Leeds narrow the Tigers dominance in the League for 24 hours, Wakefield and Wigan start to pull away from Saints and Hull stall as the others catch up. Round 27 (or round 4 of the Super 8s if you like) had it all let’s take a look at the numbers…
Both Wakefield and Leeds top the table this week with 6 tries each, not much between all the sides with the bottom 3 scoring 3 tries each, they were Huddersfield, Salford, Saints. What does become obvious here is the goal kicking ability of some teams compared to others, Wakefield kicked 9 goals in total from 9 (well done Finn) and Leeds missed 2 from 9. That 4 points missed means nothing for that match but in a tight semi-final or grand final they may find poor recruitment in that area will come to haunt them.
Salford made 363 tackles this round to try and stop a rampant Wakefield, the surprise low tacklers were Leeds with just 298. Typically Leeds put more men in the tackle but in recent rounds they haven’t done this as much… a learning curve perhaps?
A tip of the hat to Hull, Saints and Wakefield who only missed 16 tackles each all game, this metric is normally around 20s-30s for most teams.
I’ve been waiting for the return fixture of Castleford against Huddersfield as they contain the top two tackle busting players in the comp with Zak Hardaker coming second to Sebastine Ikahihifo. It didn’t disappoint with the Tigers breaking through 33 times and the Giants breaking through 38 times! The Giants top the chat with those 38 busts with Leeds, Wigan and Salford all struggling on 16 each.
Average Carry Gain
Giants came up against the strongest defence in the league, so although they made on average a full 1.5m per carry more than Castleford with 8.61m per carry they couldn’t convert that into tries.
It was Wigan who couldn’t make the metres despite winning Saints making just 7.07m per carry.
Breaking for fun was Hull making 8 clear breaks even though they were on the wrong end of the result against Leeds. Salford struggled here just as they did with the tackle busts with just 3 clear breaks.
Salford sorry it’s you again with 15 errors in game against Wakefield it wasn’t a good day at the office, meanwhile Leeds didn’t make many errors at all recording just 8 in their game.
Some strange stuff…
My records show Saints did an outstanding 22 offloads and that the Giants conceded 25 penalties, believe what you will but that’s what the big stats machine is saying…where did I put that pinch of salt?
But what does it all mean?
Castleford still show utter dominance and although the score line was close enough it never really felt like a Giants game even though they were winning at half time. The stats show a team performing well currently not amazing like at the start of the season but you get the sense the gear box can be engaged at any point to beat any side.
The battle for 4th is very interesting after round 1 of the Super8s you would say Saints have that spot if not higher but with a dip in form it looks now to be a Wigan and Wakefield race. An all Yorkshire top 4 would certainty be a wake up call for the other end of the M62.
Up next we have…
Wakefield and Saints, a top 4 hope killer if Saints lose that
Castleford and Leeds, no position to play for but the bragging rights are always high for this one, could it be 8 in a row for Castleford?
Hull and Wigan, one could all but secure 3rd spot the other could put one hand on the 4th spot
Salford and Giants, all about pride this one but you can’t have 4 out of 4 can you?