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April 29, 2016

NSWRL to have a DataJam to help the Blues win the State of Origin

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Representatives from Facebook, Fairfax, Optus, Qantas, IBM and Commonwealth Bank will come together tomorrow for a DataJam for the New South Wales State of Origin team.

In what is billed as an Australian sporting first, New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) has partnered with technology and data recruitment company Precision Sourcing and tech firm Ansarada to provide virtual data rooms to analyse data from the past 12 years of State of Origin clashes.

Fifty statisticians across 10 teams will look for trends, correlations and predictive models to provide a better understanding of New South Wales’ State of Origin fixtures against Queensland. The teams will spend 12 hours poring over in-game statistics, fatigue levels and performance data in a bid to identify what a successful performance looks like and effectively help implement a predictive model for the Blues during live games.

Precision Sourcing Team Manager of Data Analytics, Joel Stein, said on the purpose of the DataJam: “Through statistics and analytics the Blues can predict what actions to take in a game situation which would give them an extra five per cent edge and hopefully help claim the shield.”

NSWRL Performance Solutions Manager Brad Pryjmachuk said it was worthwhile mining and analysing data to establish insights that can give the Blues an edge against Queensland.

“The DataJam will help us develop a predictive model to understand what the exact requirements are to winning at State of Origin level,” Pryjmachuk said.

“For example, after 15 minutes a player may need to make a certain amount of tackles or hit-ups for a greater chance of winning. It’s a first for any Australian sporting code and I’m eager to see what they come up with.”

NSW State of Origin coach, Laurie Daley, added: “We analyse game data regularly but it will be interesting to get a different perspective and see if there is anything relevant in it for us.”


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