3 hours ago
Stats? what Stats?
NRL.com is at it again ladies and gentlemen. While there is a fine line between pointing out areas where the site is ?challenged? and being outright defamatory, I?ll tread as carefully as I dare.
With a new season generally the administration of any major sporting body likes to deliver something new and exciting to the fans to help promote their game. NRL.com has in the past few years undergone a new transformation at the conclusion of every season and 2006 proved no different. While we can?t seem to get a new theme song for the NRL (bring back Tina Turner while she can still shake it I say) after what seems like 25 years, the NRL has been keen on dishing up a new official website each season.
But is new always better?
As of Round 1 this year we had a site that basically imploded under the weight of (what had to be expected) heavy use by the fans and a new ?Match Console? that looked to promise a whole lot more for the fan (especially those who are keen on statistics).
Then in the space of a week the site was in all liquorish sorts again as the Match Console got shut down and getting live scores seemed harder to get than chewy off your boot.
Then it got re-launched and it looked like the powers that be had rigged up a server that could host the extra traffic and a Match Console that could handle the load of statistical information it carried. Well that lasted all of one week (for Round 3) and having logged on Wednesday evening I found that low and behold the Match Console has been scaled down again.
Now instead of having access to the most interesting statistics like Used Plays and Unused Plays, to kick return metres, to ineffective tackles, to the amount of line drop outs conceded etc ? it is back to square one for the NRL.
Now when you log into a match you get for Team Stats:
Try scorers, Goal kickers and Sin Bin stats (all easily accessed elsewhere)
Team Penalties Conceded (again easily accessed elsewhere)
Scrums (see above).
Then in Player Stats instead of about a thousand interesting (if laborious to scroll through) stats that can give you a good indication of player involvement and contribution if you have not seen the match ? NRL.com has left us with some admittedly good basic stats but left out two gigantic ones.
For some reason that defies logic, tracking how many Runs and Metres Gained a player has made looks to be a thing of the past. A glitch in the system means only pure hit up tallies are listed (it could just be me but seeing Karmichael Hunt listed with ZERO hit ups next to his name from Sunday yet he made TWO line breaks seems a little odd) in the Hit up category. Somehow it seems the stat that relates directly with each hit up/run ? metres gained is gone and thus you can only assume not important enough to list.
Why is it so difficult for the NRL to give the fans something that actually has something to offer which is exclusive to NRL.com. Obviously they were more than happy to show to us these stats for the first three rounds of the Telstra Premiership?
So what has changed?
By all means I?ll be glad if these omissions prove to be simply a logistical error in formatting and within the week most of the stats come back, but you would think that if the reason they left so many stats out was a bandwidth problem, then it seems Telstra is in more trouble than they?re letting on!
One could only then assume that Australia?s biggest telecommunications company cannot sustain a hugely popular website that they bought exclusive rights to.
It doesn?t seem to add up to me.
But as fans we?re not important. Although if you read the big NRL.com logo on the field for Free to Air television games asking everyone to join the site, you get the feeling the NRL wants more fans logging onto the site. Well honestly you have to wonder why you would bother if they keep giving then taking away the kind of things that make any Official site stand head and shoulders above their competition.
NRL.com already sits behind a number of sites (LU included) for breaking Rugby League news as it happens and why they would want to take away the one genuinely exclusive product they can offer the fans when they log on is anyone?s guess.
The NSC Almanac is still available for subscription and League Player Ratings has a healthy number of subscribers already ? so get on board.
For just $22 AUD you get the 2006 Almanac featuring the definitive guide to over 700 NRL players from all 15 NRL Clubs. Plus each week you will receive NSC Exclusive League Player Ratings of the 238 individual performances from each Round. And both products are formatted for easy printing making them not reliant on web access to view after download. As an added bonus LU will send a printed bound copy to your home address.
Follow your favourite team and your favourite players throughout 2006 with a far less expensive way to track player performance than a weekly magazine (and dare I say it more reliable tracking guide than the official website).
For just one $22 payment you receive the PDF printable NSC Almanac and weekly League Player Ratings ? the most comprehensive individual player ratings available on the internet ? delivered straight to your Inbox.
You can order your subscription here:
If you subscribe late don?t worry you won?t miss out as all preceding rounds will be sent to you with your first copy of LPR.
2006 LEAGUE PLAYER RATINGS
ROUND 3 LEADERBOARD
26 ? Andrew Johns, NEW
26 ? Johnathan Thurston, NQL
24 ? Mark Gasnier, STI