It’s a different stat – A look at the stats behind Round One of the BetFred Super League 2017
The score in a match is one thing but the stats per game and across the season can tell you a deeper story about who is really struggling.
Who’s making the most errors? Who’s making the most tackles and is having a harder time in defense? Who’s missing the most tackles? Let’s look at what the stats are telling us in round one.
Looking past the tries and try assists which Castleford took the honours for on Friday night running in 7 tries against Leigh, let’s take a look who has had to work the least and who had to work the in defense.
Having an easy time of it was Castleford, the score line told you this but it’s handy to have that confirmed by the stats, with 258 tackles and only 14 missed tackles the defense wasn’t troubled much and didn’t find themselves at the wrong end of the field too often.
The team working hardest in defense was from the first game of the season was St Helens. They made a mind boggling 426 tackles (with 30 missed on top of that) the next closest team was Widnes with 394 so that does show you how much graft they did put in to grind that win out?
Tackle bursts is another good stat, not only does it show you who’s attacking but how easy they were finding to break through another team’s defense. The most tackle bursts was a tie between Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC with 30, showing that the Saints and Wakefield defense was struggling which also echo’s the above number of tackles made for Saints. 30 wasn’t over the top with 4 other clubs in the high 20’s. The lowest tackle burst was Wakefield Trinity with just 10 suggesting that match was an 80 minute struggle to bring about a result in horrible conditions.
How many times were a team carrying the ball and completing that tackle? Top of the table again were Leeds Rhinos 209 carries no other team were within 20 carries of that figure, even St Helens had 174 showing that there was a fast and determined game between the two titans of the game. Again on the back of a trashing from Castleford Tigers, Leigh Centurions occupied the bottom position with 131 carries.
Those all-important metres now, who was making those hard yards up the pitch? Who showed the rest that pre-season hadn’t been for nothing? Huddersfield Giants with 1340 metres top the table, they also take the title of most metres per carry with 7.32 gained every time they carry (shared with St Helens), a strong side or against a week defense? Look away Leigh fans, Castleford restricted you to just 5.74 metres per carry.
Have a break
Who was making a clean break nearly every 10 minutes and who couldn’t buy a break? Castleford top the table again with as many clean breaks as tries (7), Huddersfield are second with 6 clean breaks. The Warrington Wolves, Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC couldn’t buy a break although they had a whip round and had enough for 1 for the whole game. This is understandable given the conditions in the Wakefield vs Hull game, not sure what happened to the Wolves though.
You’d be a dummy to run from dummy half…or would you Salford? 26 times this was tried against Wigan… it might be time to change the record. Castleford and Wakefield attempted this the least amount of times only trying 8 times, this makes sense given the attacking options Castleford typically deploy and it shows a brave and determined Wakefield side trying to get a win.
Errors & Penalties
Now the part the coaches want to know, errors and penalties…which team had their head screwed on and which team were thinking of oh I don’t know a World Club Challenge match maybe…Warrington top the charts with 20 errors…20!!! 5 more errors than 2nd place in this statistic St Helens with 15 errors. The least amount errors came from the champions Wigan as they beat Salford with just 7 errors.
Penalties, Salford, Leeds, and Huddersfield had the least penalties with 6 and again with the minds elsewhere it would seem, Warrington racked up 13 penalties, that’s a penalty every 6 minutes.
Offloads were topped by Leeds Rhinos with 18, this follows a known trait in their game, Hull went down with that ball playing it safe with just 3 offloads during their game.
What does it all mean?
At the moment, Castleford look strong but playing Warrington next (on the 24th) will be a stiffer test. Warrington equally need to cut those errors out, giving penalties and errors away at that rate, it certainly won’t be their year.
Hats off to St Helens who completed a shed load of tackles, this shows a very resilient defense they certainly have the fitness. Leeds need to be able to convert those carries to tries but seemed to lack the creativity to get over the line. Huddersfield need to find a kicker with 6 tries and only 2 converted that could be a positions in the table when we get to the business end of the year. Hull and Wakefield I expect to look different in round 2 when the weather will be hopefully better for them.