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NRL Telstra Premiership 2009

Run of shame: Try-less players await their fate

Stats Insider NRL.com Thu, Aug 16, 2012 - 10:30 AM

Newcastle Knights prop Kade Snowden is one of many big-name NRL forwards who is staring down the barrell of a season-ending 'nudie run' after a try-less year. Copyright: NRL Photos

I must admit this is one of my favourite stories to delve into every year. I look forward to the regular season coming to an end, just so I can go through the try-scoring numbers and see who is facing one of rugby league’s longest-standing traditions – the ‘nudie run’!

Those who don’t cross the stripe during a season face an end-of-year Mad Monday ‘punishment’ – traditionally a nude run (done away from public’s prying eyes, of course) – or something of similarly embarrassing but light-hearted ilk. Your Stats Insider has made a few calls to anonymous players to get the rundown. Some clubs arrange a 100-metre dash from try line to try line at their home ground or training venue. Others cruelly make it a full lap of the oval. Some add push-ups and sit-ups to the mix; and I’m reliably informed some players have even been forced to do a circuit in the gym in the buff!

Perhaps the harshest part of the tradition is the fact it mostly involves forwards. The big units who do all the hard yakka all season, so the likes of Ben Barba (with his 19 tries from 21 games) can weave their magic… these guys simply don’t get the credit they deserve.

Don’t get me wrong: Aiden Tolman’s Bulldogs team-mates are extremely appreciative of his average 129 metres gained and 32 tackles each match… but even they chuckle at the end of a season if he remains without a try. It means nought if Tolman can’t get himself a ‘meat pie’ during the next three weeks. (Those of you wondering about the semi-finals… well it turns out some clubs don’t count finals series tries in the tally! Brutal!)

Even so, there are at least eight clubs with only three chances left. So far this season 125 players have taken to the field and not scored a try. This is a much lower number than the past few years, so it seems the desire not to be punished could be helping more across the line! At this stage last season there were 161 players without tries, and it was 143 in 2010. Or maybe it just goes to show the evolution of the game, with the attacking threat of all teams spread more widely.

Of course, some players have had more chances than others to get across the line.

Some of the bigger names including Petero Civoniceva (16 games), David Shillington (18 games), Dean Young (20 games) and Tolman (21 games) have had plenty of chances… in fact, joining Tolman on the Bulldogs’ books with 21 games and no tries are Michael Ennis and Corey Payne. Perhaps those three aren’t quite as happy as others with Barba and Josh Morris hogging all the tries out Canterbury way!

While they’ve had a plethora of opportunities, spare a thought for the young rookies such as Rabbitoh Necron Areaiiti or Warrior Pita Godinet, who are among several players who have only had the one crack at the NRL, yet still join the list of players to go without the small glory of scoring a try.

And what about players whose seasons were cut short through injury? Wests Tigers rookie James Tedesco’s knee gave way in Round 1, giving him no chance to add to his try tally… all his rehab will be firstly getting him ready for the nudie run!

The Dragons, who have had point-scoring problems all year, lead the list of players without tries: 12 guys wearing the Red V are facing the punishment.

Brisbane, Canterbury and Newcastle each have 10 guys up against it with time running out.

At the other end of the scale, the Cowboys have really shared the fun around, with just four of their players without tries at this point of the year.

For some players however the nudie run is getting all too familiar…

Bryce Gibbs was none from 17 in 2008, none from 21 in 2009 and none from 23 in 2010, none from 20 last year – and now he’s none from 16 and counting in 2012. That’s 97 games without a try! At least now he’s moved clubs it will be new guys seeing him in the buff!

Gibbs at least has scored a try before though…

The record number of games played in a first grade career that didn’t herald a single try goes to Mark Brokenshire, who amassed 103 games in his top grade career without ever crossing the stripe.

Run your eye over the list below and perhaps take the odds for one of them being the last try-scorer over the next three weeks… surely they’re highly motivated!

PLAYERS WITHOUT A TRY

Broncos (10)
Petero Civoniceva – 16 games; Corey Parker – 13 games; Mitchell Dodds – 9 games; Dunamis Lui – 8 games; Scott Anderson – 4 games; Nick Slyney – 3 games; Brendon Gibb – 3 games; Jarrod Wallace – 2 games; David Hala – 1 game; Kurt Baptiste – 1 game.

Raiders (8)
David Shillington – 18 games; Tom Learoyd-Lahrs – 18 games; Dane Tilse – 16 games; Mark Nicholls – 7 games; Brett White – 5 games; Dimitri Pelo – 4 games; Matt McIlwrick – 4 games; Jarrad Kennedy – 2 games.

Bulldogs (10)
Aiden Tolman – 21 games; Corey Payne – 21 games; Michael Ennis – 21 games; James Graham – 20 games; Kris Keating – 15 games; Dale Finucane – 8 games; Trent Hodkinson – 6 games; Luke MacDougall – 2 games; James Gavet – 1 game; Brett Lane – 1 game.

Sharks (5)
Ben Ross – 21 games; Bryce Gibbs – 16 games; Sam Tagataese – 12 games; Anthony Tupou – 9 games; Jon Green – 6 games.

Titans (7)
Matthew White – 16 games; Michael Henderson – 7 games; Bodene Thompson – 7 games; Kayne Lawton – 4 games; Ryan James – 3 games; Phil Graham – 2 games; Jamie Dowling – 1 game.

Sea Eagles (6)
Joe Galuvao – 16 games; Vic Mauro – 14 games; George Rose – 14 games; Liam Foran – 7 games; Tim Robinson – 5 games; Nick Skinner – 4 games.

Storm (5)
Siosaia Vave – 13 games; Maurice Blair – 4 games; Richard Fa’aoso – 2 games; Mahe Fonua – 1 game; Michael Greenfield – 1 game.

Knights (10)
Adam Cuthbertson – 19 games; Joel Edwards – 19 games; Kade Snowden – 16 games; Matt Hilder – 10 games; Zane Tetavano – 10 games; Evarn Tuimavave – 3 games; Chris Adams – 3 games; Marvin Filipo – 2 games; Peter Mata’utia – 1 game; Kyle O’Donnell – 1 game.

Cowboys (3)
Ricky Thorby – 14 games; Joel Riethmuller – 9 games; Moses Pangi – 1 game.

Eels (6)
Joseph Paulo – 20 games; Mitchell Allgood – 17 games; Taniela Lasalo – 9 games; Luke Kelly – 4* games; Esikeli Tonga – 3 games; Justin Horo – 3 games.

* Luke Kelly also played one game for the Storm, without scoring.

Panthers (9)
Dayne Weston – 18 games; Danny Galea – 14 games; Tim Grant – 13 games; Chris Armit – 11 games; Nigel Plum – 10 games; Mitch Achurch – 8 games; Shane Shackleton – 4 games; Harry Siejka – 2 games; Travis Robinson – 1 game.

Rabbitohs (9)
David Tyrrell – 18 games; Eddy Pettybourne – 17 games; Luke Burgess – 12 games; Scott Geddes – 12 games; Shaune Corrigan – 8 games; George Burgess – 3 games; Josh Starling – 3 games; Fetuli Talanoa – 2 games; Necron Areaiiti – 1 game.

Dragons (12)
Dean Young – 20 games; Jack De Belin – 16 games; Jeremy Latimore – 14 games; Leeson Ah Mau – 8 games; Chase Stanley – 8 games; Josh Miller – 6 games; Cameron King – 5 games; Nathan Green – 5 games; Will Matthews – 3 games; David Gower – 2 games; Atelea Vea – 2 games; Jack Stockwell – 2 games.

Roosters (7)
Frank-Paul Nuuausala – 16 games; Mose Masoe – 14 games; Justin Carney – 5 games; Nafe Seluini – 5* games; Ratu Peni Tagive – 5 games; Jack Bosden – 3 games; Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – 3 games.

* Seluini also 2 games for Panthers without scoring.

Warriors (9)
Russell Packer – 21 games; Sam Rapira – 6 games; Steve Rapira – 6 games; Omar Slaimankhel – 5 games; Alehana Mara – 4 games; Sebastine Ikahihfo – 3 games; Micheal Luck – 3 games; Sam Lousi – 2 games; Pita Godinet – 1 game.

Wests Tigers (8)
Aaron Woods – 21 games; Matthew Bell – 20 games; Junior Moors – 11 games; Matt Groat – 7 games; Sean Meaney – 3 games; Tim Simona – 2 games; Pat Politoni – 1 game; James Tedesco – 1 game.

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