“Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships”. An exciting offense may indeed sell tickets (as the 2016 Raiders did, attracting their highest crowd average since 1995), but does defense really win championships? Some hacks put it forward as assumed fact without question (as we ourselves did in our 2016 Finals Preview). Others claim it’s a self-perpetuating myth. So, which is it? Do elite defensive teams really outperform elite offensive teams? And if so, why? Let’s take a look at the Melbourne Storm to find out.
The difference between contenders and also-rans is that contenders always find a way to win the close ones. This is a commonly held belief of commentators and fans alike and has been perpetuated year after year without challenge. But is it true? And if it’s not, what is the defining trait of dominant teams, or is there even one at all? [Read more…]
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While browsing the paper a couple of weeks ago, I came across this interesting little article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the impending selection of Adam Reynolds, and why specifically he should be selected.
In it, the author argues that Reynolds’ league-leading try assists per match, and more particularly his league leading total tries from kicks, “are the statistics which show why” Adam Reynolds was to be selected by New South Wales. The argument sounds very convincing. Unfortunately, it’s also baloney.