More and more, the focus on tackles is not who makes the most, but who misses the least.
2021 has seen more of a skew to that pattern of statistical thinking as clubs grapple with a faster style of play created by the new rules and record scorelines as a result week after week.
Those teams who can tackle better than the rest give themselves an enormous advantage week after week, and it shows, with six of the top eight teams on the tackle efficiency leaderboard finishing in the overall top eight.
Tackle efficiency is worked out by missed tackles as a percentage of a team's total attempted tackles.
Here, we go over the top five teams when it comes to tackling, before revealing the full list, with the final list loosely reflecting ladder position, revealing again just how important this is.
5. Manly Sea Eagles
7280 tackles made, 615 missed, 92.21% efficiency
The Sea Eagles may surprise some landing on this list. They haven't exactly based their game around their defensive work this season, with Tom Trbojevic leading an attack which sat close enough to the NRL.
Pair that with a disastrous first couple of weeks, and it becomes even more of a surprise.
But when you look at the number of times they have held opposition teams to low scores, and run through some of the names in their side, maybe it's not such a surprise.
Defensive organisation starts at the back, and Trbojevic is one of the best, while the middle third includes Jake Trbojevic, who is one of the best tacklers in the game. He is backed up by Martin Taupau and the rapidly improving Toafofoa Sipley and Taniela Paseka, while Haumole Olokau'atu and Josh Schuster have both been excellent on the edges.
The right centre position has become potentially the most important in a defensive line though, and Morgan Harper has become one of the best defensive centres in the competition.
As much as it doesn't make sense for Manly to be this high, once you run through the names, it does.