By the Numbers: Round 2
Dragons vs. Rabbitohs
17 - The number of offloads by the Dragons in Round 2. After just 6 offloads in Round 1 there was a clear focus from the Dragons this week on second phase play. Shock leaders at half time, the Dragons recorded one fewer error this week (12) than against the Cowboys despite the most aggressive style of ball play this week. The Dragons effective tackle percentage held true to last weeks form (89.4% vs. 90.2%) though they did make 66 fewer tackles this week.
61 – The combined missed and ineffective tackles by the Bunnies in Round 2, a sharp 57% increase from their 35 missed and ineffective tackles against the Roosters in Round One. The Dragons made the most of these inefficiencies to lead at half time before the Bunnies overran them in the 2nd half. On a positive note the Rabbitohs lead the NRL after 2 rounds in Points (60) Tries (11) and Try Assists (10), showcasing their attacking form under Wayne Bennett’s tutelage in the 2nd half to break the Dragons hearts.
Raiders vs. Storm
188 – The Storm had a staggering 188 supports against the Raiders. To put this in perspective, this is only 10 less than the Bulldogs and 17 less than Broncos have had for the season. Storm rank 1st in supports (312), Linebreaks (9), Tackle breaks (80) and Run metres (3,543). Any concerns about Melbourne’s attack in their first season of life after Billy Slater have been resoundingly answered across the first 2 rounds.
41 – Missed tackles for the Raiders against the Storm. Despite the perceived emergence of boom Englishman John Bateman (72 tackles) the Raiders sit 3rd worst for missed tackles with Bateman a chief culprit with 9 missed tackles at 87.5% efficiency. For comparison, fellow lock Matt Gillett (Broncos) has made 90 tackles at a sparkling 95.56% efficiency (just 4 misses). The Green Machine need to get their tackling woes sorted before this week’s match up with the Knights.
Broncos vs. Cowboys
128 – After I called out the Broncos for their lack of support last week against the Storm (74) the Broncos lifted to record 128 in Round 2. With just 9 errors in Round 2 the Broncos rank 2nd in the comp with only 17 errors through 2 weeks, a heavy contributing factor to their 79% competition rank (4th best in the NRL).
195 – The distance the Cowboys were outkicked by the Broncos in Round 2. The kicking game was an area of concern all over for the Cowboys, successfully diffusing just 80% of kicks compared to the Broncos 92%. The Cowboys also ran for 167 less metres without Jason Taumalolo and saw their completion rate drop to 74%, down 5% on their Round one efficiency. Looks like an interesting few weeks ahead for the Cowboys without their human wrecking ball.
Sharks vs. Titans
5 – The Sharks added 5 linebreaks against the Titans to move into a share of 1st place with the Storm & Roosters. Cronulla managed and impressive 301 more runs metres than they managed in Round 1 in running over the Titans. However, the Sharks rank dead last in the competition with a meager 62% completion rate after an anemic 60% against the Knights and an equally woeful 63% against the Titans and desperately need to get this sorted, and fast.
1 – One try. From two games, 160 minutes, 84 sets and 55:19 of possession the hapless Titans have managed just the one try. Losing both your starting halves in the first 6 minutes of the season is bitter pill for any side to swallow, yet the Titans need the likes of Brimson & Jacks to get them moving. Jai Arrow can’t do it alone. The Titans have conceded the 3rd most penalties in the comp too (16) which only compounds their inability to score and needs to change.
Knights vs. Panthers
66 – The Panthers worrying completion rate through the first two rounds. Improving over their mediocre 62% Round 1 rate with a slightly less concerning 69% against the Knights. Ranking third worst in the competition for completion rate after 2 rounds, the Panthers need to improve their ball handling which sees them with the 5th most errors in the comp (28) and handling errors (19). With an engine room featuring Cleary & Maloney the Panthers should be completing in the high 70’s to low 80’s and need to get it sorted for their clash with the Storm this week.
281 – How many less metres the Knights ran for in Round 2 than in Round One. After averaging a healthy 9.23 metres per run against the Sharks, the Knights dropped to a disappointing 8.11 metres per run against the Panthers. The loss of metres resulted in the Knights pushing uphill all afternoon in the battle for field position. New recruit David Klemmer has led the way so far with a strong 10.14 metre per run average and will look to continue to set the pace this week against the Raiders.
Sea Eagles vs. Roosters
4 – Try assists for Luke Keary in an extremely impressive performance without Cooper Cronk and Jake Friend. Keary’s kicking game and decision making were simply sublime against Manly. However, repeating their Round One issues the Roosters had another 15 errors which allowed Manly (10 errors) back into the game late. The Tri Colours are now minus 10 in the error count after two rounds, equal third worst in the competition with 30 total errors. It will interesting to see in the coming weeks if the Roosters, when on a flat track in some dry conditions, continue to have these handling issues or if they have just continually struggled with the sloppy conditions in the first two rounds.
21 – The combined missed or ineffective tackles from the Sea Eagles. With the Roosters having 46 such tackles, the Sea Eagles were far more efficient and able to capitalise on it in their second half comeback. Unfortunately their 26-0 deficit proved too big a mountain for Des Hasler’s troops to overcome, but their 94% effective tackle rate was a big improvement on Round One against the Tigers (88.2%) and will give them renewed hope for the weeks to come if they can maintain this level of defensive efficiency.
Bulldogs vs. Eels
298 – Total Run Metres for Blake Ferguson at an immaculate 37.25 metres per running. Blake’s big day out included 2 tries, 2 line breaks, 1 try assist, 1 offload and a whopping 10 tackle breaks. Ferguson now ranks 1st in the comp for Run Metres and equal 4th in Tackle Breaks. He also provided the first of the Eels back to back intercept tries with his spectacular long range effort. What a day.
36 – Missed tackles by the Bulldogs, eerily similar to their poor week 1 showing with 38. Add to this 12 ineffective tackles and the Bulldogs tallied 48 missed or ineffective tackles as opposed to the Eels combined 38. A rampaging Blake Ferguson or not, the Bulldogs need to improve their tackling as they have the dubious honour of the most missed tackles in the game after two rounds with 74.
Tigers vs. Warriors
1 – The Wests Tigers ranks 1st in the NRL in Runs (389), Possession % (56), Goals (9), Receives (886), Charge Downs (1) and Kicks (49). After crushing the Warriors in Round 2 by strangling 56% of possession, outrunning them by 400 metres and completing 90% of their sets, the Tigers couldn’t be travelling much better. Oh, and they just so happen to sit top of the ladder. Good times for the joint venture.
707 – The Warriors explosive, free flowing Round 1 attack was completely stifled by Wests, with 707 less Run metres than in their Round 1 belting of the Dogs. This was biggest swing of the round by a mile and when combined with the 198 less post contact metres than the week before leads to questions about the Warriors effectiveness against the more disciplined defences in the comp.
Any trends you have noticed? Stats you would like to see analysed? Let’s hear it in the comments. Got a theory on a team you want tested? Drop me a line and as always, best of luck to your team on the weekend.