Narrow wins, a draw (what are they?) and with a top 4 team stumbling the table toppers extend their advantage.
Hull get 10 tries as they dispatch Wakefield but it was Leigh and Leeds who saw the lowest number of tries with just 2.
At this stage the averages in the stats start to tell a story, Castleford are obviously way ahead with 6 tries per game on average but then it’s quite tight…
Any of the above should be able to challenge for 2nd – 6th but at this point other than some “bubble bursting” derailing incident concerning Castleford, the ‘hubcap’ looks like it could be on its way to a ‘small town in Wakefield’ but this is Rugby League so who knows!
Although the score line was tight enough Castleford made Leeds work, Leeds made 389 tackles while Castleford made just 263, and that is the highest and lowest tackles from this round! Wigan were the second highest with 368 tackles.
Wakefield Trinity had a horrid time trying to keep a powerful Hull out, 43 times they missed the black and whites – the highest in this round, the lowest again were Castleford with just 17.
The Leeds and Castleford game looks to be one of those where the stats almost want to say it should have been more.
Hull found they could bust through that Wakefield defence a crazy 43 times, Wigan found the Huddersfield defence especially robust only managing to break through 11 times the whole game.
Hull made a respectable 1546 metres during round 19, they also achieved the highest average metres made with 8.49 metres made per carry. Somewhat surprising it was Leeds who struggled to make the metres with just 1014 metres made.
Not a metric that normally gets reported on as every team essentially gets it wrong the same amount of times, in fact across 19 rounds the teams make between 10 and 14 errors per round. In this round though Leeds made a total of 20 errors, for a top half of the league team that is worrying and will need to be quickly fixed for the next round.
What does it all mean?
Castleford having lost only 3 matches from 19 games in the Superleague extend their lead at the top to 7 points which with the points difference is essentially 8 points. They have dips in performance and lose the odd game but I think anyone watching the game will say this Castleford side look the business and everything within the stats suggests so. A tough test in round 20 against a Hull side in great form after beating them in the Cup and then Wakefield.
Hull FC now go second, the only team to have beaten Castleford twice this season (once in the cup and once in their home tie with the West Yorkshire club). Hull look to be one of two sides in the competition capable of catching a rampant Castleford side.
Round 20 will see 1st vs 2nd in the Jungle as Castleford try to overturn the habit of a season, other ties that should offer a great game are Leeds vs Saints will Leeds get back to the job in hand? Salford and Huddersfield will be a good show as well with a slowly improving Giants side looking to string a series of results together. Until next time!