So how can you add nearly 3 points a game to your performance from a single skill, using @Oval_Insights data lets find out. In short, practice your kicks to touch The ability to get the ball down the line as far as possible can help take your team to the next level 1/

A Thursday Thread coming for you all later

— Carrick Blake (@analysisguy0502) August 1, 2024

This time focussed on a single skill where being good is worth nearly 3 points a game

Can you guess the skill, and can you guess which player will come out on top

The graph below shows the chance of scoring from lineouts, using data across multiple seasons and leagues. As you get closer to the the try the chance of scoring increases, so a lineout 10 metres or closer to the opponents try line results in a try over 20% of the time 2/

This is the same graph, the importance of a good kick to touch is clear If the kick is poor and ends less than 20 metres out, but not in the final 10 metres then the chance of scoring is ~10% lower. 3/

For some teams, the difference can be even bigger. The data below shows the same graphs, the Premiership last season For Tigers, if they achieved a lineout in the final 10 metres then they scored over 50% of the time but only 15% from 20 metres A huge difference 4/

Using this we can get an expected points total by simply multiplying by 5 A player then adds value by hitting a good range, and we minus kicks that land 20 metres to see the total value contributed with a penalty for missing kicks 5/

Filtering down for kicks in the opponents half only we can then rank each player for how much value their touch kicking adds Across the @Oval_Insights data from multiple competitions and seasons, no one has added more value than Owen Farrell adding over 60 points 6/

Now of course viewing total value added is not all that helpful, Farrell has kicked to touch in 45 games across our sample While the number of kicks also varies, though it is roughly 2.8 per game Instead we can look at per kick value 7/

When adjusting for per kick value the England fly half is dislodged, with Santiago Carreras taking top spot While we also see Willie du Plessis currently playing his trade in the Pro D2 rocket up the list. While Mounga adds just 0.18 per kick, falling from 3rd to 26th 8/

With pre season well and truly here, and fixtures for many sides just around the corner this is the perfect skill to practice The data and methodology above isn't perfect but goes to show how important a small skill can be especially one that happens nearly 3 times a game 9/

Over a season making good kicks to touch could well be a difference maker for a side The kicker rankings use the overall averages but if a side is deadly from close range, the benefits of a great kicker are clear 10/10