A top of the league loss, a top of the league return, “interesting decisions” and plenty of tries. It was round 6 of the Betfred Superleague – let’s see what the stats tell us…
Warrington Wolves struggle again with just the 1 try this round, there average tries per game is just 2.33 which is the lowest overall in the league.
With every round Salford Red Devils look more and more like an outfit to take seriously, 8 tries in this round, just above Castleford’s 7 and it brings their average tries per game to 4, Castleford Tigers are still out in front in the averages for this metric with 6.67 tries per game, their nearest rivals are Wigan Warriors but some way back with 4.67.
A slightly more expanded highest and lowest tackling team this round, Castleford had the lowest with 266 and Widnes Vikings had the highest for the second round in a row with 381 tackles.
The lowest amount of missed tackles deserves a mention this week, Wakefield Trinity missed just 7 tackles in the 80 minutes! To put that into context the next lowest team is Salford on 13 and the highest is Hull with 52. Credit where credit is due, Wakefield that is pretty good going.
Last week I was stunned to see Hull register 42 tackle bursts, they now occupy second position with a not-too-shabby 37. Destroying all in their way the Warriors of Wigan with a mind bending 51 tackle bursts.
Leigh only burst through 7 times when they came close to beating Wakefield, this isn’t an area they perform well in but obviously have other areas they excel at.
There were two anomalies in this metric (figures that don’t behave like the rest), Catalans only made 852 metres which left them with the lowest metres per carry at 6 metres for this round. The second anomaly is the powerful Salford who made 1556 metres, however they don’t make the most metres per carry (they were 3rd with 7.41). The league leaders Castleford only made 1097 metres but did it with just 137 carries meaning an average carry of 8.01 metres.
A special mention again for Salford here with a stunning 14 clean breaks in this round, the rest of the teams had between 8 and 1 clean breaks. I just thought it deserved a mention as it popped out at me on my spreadsheet as being the only team in double figures.
I’m getting quite the reputation, first I said Huddersfield were looking hot, then I criticised Salford’s Run from Dummy Half metrics (they’ve stopped doing that as much now by the way), then I criticised Leeds for using 4 to 5 men per tackle (and that’s started to reduce now)…then last week I asked if Mr Sneyd will miss a kick this year? the next round… Marc what happened? But 1 miss in 6 rounds isn’t bad, is it?
Wigan, Salford and Huddersfield need to improve in this area with 13 missed goals for Wigan and Salford and Huddersfield have missed 12. That’s 24 and 26 points down the pan, yes ok I know you’re not going to kick every goal but even 14 or 16 of those points must have been up for grabs.
Errors & Penalties
Both Leeds and Leigh (tongue twister – just ask sky earlier in the season!) made the least errors, with Hull; despite winning their tie with Wigan, made the most errors at 17, Wigan themselves made 14 so a scrappy game there.
Wigan only committed 3 penalties, while Leigh topped out at 11 penalties, that’s something to improve on there for the improving former championship side.
What does it all mean?
Castleford at least statistically are starting to pull away from the rest of the pack, top try scorers, least missed tackles, highest average gain per carry, and basically each major metric it’s the tigers on top.
Hull deserve a mention grinding some wins together and beating Wigan in this round to take 3rd place, they hold the most tackle burst with a total of 191 more than even the teams that played their round 11 earlier in the season. They are just 0.01 metre (so a cm metre then…) away from Castleford’s average carry gain with 7.58. And with a kicker who has only missed once in 6 rounds they could be contenders to spend some time in the top 4 of the table maybe even top 2.
The battle of the bottom 2 again, it makes little difference as both will be playing middle 8 rugby unless they can turn it around; Warrington and Widnes need a change of fortune and quick. Widnes looked the better of the two in this round but only in scoring more tries, both were the wrong end of a thumping.
Can Castleford bolster their top of the table credentials? Can Wigan ride the injury woes? Can Widnes and Warrington get a win? Round 7 will tell us everything we need to know, see you next time stats fans!