Choose One | Corey Parker, Paul Gallen – NRL Supercoach

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Updated: July 28, 2016

This season will mark the end of an era with Supercoach greats Corey Parker and Paul Gallen to retire at its conclusion.

While not the fabled declined that is talked about in Supercoach traps, rather a steady fall that brings them back to the pack. In 2013 the pair averaged 88 and 90 respectively – since then both men have decreased whereby flirting with an average of less-than 65-70.

The similarities between Parker and Gallen extend beyond output. Their game time has been the most influential stat in their demise. Since 2013, Parker has seen a 12% drop in his minutes, while Gallen has dipped 8%.
Why this is such a factor is their work-rate (or ppm) has remain largely unchanged through this period. Unlike a player such as Ryan James who has seen his PPM (1.17) skyrocket with limited minutes, both Parker and Gallen have become minute-dependent forwards.

With the Origin period behind us and all things considered including form, the run home and injury history. Who exactly do you choose if you have to choose one?

Corey Parker 2015:16

What has separated Parker from the pack over the years is attacking consistency and goal kicking. Tagged with being the best offloader in the game between 2013-2015, Parker’s ability to generate second phase play was a real hit for Supercoach – this before the introduction of effective and ineffective offloading.

This year those substantial numbers have been replaced by tries. Never has Parker scored five tries this early in the season. He only needs one more to break his seasonal try-scoring record.

With tries boosting his numbers, it is understandable why Parker has been patchy this season, especially early on. Limited game time has also culled his goal kicking opportunities by 20% on last season.

Despite this lack of game time, Parker’s work-rate and base PPM is enough to hold him with the likes of Panthers forward Trent Merrin and Melbourne’s Jesse Bromwich. Statistics show that ‘God’ will keep his namesake for the rest of the season.

Paul Gallen 2015:16
The gem of Supercoach, Sharks captain Paul Gallen has had an incredible run for the best part of the last eight years. If not for a poor injury history, Gallen could of stolen Parker’s ‘God’ tag long ago.

Gallen’s ability to play long minutes at a sustained work-rate is why he is widely regarded as the best forward in Supercoach. Last season Gallen posted career-best base statistics – a prelude of what was to come this season.
Highlighted by his base PPM, Gallen’s work-rate has remained largely changed this year.

What made the Sharks representative star a 80-plus-point player before 2015 was his attacking output. That has since been shafted in favour of a high-percentage style of play.

The Blues captain is staring down the barrel of making 20 appearances this season, the most since 2011. This is perhaps a result of his reduced game time and schedule since the Origin period.

The Verdict

As trades dry up after a difficult Origin bye period, a host of teams could be faced with a tough decision one of these Supercoach greats.

While the correct answer may be that both need to be in your team, in this circumstance there is only one winner. With a number of inconsistent stars at the 2RF position, finding consistency is key.

For this reason, Paul Gallen is the best option. His work rate and base stats that are superior to Parker. If not for the Sharks’ soft schedule over the past fortnight, Gallen would be a unanimous pick.

Parker has short-term value with a host of Broncos forwards out this week, but once their pack returns full-strength, Parker will once again show his early-season patchy form.

Winner – Paul Gallen
Paul Gallen.

Integrated stats explained.

Have your say. Who will you choose for the run home?
Choose one – Corey Parker, Paul Gallen – NRL Supercoach

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