A team failing to score, a team scoring 50 and under new management the ability to play rugby league has been found. Round 15 had it all!
Salford got the most tries with a specular 9, equal record for this season so far, Warrington Wolves got this round’s wooden spoon not being able to get a try (or a point) against and in form Leeds Rhinos.
Top of the tackling count for the second round in a row is Hull with an impressive 379 tackles in their against Leigh where they lost by 4 points. A normally mid-high tackling team leeds Rhinos made just 260 tackles while comprehensively beating the Wolves.
Saints missed just 14 tackles in their slim win against Wigan, Catalan missed an astounding 40 tackles while Salford put 50 past them. The Saints metric here is very interesting, most of the season they have been higher than that averaging around 22 missed tackles per game. If this continues it would show a marked improvement in this area. Catalan on the other hand have this season been quite bad in this area with an average of 29 missed tackles per game, that’s the 2nd highest average behind Hull on over 30 missed tackles per game.
40 tackle bursts for a rampant Salford side shows that yes Salford can break defensive lines but Catalan are defensively in free fall. Wigan failed to break the Saints defensive line very often managing just 14 tackle bursts.
I often scan across the stats when they are published and crunched to see if anything stands out and what always stands out is a side failing to make 1000 metres with the ball in hand. Catalan made just 981 metres against Salford. Meanwhile Salford were making up for their lack of pressure by recording 1665 metres in the same match.
Another interesting stat here is quite baffling and you’ll have to forgive me for not noticing how this is happening BUT Wolves do keep noticing up the highest or close to highest metres made per carry, this round they are up there with Leeds and Salford yet they were scoreless this round. I can only think the forward pack do the business in 1-3 tackles but are undone later in the phase. Do comment on the Facebook post if you’re a Warrington fan and know what’s going on here…I do come back to this at the end of this article.
For the second round in a row it’s Warrington who make the most errors with 18, Widnes made the same amount of errors. Performing at the highest level and making the least errors was Huddersfield, Salford, and Wakefield.
Leeds again went into old ways by only converting half of their attempts at goal, although they weren’t the only ones Castleford missed 2 from 4, and Leigh missed 2 from 3.
Leeds follow the tried and tested method by offloading the most in this round level with Salford with 18 offloads. Risking nothing with the lowest offloads this round were Leigh registering just 4.
What does it all mean?
I normally look at the top two teams but hey…let’s shake that up! Here a few teams that have caught my eye for all the wrong reasons…
Starting to look a bit shaky and have for a few weeks now, they have the highest missed tackles per game on average with 31.13 missed tackles so far. In itself that’s not so bad but it’s the effort made to attempt to tackle, missing, that attacker making life harder for your overall team, the missed tackler having to get up quicker than if he made the tackle. These are all things that add up to a higher effort output that will hurt you over 80 minutes.
As I said above they don’t just have the highest avg carry gain per game for this round but also overall at 7.70 Castleford at the top of the table have 7.54 metres so that gives you some sort of perspective. Tony Smith must be asking himself how his team can have such an outstanding stat but not be bossing the league. The answer could be in another metric – handling errors, on average Warrington have made 14.53 per game, again for perspective the next lowest is Leigh with 12.47 errors per game, I do feel if Warrington clean up their errors it could be key to making that top 8 comp.
Due to the greatness of Scotland’s highland internet the next report for round 16 won’t be too far behind this one. Round 16 we see Leeds take on Widnes, it’s obvious who should win that one…it was what score? Well Catalan are playing Hull, Hull must have enough…what?!?! Well round 16 It’s a different stat should be VERY INTERESTING.