Saints bring first blood in the fight for fourth, Castleford bring the ‘beat Rhinos’ book off the shelf for the 8th time in a row, Wigan stake a claim to 4th as well and Salford work out how to play Rugby again – Round 5 of the Super 8s had it all. Let’s check out the stats…
A magnificent 9 tries see Salford top the table for most tries scored this round with Wakefield propping the bottom up with just 2, once round 7 is completed we will look to see how this year stands up in the record books.
Huddersfield made 361 tackles trying to stop Salford, a big tackle count is normally the hallmark of a struggling team and it’s still the case here. Salford conversely didn’t have much defence work to do so have the lowest tackle count in this round with just 245, Castleford was second best here with 283 tackles.
Marker and missed tackles
We don’t normally look at these metrics as; although it pains me to say as a writer who maintains a massive spreadsheet of rugby league stats, they are normally rather standard and don’t tell a story. This round, however, Hull and Wakefield have a really low marker tackle count of just 35 and 36 respectively which compared to the average for the round (excluding those teams of 52 shows how much off the mark they were.
Then it must have been very slippy for the Tigers and Rhino match with both teams missing over 45 tackles each the average excluding those two teams was 22. Crazy stuff!
Average Gain per Carry
Most teams not really making as much ground as normal with 4 of the 8 teams not getting over 7 metres per carry, they were Castleford, Huddersfield, Hull and Leeds. Wigan made the most gains with the ball in hand making over 8 metres on average, the furthest of any team this round.
Unsurprisingly Salford had the most clean breaks with 11 and Hull just made 1 clean break. The average clean breaks from the round were 5.
Saints made the most errors with 17 in the match and the lowest was Hull with just 7 very interesting to see that amount errors in one game and really showed Wakefield was unlucky to get the result they did.
What does it all mean?
Castleford still showing why they are at the top of the table by such a margin, 6 tries with 6 assists, 7 goals kicked 0 missed and only 11 errors. On paper it was a great performance, however watching the game on sky it was a game of two halves!
Wakefield had the edge on Saints but of the 12 errors in the game, one had a particular sway in the result of the game.
Up next we have…
Just 2 games remaining and Castleford and Leeds know they have home semi-finals but their opponents are still up in the air, Wakefield, Hull and Wigan are all still in the mix and with Castleford playing Wigan, Hull play Wakefield. Sadly for the other teams, these are the very important game of the next round and will look to decide the final order of the table.