Defensive Statistics - do they tell the truth ?

Defense seems to be the catch-cry of successful teams.

JT has trumpeted his desire in his new-age coaching our team that we are to be more consistent and better in defense, with the players to abide by his game-plans etc etc.

BUT regarding our defensive improvements, what specifics actually say we’re any better?

(Like, for example, Coach Sheens used to say that the period in the minutes directly before and after the half-time breaks were crucial.)

This year, where actually were we better?

Was it in the first say, 20 minutes?
Or the last 20 minutes of the first half?
Immediately before or just after half time?
In the first 20 mins of the second half?
Or maybe in the last 10 or 20 mins of the game?
Or did we resist oppositions’ within our own 20 metres longer over the course of a game?

Then a comparison in defensive outcomes in holding our line under pressure.
And even more as to where we were proven vulnerable, like up the middle, or on the left, or on the right.
And break that down to which players missed tackles.
And then analyse any patterns.
And then start to draw some idea as to whether there has been improvement.

I’d really love to see a break-up of where and when in games our defense has improved , to then maybe see whether that has conversely affected our attacking play.

Our defence suffers as we have some bad defenders in the lineup and too may of them.
We were slow in the middle Galloway lacks lateral movement and Woods is a poor marker defender.
Brooks and Moses were turnstiles for much of the season and Lovett missed the most one on one tackles for tries I can remember. We also lack depth and were killed in the centres when Simona and Nofo went down. Naiquama and Nofo were pretty soft outside at times.

Our good defenders are Farah, Simona, Lawrence, Sue, Taupau, Halatau. We simply need more balance between defensive and offensive players.

There is a very high correlation between successful teams and all run metres. Only Souths were not in the top 8 for all run metres. All the other top 8 teams were also in the top 8 for all run metres. That means 7 of the bottom 8 teams also had the lowest all run metres. There is subsequently a high correlation between all run metres conceded and defense.

Teams that are rolling through the ruck are going to be in better field position this allowing them to break more tackles by playing expansive football against a back peddling defensive line and have more opportunities to score at the business end of the field. In short, we lose the battle up front way too often and that puts pressure on our defense.

Tiger one, i dont think times in games where defence drops off or improves has anything to do with actual defence if that makes sense. Its more to do with mental laziness and or possible replacements not being as good.

Attitude and practice is everything. Maintain attitude and make sure everyone is on the same page. Those who aren’t you work and work and work with. Nofo for example seems to be on another planet sometimes.

I remember Ben Teo going to Souths felt like a fool because he couldn’t pick up Souths defence structure but Maguire kept at him until he got it. Souths have currently lost the attitude to go with the structure.

When we have the right attitude we defend well. So much of it is a mental battle.

But to answer your question, do stats tell the real story, no they don’t. They rarely tell the story in anything IMO. Not in this game anyway.

@TYGA:

Our defence suffers as we have some bad defenders in the lineup and too may of them.
We were slow in the middle Galloway lacks lateral movement and Woods is a poor marker defender.
Brooks and Moses were turnstiles for much of the season and Lovett missed the most one on one tackles for tries I can remember. We also lack depth and were killed in the centres when Simona and Nofo went down. Naiquama and Nofo were pretty soft outside at times.

Our good defenders are Farah, Simona, Lawrence, Sue, Taupau, Halatau. We simply need more balance between defensive and offensive players.

i agree with most of what you say but cant agree on Lawrence his defence in the centres was awful but since moving to the forwards it has improved as he dosent need to do as much lateral movement.

Without quoting stats our defence was better this year especially our goal line defence, we actually defended connective sets on our line in a lot of games.

Our main problem was discipline, when our defence was put to the sword, panic would set in and they would try and slow things down by do something dumb and give the other team more yards and more tackles and eventually it would result in points. They just could not out grind or muscle most teams.
Having so many kids and dubious defenders in our 17 doesn’t help our cause, but they are on the improve and you would hope another off season will make a big difference.

We badly need to produce or buy another mop like Liam Fulton to clean up all the mess, also with Farah probably on the move we need another 40 tackle man and of course with the change to the interchange in 2016 their will be more pressure on defensive structures

I’ve always maintained the middle 40min is the most important in relation to defensive structures holding.

Sirro is right. Defense is about attitude and continuos structures. Traditionally the best defensive teams each year is the team with the least injuries. There is no better planning than playing and training with the same players working hard next to each other week to week.

As for the kids, there is no competition in Australia outside of the NRL that actually applies a similar structure to NRL Teams, meaning they will always take 2 years to adapt. Mitchell is lucky as he has a natural aggression which helps him. Luke is too nice, but is technically a good tackler. His defence will improve over time.

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from todays SMH letters,
old saying, " statistics are like a bikini, what they reveal is interesting but what they conceal is vital "

stats are always a great tool for spin.

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