State of Origin

Ahead of tomorrow evening’s first Origin game, we’ve been asking ourselves can Telstra Tracker player running data predict the winner?

As you may know from TV broadcasts and NRL Live app, player speed and distance stats are provided by the Telstra Tracker, so that we can bring more data and insights to fans to enhance their understanding of the game.

We wanted to share some with you in the hope you could draw some conclusions ahead of game 1, especially as both games feature the game’s elite runners.

Which team is faster?

When it comes to speed out wide on Wednesday night, the Blues will hold the edge in Townsville. Telstra Tracker data shows the NSW backline will boast a pace advantage in Origin I with an average top speed of 34km/h compared to Queensland’s 33.2km/h.

What about the players?

Blues winger Josh Addo-Carr will go into Wednesday’s clash as Origin’s quickest man after being recorded at 38.1km/h. His Maroons counterpart Xavier Coates is the only Queenslander to get near him numbers-wise having produced a sizzling 37.6km/h. Returning Blues centre Tom Trbojevic can lay claim to being the third-fastest player (35.9km/h) while Maroon Dane Gagai (35.7km/h) is the only other Origin star to have cracked 35km/h this year. NSW hooker Damien Cook (34.9km/h) and Maroons second-rower David Fifita (33.2) rank as the quickest forwards.

Speed is great, but who runs furthest?

NSW halfback Nathan Cleary has averaged the most overall distance per match (9.32km). The Panthers star is trailed by Queensland halves Cameron Munster (8.99km) and Daly Cherry-Evans (8.84km) and Tom Trbojevic (8.76km). Debutant Jarome Luai rounds out the top five, averaging 8.47km.

Ok, but who runs fastest, for longer?

Tom Trbojevic’s average of 705 high-speed metres (20km/h or more) per match this season is the most across both states. Xavier Coates (average of 609 high-speed metres) has also proven he can sustain his speed while Queensland pocket rocket AJ Brimson (489), Campbell Graham (467) and Josh Addo-Carr (466) make up the top five.

Appendix with selected stats

‘Best of Origin’ – Overall Player speeds achieved in Origin since Telstra Tracker commenced

PositionPlayerMax of Max Speed (km/h)
2nd RowTyson Frizell34.05216
2nd RowJaydn Su’A31.5
CentreTom Trbojevic35.54303055
CentreWill Chambers34.4504
Five-eighthJames Maloney32.31320801
FullbackJames Tedesco36.25171
HalfbackDaly Cherry-Evans35.47886
HookerDamien Cook31.7
InterchangeKalyn Ponga35.06281
LockJosh McGuire30.50412
PropDaniel Saifiti30.27602692
PropDavid Klemmer30.42710609
WingerJosh Addo-Carr37
WingerValentine Holmes35.2
PositionPlayerMax of Average Sprints (>20km/h)
2nd RowGavin Cooper28
2nd RowKurt Capewell27
CentreJack Wighton41
CentreMoses Mbye40
Five-eighthLuke Keary33
FullbackJames Tedesco45
HalfbackMitchell Pearce32
HookerDamien Cook21
InterchangeAngus Crichton21
InterchangeDale Finucane17
LockJake Trbojevic41
PropReagan Campbell-Gillard13
PropDylan Napa13
WingerCorey Oates40
WingerDane Gagai38
PositionPlayerMax Distance Covered (km)
2nd RowAngus Crichton8.1
2nd RowKurt Capewell8.0
CentreClinton Gutherson8.7
CentreJack Wighton8.4
Five-eighthLuke Keary9.3
FullbackKalyn Ponga8.7
HalfbackNathan Cleary9.3
HookerDamien Cook8.5
InterchangeBen Hunt6.4
InterchangeIsaah Yeo5.7
LockJake Trbojevic8.0
PropDaniel Saifiti5.8
PropDavid Klemmer5.6
WingerDane Gagai8.1
WingerJosh Addo-Carr8.0

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