Brayden Wiliame optimistic about turning around horror NRL win percentage
Brayden Wiliame optimistic about turning around horror NRL win percentage

4 of 34: Is this the unluckiest record in the NRL?

He's a Challenge Cup winner in the UK, but a "nightmare" season back in the NRL has helped St George Illawarra back Brayden Wiliame to an unfancied record.

Through a mixture of injury, bad luck and some bad results, Wiliame has one of the worst winning percentages of any player to debut in the NRL era.

According to Fox Sports Lab, Wiliame's 11.76 per cent win rate - four wins from 34 appearances - is the lowest of any player with at least 30 career matches to their name.

 

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Brayden Wiliame is looking to improve his win record in 2021. Picture: Dragons Media
Brayden Wiliame is looking to improve his win record in 2021. Picture: Dragons Media

Wiliame's losing record dates back to his debut season with Parramatta in 2013, and then at Manly, where he recorded all four of his wins as an NRL player.

Like his time with the Eels, Wiliame did not taste victory at all during his five games for St George Illawarra this season.

"It was a nightmare of a year for everyone," said Wiliame, who featured in the Dragons' opening four games before a calf strain limited him to just one more start, in round 19.

"With the injury that I had, it was one of those little things I couldn't control but it sort of plays with you mentally.

"As I am getting a bit older in my football career, you don't want those little things hampering your game time. I've come back stronger for it and I'm looking forward to the season now."

The 34-game mark has been a bogey number for a few Knights players too, when the club finished with three consecutive wooden spoons between 2015-2017.

 

Name Wins Appearances Win Percentage
Brayden Wiliame 4 34 11.76
Justin Brooker 4 32 12.5
Scott Coxon 9 51 17.65
Shaun Valentine 7 36 19.44
Tyler Randell 9 44 20.45
Taniela Lasalo 9 40 22.5
Brian Jellick 11 48 22.92
Danny Levi 24 103 23.3
Nathan Ross 14 60 23.33
Phillip Sami 13 55 23.64

 

After 34 games, hooker Danny Levi had just two wins, while twin teammates Daniel and Jacob Saifiti had three and four respectively.

After winning a starting centre spot in 2020, Wiliame, a Woy Woy Roosters junior, suffered a calf injury in round four against Canterbury, which kept him out for almost 14 weeks.

The Fijian international revealed that despite being ready to return from injury, the form of Zac Lomax and Euan Aitken kept him out of the top 17. Then, by his own admission, had a "shocker" in the Dragons' 42-18 loss to the Knights in round 19 and was axed.

"Euey [Aitken] was playing good footy by the time I was ready, which was probably three or four weeks [before I got my chance]. Then I got my chance and I had a shocker, that's rugby league," Wiliame said.

 

Brayden Wiliame is keen to win back his starting sport in the centres next season. Picture: Dragons Media
Brayden Wiliame is keen to win back his starting sport in the centres next season. Picture: Dragons Media

 

The outside back enjoyed more success playing for the Catalan Dragons, where he won the Challenge Cup, and 37 from 77 games in the English Super League between 2017-2019.

Wiliame is optimistic about not only bettering his win record in season 2021 but also rising to the challenge of winning back a starting centre spot in new coach Anthony Griffin's outfit.

"I feel real fit," he said. "It's the fittest I have come back at. I think last year I was always behind coming back from France.

"I had just two weeks of just moving from country to country from the other side of the world. This year I was able to knuckle down a bit more in the off-season and come back in better shape. I'm looking forward to the 2021 season and hopefully grabbing that centre spot.

"Nothing is guaranteed but I'm in a position to put my hand up and ready to take it."

 

 

Originally published as 4 of 34: Is this the unluckiest record in the NRL?


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