Explaining the Stats Insider NRL Player Ratings

Stats Insider’s NRL Player Ratings are an attempt to measure player performance in individual NRL matches.

Drawing on a number of concepts across the statistics/finance world, the rating system attempts to value how individual actions on the field generally contribute towards a team’s chance of winning a match.

Values can be positive or negative depending on whether actions are generally ‘good or bad’ for their team – so for example if a player scores a try you will see their rating go up, however if they then make an error on their next hit-up you’ll see their rating go down (but not by as much).

A lot of analysis has gone into the ‘actions’ we include in our ratings system – to give you an idea of the type of things that get included; tries, try assists, errors, run metres all form part of the metric. We also factor in the True Kicker rating system for goal kicking and take into account whether or not that players team ended up winning the match. In practice, there are around 30 variables that currently go into the rating system.

Game scores for individual players are then normalised so the total amount of rating points scored across all players in a single match is two (being the amount of competition points available in that match).

From there, a players game by game rating can be added together for a set period of time (we like to do this for individual seasons to create somewhat of a Dally M equivalent) or ratings in a single round can be used to put together a team of the week (our team of the week ratings are scaled so a players score is presented as a rating out of 10).

Now, while we think our player ratings do a pretty good job overall (check out the table below to see how our team of the year compared to the Dally M team of the year from last season), that’s not to say we think they are perfect, nor do we profess they capture absolutely everything a player does on a football field that is good or bad, and contributed to their team winning or losing. Sometimes the stats that are available just don’t adequately capture all the valuable things a player does; the organisational skills of Cooper Cronk and game management ability of Cameron Smith come to mind.

However, at the very least they offer a different point of view in any conversation about player performance and equip fans with a valuable tool for analysing how players have been performing in the NRL.

2019 SI Team of the Year
2019 Dally M Winner
SI Rank
James Tedesco

James Tedesco

Daniel Tupou
Maika Sivo
Ken Maumalo
Latrell Mitchell
Bronson Xerri
Latrell Mitchell

Cameron Munster

Cameron Munster

Luke Brooks

Mitchell Moses
Payne Haas
Martin Taupau
Payne Haas

Damien Cook

Cameron Smith
Kenneath Bromwich
John Bateman
John Bateman

Jason Taumalolo

Cameron Murray
Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith

*Based on best 21 regular season games. No deductions for suspensions.

Ritchie Tabor

After spending most of his life on some kind of footy field, golf course or cricket pitch, Ritchie has always had a passion for sport. A stats nerd who could recite the Australian cricket team before he could walk, Ritchie now combines that passion with looking into the numbers that make up a game.

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