The games kept on coming, the leaders lost, 2nd place lost, and as predicated the quick-fire rounds of 9 and 10 did expose every weakness of the most robust teams. What did the stats tell us?
In round 9 it was Leigh struggling to score with just the one try against Salford but a brilliant effort to restrict them to just the two tries. And in a change of fortune it was Salford who had a distant relationship with the try line crossing it just the once in round 10.
Leeds had a brilliant time in these two rounds, in round 9 they scored 8 tries and in round 10 scored 7 tries to top the try scoring table for both rounds.
The least tackles made was Leeds in round 9 with just 235 and in round 10 Catalans with 252. It’s worth giving a note to Catalans, we don’t talk about them much in this article and that’s because they have been the definition of average so far this season, it’s pleasing to see them make a few statistics in the right direction.
The most tackles for our double round look at Betfred Super league was Leigh in round 9 with 401and Salford tackling 394 in a vain attempt to halt that Catalans defeat.
We have a challenger, this is normally an area for Wigan, Salford and Castleford to battle it out but as the current table reflects Leeds have pushed their way in this metric with 47 tackle burst in round 9 and 39 in round 10 to take the most tackle bursts for both rounds – impressive stuff.
Struggling to break free in round 9 were Wakefield with just 10 tackle bursts and it was surprisingly the Tigers in their defeat to Saints who struggled to break free of the tackles with just 17.
The most metres made in round 9 was Salford with 1389 and in round 10 it was Catalans with 1604. Catalans total is the second highest from any club this year, that record is held by surprising the Warrington Wolves in round 7 with 1709.
The interesting thing is who topped the average metres per carry charts for both rounds it was the Warrington Wolves! Not just by a cm, in one round the gap between the second-place team is more than half a metre! With those sorts of figures, they should be destroying teams not just winning by a few points.
Runs from Dummy Half
Another metric dominated by Warrington Wolves for both round 9 and round 10 they did more runs from dummy half than any other team, with Daryl Clark in the team it’s hardly surprising and this might be where they are making those big metres talked about above.
Only Hull kept a 100% record over the two rounds with 8 and no misses, teams with just the one miss over the two rounds Castleford, Saints and Salford.
Nearly every coach will moan “the errors cost us in parts of that game” when they pick over the match in post-match interviews, it does matter where they fall but every team makes errors, I’ll make a trophy for a team who makes 0 errors in a game this year!
In round 9 the team making the most errors was Leigh (19) which will be frustrating on the back of a narrow defeat by Salford, Salford made 14 errors in that match…I’m surprised rugby was even played with that many errors!
In round 10 Hull made the most errors with 17 which means the win against Leigh could have been even greater if they had been a bit tidier.
What does it all mean?
Castleford – many Tigers fans put the Salford loss down to conditions but didn’t take away that their team wasn’t at the races that day and Salford were better. It may well have done the players good at that stage to have a dose of reality. In the Saint’s game the head to head stats away from the tries and kicks tell of a story of lacking the ability to burst through defensive lines either via skill or power. Nothing a good rest won’t fix I feel but a wakeup call for the league leaders.
Leeds had perhaps the best two rounds of all the teams recording wins against Hull and Widnes to move joint top with a game in debt to the table toppers Castleford. It seems a million miles away from the doom and gloom just a month or so ago when the chairman felt a letter was needed to calm the nerves of the Rhinos fans not wanting a season of middle 8 rugby again.
Catalans also had a good two rounds with wins against the Giants and Salford, a corner turned? Their stats certainly seem to suggest so.
“Oh I hate it when there is a game in hand in a table, you can never tell where each team truly is!” Well my rugby loving stats fans rejoice, Round 11B is this weekend. This is when the top 8 teams of last season play each other as the top 4 of super league last year play Challenge Cup games So come Sunday evening we will be able to see everyone’s rightful place.
Key matches to watch are Castleford vs Hull and Wire vs Wakefield they are looking to be two mouth-watering games – Until round 11B!