Sunday, April 18, 2021

The NRL vote continues to be a hot issue

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One thing is clear: Dally M’s vote will never be perfect, and the discussion of how to fix this isn’t going away anytime soon. But what are the biggest problems? And can they be resolved?

The voting system is back in the headlines this week after it emerged that despite six assists in the Sydney Roosters’ first two wins, Luke Keary is yet to win a single vote. This prompted Phil Gould to say he hadn’t liked the system for 30 years..

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But one of the game’s greats defended the current model, adding that no changes would be flawless.

“There will never be a perfect system that everyone thinks is right – but I think the one we have now is pretty good,” Gallen told Wide World of Sports.

“I’m all for things to evolve, and there are a lot of things in the game that need it, I think the progression is good. But I just have to be honest, there is no such thing as a perfect system and I think the one we have now is the best right now. “

Gallen has said he will choose not to adopt several other ideas that have been offered, including giving every player a rating out of 10 after every game.

“I don’t think it’s a better system. Again, it comes down to opinion so why not just give the 3, 2, 1 on the same day? I don’t see any other benefit in this system,” he said. he declared.

He also rejected the idea of ​​having the referees vote, saying “they have enough on their plate”.

Another suggestion was to adopt the MVP system that American sports use, where a panel of former players, media and officials each choose their best player (or a roster of multiple players) once at the end of the game. the season. The person who accumulates the most points in total wins.

“It sounds easy enough, but I guarantee you if you have a group of so many players, there’s no way they’ve watched every game throughout the year,” said Gallen.

“I love that Judge Dally M has to sit there and watch the game, and at the end of the day they have their opinion on who the better players were.”

As Gallen said, no solution will ever be perfect. But here are five big problems with the current system:

It is biased towards regional teams

If you’re willing to vote in Dally M, you’d better not play for a club in Sydney.

Over the past decade, 45 of the top 80 teams (56%) have come from Sydney – but only 39 of 104 (there was a tie at three for tenth in 2019 and one at five for eighth in 2015.) players in these rankings come from these clubs.

That score is a paltry 36 percent of every top ten to get votes.

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Sure, several of the game’s recent superstars have spent most of their careers at the Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys – but that still doesn’t account for such a disparity.

It is not difficult to speculate as to why this is the case. The regional teams have their own media, which specifically targets these teams, and the great players of these clubs stand out more.

He treats every game the same

One of the biggest problems with the current system is that every game in the regular season is given equal weight.

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For example, in the final round of this season, the Raiders and Roosters could play for a place in the top four or even for the post of minor premier. In that same round, there will be combinations of two teams playing for absolutely no cost, and no consequences. These games will all award the same number of Dally M points.

Even for individual players, this is where the per-play system lets them down. Is it as impressive that Luke Keary had four tries in a 40-6 second-round victory over the Tigers as if he put in two and scored the game winner against the Rabbitohs or Storm? Probably not.

It’s biased towards the playmakers

No one is claiming that Jason Taumalolo is the best striker in the game, or at least among the best players. But other than his victory in 2016 and what would have been a second place finish in 2017 without a points deduction, he’s never otherwise probed in the top five.

In fact, over the last decade, excluding whores, it’s the number of attackers who have made the top five each year: zero, one, zero, one, two (when Taumalolo won), one, one, zero, zero, one. Are we seriously saying that in the last decade only seven of the top 50 seasons have come forward?

Gallen himself is the only forward to finish in the top five more than once – but he said those in the engine room don’t go into the sport to win individual prizes.

“I understood my role in the game perfectly and I knew the person I was. I never got to the end of the year and I went to a Dally M party and I thought ‘I’ should have won that, ‘”he said.

“I had no problem. Winning the position award three times has been a great honor, but I have never been concerned about winning the player of the year award.”

Since the inception of the award, Ray Price, Gavin Miller and Taumalolo are the only forwards to win gold.

Greg Inglis never finished in the top 10

This fact has been checked three times for certainty, but it is true. Greg Inglis, arguably one of the best players to ever win a Steeden in the 21st century, has never been deemed worthy of a spot in the top ten players in a single season.

Even in 2008 when he won the best five-eighth and in 2013 when he won the best fullback he struggled to get any points in the overall standings.

If you were to ask a rugby league fan to rank the top ten players of the past 15 years, Inglis would be on every list somewhere. But not in the official history books.

Did Inglis suffer as Cam Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk all took points from him at the Storm and Sam Burgess, Issac Luke and Adam Reynolds did the same at the Rabbitohs? Perhaps. This brings us to the more egregious question of Dally M awards …

It rewards standout players in mediocre teams

Gallen admitted that this was the only problem he had with the current system – for example in 2018, two Warriors players, eighth, two Newcastle Knights, 11th, Luke Brooks of the Wests Tigers, ninth, and Ash Taylor. of the Gold Coast Titans, 14th, all finished in the top 10.

About 20 percent of the top ten graduates of the past decade were from teams that did not advance to the finals.

“Whenever some of the lower ranked teams have wins or even close games, the good players on their team usually take polls because they don’t have a lot of other competitions,” said Gallen.

“If you have a weaker team with an exceptional player, they will obviously vote for points.

“That’s why it was such a phenomenal achievement that Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk all won it, because they all took points away.”

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