One point for the top two teams, drop goal heart ache, more worries for Wolves and a resurgent Rhinos. It’s all the drama of Round 5 of Super League but what do the stats tell us?
Warrington Wolves are really struggling now, scoring just the one try in their defeat to a very capable Leigh Centurions. At the other end of the spectrum Leeds Rhinos for the second week in a row are the top try scorers with 6.
These last two games have given Leeds an average of 3.67 (let’s say 4) tries per game which brings them into Hull and Salford territory. Castleford and Wigan remain very high, 6.60 tries per game for Castleford and 4.80 for Wigan Warriors even with this round’s low try count.
Very even tackle counts this round, Hull had the lowest with 292 and Widnes Vikings had the highest with 397 tackles that’s just over a 100 tackles split over all 12 teams, a sign that perhaps teams are getting their eye in 5 rounds in and early mistakes in this area are being ironed out.
Interestingly here (I did wonder if I should put this in or not – it’s proper stats geek stuff!), Leeds have been tackling a lot in this year’s Super League but they have reduced this significantly to the point they are second lowest this week. Castleford a typically low tackling side are second highest which echoes the change in fortunes of the two clubs for this round.
Forget everyone for this metric, there is only one team to talk about. Hull …42 tackle burst, a well done to the Black and White army. No other team even got into the 30s let alone 40s, a clear warning for the other teams that write them off at your own risk as they will just burst through.
This threw up something interesting, Leigh only burst through 12 times yet won their game 22 – 8 and with no clean break stats to write home about it looks as if they had pure determination to get them through.
Hull again clear winners here with a total of 1683 metres made, this gives them a mighty round average of 8.59 metres per carry, again no team was even in the 8 metre category to come close to them. The lowest here is Warrington Wolves with 6.31 metres per gain, not so much of a surprise but the next teams might be.
This could be more hurtful for their opponents than the teams in question, Wigan Warriors had just 6.55 metres gained and Salford had 6.54 metres gained. Huddersfield gained 7.16 metres per carry and Castleford made 7.66 – proving the stats don’t tell you everything at times.
I said last week Leeds’ 7.65 metres per carry was impressive and wondered if such a turnaround could be maintained, well stats fans it can 7.27 is round 5s stats for the Leeds men.
Runs from Dummy Half
Salford will be disappointed (a famous high scorer most weeks in this metric), pipping them to the top spot this week is a rampant Rhinos side who ran from Dummy half 27 times, they obviously found this tactic to work for them during this game. To put some context to this, Saints only ran 9 times from Dummy Half so the gap between lowest or highest (delta for stats fans) is pretty large.
Will Mr Sneyd miss this season? 6 in this round and 0 missed IN FIVE ROUNDS! Even if he does miss this season (has to happen, doesn’t it??!?) then it’s a big achievement and one that certainly deserves the attention it gets. It might seem minor but those 2 points add up and if you score a try knowing it is likely to be converted it can make and break games.
Errors & Penalties
Giants go from most errors to second least errors this week joining the round stats kings Hull and the lowest was Widnes, credit where credit is due especially to Huddersfield to improve their game in one round.
Very few penalties in the Salford Red Devils – Cas Tigers match with just 10 in total split between Salford with 4 and Cas with 6. Highest was Widnes with 14 and just below them was Giants with 13.
What does it all mean?
It was the round for the top teams in Castleford and Wigan to show they are in fact human and not try scoring machines. Following those results I did see some rather desperate posts from the rugby league community suggesting the dream is over for Castleford, there is obviously still plenty to savour in these stats for both Castleford and Wigan and it was a falter rather than a total collapse.
Hull and Leeds look to be in the swing of things and Huddersfield seem to be picking up their effort levels. I still think if the latter two meet a strong team they could go backwards again but for now they can savour the points and stats.
Looking further down the table is there hope for the winless two at the foot of the table? First Warrington, perhaps not there year but they don’t have the lowest average try at 2.60, that’s the same as Wakefield and above Widnes and Catalan. Just under 20 tackles missed per game which is second lowest only to Castleford. What could they work on? Avg carry gains is second lowest only to Widnes, so improve that and cut out the highest average errors per game at 14.8 and everything will be fine…. I’ll expect my cheque in the post Mr Smith.
Widnes looking for their first win but like Warrington is there room for hope? Well look away now, Lowest average tries, lowest average try assists, second highest average missed tackles, second lowest average tackle bursts, lowest average carry gain, lowest average clean breaks, second highest average penalty count but errrr (scrabbles around the stats computer) your penalty count is about average for the league so far… I can’t lie on the stats sheets it looks bad and will need something special to turn it around.
Can Castleford blow that bubble back up? Can Wigan remain undefeated? Can Widnes and Warrington get a win? Only round 6 can let us know, join me again next week and I’ll show you the numbers behind the stats.