Yeah, I'll likely do that -- just need to download some Dutch data. NZ data was already on hand.

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