With two matches where the losing team failed to register a point, the return(?) of Leeds Rhinos and the relentless march of the amber and red armies – it was an eventful round. Let’s get into the stats that made those matches…
Both Huddersfield Giants and Widnes Vikings finished the match with the score they started it with. At the other end of the spectrum Leeds and Wigan both scored 7 tries to be the top try scorers of the round but with some extra goals it was Leeds that amassed that 46 points.
Interestingly Leeds and Wigan stopped Castleford being the first team in the SL era to be the top point scores in the first opening 4 rounds (forgetting round 11 part 1).
If you average the tries out it’s still Castleford scoring an average of 7.75 tries a game, that is a gold nugget of a stat right there, the nearest team is Wigan that have an average of 5.25 tries per game.
Now a new metric for our report stats fans! This looks at how teams are attacking, if each attack is drilled on the pitch each try will have a try assist. If your team doesn’t do that and say steals the ball and go over the whitewash that doesn’t have an assist. It might not surprise you know that Castleford have had an assist on every one of the 25 tries scored so far, Huddersfield Giants are the only other team to have a 100% try assist record.
Wakefield Trinity have the lowest avg amount of try assists of just 1.50 try assists per game compared to the 2.50 avg tries.
It’s Warrington Wolves tackling their hearts out this round with 369 tackles. Wigan took the low tackling crown from Castleford this week again a by-product of scoring 38 points, worth a mention here is Leeds again, tackling 351 times despite winning 46-10 only 18 less than the highest tackling team of the round. That really shouldn’t be happening, suggesting the observation from round 3 were not a fluke it looks of a team of a team struggling to stop players and so sucking in more tackles.
A very telling measurement from this round, top team breaking through the defensive line the most was Hull with 37 as they defeated St Helens. That’s a worrying stat for a big and currently under-performing Saints team, also something to think about for Hull as more points could have been on the bored if it was that easy.
The least amount of tackle burst was Widnes Vikings underlying that Castleford defensive performance.
Very even this metric, the top team was Wigan with 184 but the lowest was Widnes 149, a sign that most team are up to speed 4 rounds in and the playing is becoming more even?
Two teams running for the finish line for this round’s most metres carried, Rhinos in a close second place with 1400 (dead) covered, but It’s Wigan the kings of this round as far as most stats are concerned, 1462 metres covered.
A mention for Leeds here, their average gain has been low recently and even with this round’s stats it’s below the mean average of 7. For round 4 it’s 7.65 which is the highest bar Wigan, that’s an impressive turn around, can it last?
Again, the curse of the It’s a different stat article strikes, first I said Huddersfield looked hot and now can’t buy a win and then I was pretty critical of a lack of a replacement for Kevin Sinfield for Leeds last week in terms of Goal kicking, cue 9 goals 0 missed. Luke Gale and Marc Sneyd still doing particularly well round by round. Overall Marc Sneyd hasn’t missed a kick in 4 rounds of play (21), will he miss this season?
Errors & Penalties and offloads
Wigan, Leeds and Hull kept errors in the single figures (5,7 and 9), most errors were made by the Giants a sign of frustration or the cause of it I wonder?
Warrington only conceded 4 penalties this round and Leigh and Saints both conceded 12 penalties. Warrington come out with some odd stats this round, 29 off loads in a round coupled with 26 runs from dummy half (highest of the round) makes for an interesting analysis for Tony Smith’s side.
What does it all mean?
Castleford and Wigan as many have said are the teams to beat, thoughts are already looking to April where they will meet for the first time this year, this could be the game of a generation. Let’s hope both sides have a full squad to choose from and give fans here and in Australia a real battle.
Like Hull last week Leeds have looked to improve their fortunes, it was much more urgent for the Leeds men to prove their worth. Certainly on the stats sheet it’s a comfortable victory but an eye must be cast to that unusually high tackle count per game.
I’d like Giants to improve as I think they are better team than the results are showing, for example in this round they managed the same tackle bursts as Castleford. That’s not to take away from Leigh’s good start to the season, already higher than Huddersfield, Saints, Widnes, and Warrington – could they stay in the top 8s?
Will Castleford and Wigan stay unbeaten? Can Leigh stay inside the top 8? Can Hull cement a top 3 spot and pull away? Round 5 will be here before we know it.