As we move through Round 12, we've now had long enough to properly understand the importance of the bye in its return to the competition after the admission of a 17th team this season.

Although there is a long way to go in this 2023 season, the current information is clear - teams need to take the fullest advantage of the week off and win after their bye.

We wondered in the pre-season if the bye would allow teams to rest and regroup or if it would prove a momentum halt more often than not.

At the conclusion of Round 11 we had ten teams play off the bye.

Seven teams have returned with a win, with only the three sides losing their matches coming off the bye.

As it stands right now, that's a whopping 70 per cent of teams winning after enjoying a week off.

The Dragons had an extended off-season via a Round 1 bye but I'd argue they had an extra week post their Charity Shield hit out. This, World Club Challenge aside, is the toughest pre-season fixture and as close to NRL quality as you can experience.

The teams who have won coming off the bye have been the Dragons, Manly, Roosters, Titans, Sharks, Raiders and Knights.

To add context, the teams who have lost were the Panthers (one point loss to the Eels), the Tigers (who were at that time, winless) and the Storm (to the Rabbitohs in Magic Round).

Only Penrith's loss to the the Eels can be consider an "upset" and I'm willing to say a loss to Parra is hardly a major blip under any circumstance.

Speaking of Parramatta, they copped the raw end of a rough opening month, having to play well-rested teams coming off the bye on three occasions.

Consecutively too, it should be added.

NRL Rd 5 - Roosters v Eels
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 30: Ryan Matterson of the Parramatta Eels warms up during the round five NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Parramatta Eels at Allianz Stadium on March 30, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

They did manage to upset the Panthers in Round 4, but were humbled by the Sea Eagles and Roosters.

I dare suggest that Parramatta would have fancied themselves against both teams, especially old rivals Manly. I have no doubt that the extra week of preparation assisted the Sea Eagles in victory.

The poor Titans sit zero and two playing teams off the bye.

As it stands only the Sea Eagles and Bunnies are undefeated, albeit across one game each, against teams off the bye.

The Storm, coming off their victory against the Broncos, face the statistically unenviable task of playing the well rested Dolphins on Saturday night.

Of course there is no steadfast rule that says you have to win off the bye, but given the stats, it's hugely detrimental if you don't.

For instance, the Sharks first bye came at the perfect time. They had an extended break following their horror home loss to the Warriors.

Sharks' fans won't need reminding that the team lead 20-0, only to be overrun and beaten on their own patch.

The week off served them well as they returned to beat the Roosters and get their season back on track.

Newcastle were played off the park by the Eels prior to their bye. There were even, hyperbolic talks, that the Knights season may be falling off the proverbial cliff.

The 43-12 loss was their third in a row and could have even been far worse than the lop sided score-line.

A week off saw the team split up, rest and recuperate.

Overblown media reports about a Bali trip aside, it proved of huge benefit as they returned to blow the Gold Coast Titans away to the tune of 46-26.

This Saturday the Sharks and Knights go head to head. Coincidentally the Sharks will enjoy their second bye following the clash.

Of course we are now entering the Origin period so the bye stats may largely be thrown out the window.

Seven teams will sit out Round 13, leaving ten teams to play Origin-effected fixtures. This will even out over the next few weeks but we can expect results to heavily skew.

Circling back though, it's becoming very apparent that a win following your non Origin bye is almost imperative.

While we're here, let's look at the non-Origin bye rounds moving forward.

Round 14: Parramatta, Newcastle and Manly.

The Eels play the Dogs, Newcastle travel to Brisbane and Manly play host the Dolphins.

Round 15: The Cowboys.

A monster clash with the Panthers awaits the Cowboys after their bye. You have to think they'll need every advantage they can get heading into this Thursday night blockbuster.