The leaders show a slither of light between them and second place, second place slip, Hull push on as the champions fall. Round 12 had it all (including a silly amount of cards!) let’s get right into it…
Castleford’s domination of Wigan with 9 tries from 8 separate try scores tops the table and Wigan and Leigh with just 1 try to their name are at the foot of the table. Notable mention to Wakefield who scored a nice 6 try blast against Catalans.
Returning to early season form Castleford only tackled 251 times the lowest in this round by 31 tackles. Widnes Vikings tackled the most with 386 tackles made, that is just under 5 tackles per minute every minute for the whole game. When you it that way it’s an awful lot of work to be doing trying to keep out your opposition.
Castleford Tigers as you might expect made the least missed tackles in this round with just 12, what is more of a surprise of sorts is Salford who only made missed 13 tackles. I say a surprise of sorts as they are increasingly proving themselves to be the real deal this year and secondly they were against bottom of the table Widnes.
The most missed tackles is Widnes with 44, really puts Hull’s 60+ into perspective from last week doesn’t it?
Salford underline their intentions this season with 44 tackle bursts in their win over Widnes, no one else even got close to that with second place Trinity with a respectable 39. Underlining the dominance of Castleford in that game against Wigan they made the least breaks from the tackles with just 12.
Most metres in this round isn’t who you’d expect, more about that in a second. Saints made the most metres with 1604, the question you then are allowed to ask is “hang on how have they down that and then only scored 28 points?” well it’s about where those metres are made and with 13 errors it might be those fell on the 4th or 5th tackle each time which would kill off that final play.
Castleford take the plaudits from making the most metres per carry on average this round 8.67m, making the least it’s Castleford’s opponents Wigan with just 6.32m from 127 carries.
Some errors make or break a game, not quite so this round, Vikings, Catalans and Hull all had the lowest error count this round but Catalans lost, Widnes lost and Hull won. The error count is an odd metric as sometimes it can show a clumsy team and sometimes it can show a team trying to do some daring stuff and coming up short. As f by magic proving my point are this round’s stats, Castleford and St Helens had 13 errors in their games but both won by decent margins. This all shows you don’t need to have a perfect game to win but you do need to make the most of the possession you have.
Castleford kicked 9 goals this game and missed one (one was a penalty), perhaps thoughts had moved to the game without Luke’s services as Paul McShane managed to get the ball between the posts from the touch line. Only one team missed more than one attempt this round with Wakefield missing 3 from 6.
Penalties and Cards
A total of 8 cards were shown in this round which is the highest in a round so far this season, 3 came from Catalans. Remarkably both Widnes and Castleford remain cardless this season. Penalties wise Rhinos had the most with 12 and received no cards but Catalans received 11 penalties and received 3 yellow cards!
What does it all mean?
Castleford – A visit to the bubble re-inflation factory has seen them put on the sort of display this round that made them such early contenders this season. Their full match stats are impressive to behold, the items I didn’t touch upon this week tell a story such as 15 offloads, 7 try assists from 9 tries and 90% kicking record, this all make for a picture of utter dominance of a game. The Tigers restricted Wigan to the least amount of metres made during this round and in fact the second least amount of metres since Castleford played Leigh in the first round.
Hull FC – A victory against Warrington underline Hull’s potential and ever since Sneyd got slatted in the media it’s been a different side ready to prove themselves this year. When they get on a role they are a dangerous side and you can be assured every try scored is normally a 6 not a 4. That certainty that brings can’t be underestimated and must play in opponents minds every time they hit the field.
Round 13 (unlucky for some) will see players in the England squad away on international duty which hits some teams more than others naturally. Fixtures to take a look at, Wigan vs Salford could be a famous victory away from home for Salford in the form they are in, Leigh also take on Wakefield and Leigh do have it in the locker to upset any team I feel. In truth every fixture in each round has something for the neutral to get excited about, the biggest question is how will teams cope with key personal missing?