Stats Insider: What a difference a year makes...

Last season the Bulldogs almost rose from last to first, showing how a year is a long time in rugby league. Now, six weeks into season 2010, we can get a statistical guide to just how much better – or worse – your team is faring in 2010.<br><br>With one quarter of your team’s games now consigned to the history books, the new trends for the season are beginning to take hold. Sure, there will be one or two sides who make a late run, or whose momentum will come at the right time, but consistency in performance is what wins premierships – just ask Melbourne. <br><br>So in ladder order, let’s see what your team is doing great, and not so great, in comparison to last year…<br><b><br>DRAGONS (5-1, 1st place)</b><br>The Dragons have once again started the season on a high, winning five of their first six to lead the competition. Once again they are playing a choking style of play, with relentless ball control getting the job done. They are scoring more points a game and conceding less, plus they are busting more tackles and missing fewer than last year. However, the side is gaining fewer metres, throwing fewer offloads, breaking the line less often and allowing others to offload more. <br><br>Points Scored: 21.9 to 22.3 = +0.4; Tries Scored: 3.7 to 3.8 = +0.1; Metres Gained: 1427 to 1335 = -92; Line-Breaks: 4.9 to 4 = -0.9; Offloads: 13.5 to 11.8 = -1.7; Tackle-Breaks: 36 to 37.8 = +1.8; Points Conceded: 14.5 to 10.8 = -3.7; Tries Conceded: 2.5 to 1.8 = -0.7; Metres Conceded: 1315 to 1262 = -53; Line-Breaks Conceded: 3.8 to 3.2 = -0.6; Offloads Conceded: 11 to 12.7 = +1.7; Missed Tackles: 28.5 to 25.5 = -3<br><br><b>PANTHERS (4-2, 2nd place)</b><br>Penrith are probably the surprise of the opening quarter of the year – not because they are winning, but because they are winning well enough to be second at this stage. The Panthers’ points-per-game are significantly higher this season – up over a converted try a match – but surprisingly they are breaking the line less often and throwing fewer offloads. Their defence is also a converted try better each match and they are containing opposition go-forward much better than in 2009. Perhaps the fact they are conceding almost two fewer line-breaks a match is the biggest plus.<br><br>Points Scored: 21.5 to 27.7 = +6.2; Tries Scored: 3.6 to 4.8 = +1.2; Metres Gained: 1323 to 1346 = +23; Line-Breaks: 4.6 to 3.2 = -1.4; Offloads: 14.1 to 12.8 = -1.3; Tackle-Breaks: 34.6 to 33 = -1.6; Points Conceded: 24.5 to 18 = -6.5; Tries Conceded: 4.2 to 3 = -1.2; Metres Conceded: 1270 to 1175 = -95; Line-Breaks Conceded: 5.6 to 3.8 = -1.8; Offloads Conceded: 13.5 to 11.7 = -1.8; Missed Tackles: 35.3 to 31.7 = -3.6<br><br><b>SEA EAGLES (4-2, 3rd place)</b><br>An impressive, grinding win over Melbourne on Monday night has the Sea Eagles sitting pretty in third place despite a slow start to the year. The side’s attack is more prolific – although line-breaks are down. But it is defensively over the past month where the Sea Eagles have soared. They conceded just 16 points a game, down four from last season. <br><br>Points Scored: 22.4 to 25 = +2.6; Tries Scored: 4 to 4.2 = +0.2; Metres Gained: 1319 to 1301 = -18; Line-Breaks: 4.6 to 4 = -0.6; Offloads: 10.8 to 10.5 = -0.3; Tackle-Breaks: 35.2 to 32.3 = -2.9; Points Conceded: 20 to 16 = -4; Tries Conceded: 3.5 to 2.8 = -0.7; Metres Conceded: 1282 to 1290 = +8; Line-Breaks Conceded: 4.4 to 4.2 = -0.2; Offloads Conceded: 11.2 to 11.3 = +0.1; Missed Tackles: 33.6 to 32.8 = -0.8<br><br><b>STORM (4-2, 4th place)</b><br>Despite a last-start loss, the Storm remain in the top four thanks to their clinical ability to get the job done when it counts. The side has been down on last season’s averages across the board, yet they still find a way to win more than they lose, showing their class. They are scoring six points less per game but have tightened up their miserly defence even further to concede just 12.7 a match. They are well down on metres gained this year, by 154 metres each game, have fewer line-breaks, offloads and tackle-breaks and have allowed more offloads, yet they are making up for it by containing opposition go-forward and missing fewer tackles.<br><br>Points Scored: 22.5 to 16.5 = -6; Tries Scored: 4.1 to 2.8 = -1.3; Metres Gained: 1338 to 1184 = -154; Line-Breaks: 5.1 to 3.8 = -1.3; Offloads: 9.8 to 8.8 = -1; Tackle-Breaks: 39.3 to 31 = -8.3; Points Conceded: 14.3 to 12.7 = -1.6; Tries Conceded: 2.5 to 2 = -0.5; Metres Conceded: 1324 to 1210 = -114; Line-Breaks Conceded: 3 to 2.3 = -0.7; Offloads Conceded: 11.2 to 13.7 = +2.5; Missed Tackles: 27.4 to 24.7 = -2.7<br><br><b>ROOSTERS (4-2, 5th place)</b><br>After a disastrous 2009 the Roosters’ stats read much better at this stage of 2010. The ‘new attitude, new beginning’ credo is working and while they had a major blip against the Bulldogs they have been reasonable otherwise. They are scoring almost 11 points more per game this season and conceding almost five less each week, plus the side is missing fewer tackles, gaining more metres and restricting other team’s offloads, while contributing three more a game themselves. Brian Smith’s men are breaking the line two-and-a-half times more per game, and busting almost eight more tackles each week also, proving it doesn’t take much time to get on the road to redemption. For the second year running, the reigning wooden spooners could be finals bound.<br><br>Points Scored: 15.9 to 26.8 = +10.9; Tries Scored: 2.8 to 4.7 = +1.9; Metres Gained: 1199 to 1291 = +92; Line-Breaks: 4 to 6.5 = +2.5; Offloads: 11.2 to 14.2 = +3; Tackle-Breaks: 29.7 to 37.5 = +7.8; Points Conceded: 28.4 to 23.7 = -4.7; Tries Conceded: 5 to 4.5 = -0.5; Metres Conceded: 1408 to 1318 = -90; Line-Breaks Conceded: 5.2 to 3.8 = -1.4; Offloads Conceded: 14.6 to 12.3 = -2.3; Missed Tackles: 36.2 to 33.8 = -2.4<br><br><b>TITANS (4-2, 6th place)</b><br>The Gold Coast has an important period coming up while Scott Prince remains out. They have been close to their impressive 2009 regular season thus far, although they are down in points scored and line-breaks. Their defence has been better and they have contained opposition go-forward while improving their own but it’s the lift in offloads which is perhaps the most intriguing. Last year the side barely played second-phase footy – but they are throwing over three passes more per game so far this season.<br><br>Points Scored: 21.1 to 18.5 = -2.6; Tries Scored: 3.7 to 3 = -0.7; Metres Gained: 1341 to 1358 = +17; Line-Breaks: 4.7 to 3.7 = -1; Offloads: 10 to 13.3 = +3.3; Tackle-Breaks: 30.1 to 39.5 = +9.4; Points Conceded: 20.5 to 17.8 = -2.7; Tries Conceded: 3.7 to 3 = -0.7; Metres Conceded: 1332 to 1277 = -55; Line-Breaks Conceded: 4.4 to 4.7 = +0.3; Offloads Conceded: 13 to 10.2 = -2.8; Missed Tackles: 35.4 to 36.5 = +1.1<br><b><br>WESTS TIGERS (4-2, 7th place)</b><br>The Wests Tigers’ stats are all very similar to last season; however, they have managed to look a little more impressive at times thanks to a better metres-gained output, some more offloads and a few less missed tackles. Sadly, once again their defence is the issue as they are conceding more points despite missing fewer tackles. <br><br>Points Scored: 23.2 to 23.8 = +0.6; Tries Scored: 4.3 to 4.5 = +0.2; Metres Gained: 1358 to 1427 = +69; Line-Breaks: 5.6 to 4 = -1.6; Offloads: 10 to 11.5 = +1.5; Tackle-Breaks: 35.9 to 34.8 = -1.1; Points Conceded: 20.1 to 23.3 = +3.2; Tries Conceded: 3.5 to 4 = +0.5; Metres Conceded: 1277 to 1303 = +26; Line-Breaks Conceded: 4.4 to 4.3 = -0.1; Offloads Conceded: 13.5 to 12 = -1.5; Missed Tackles: 33 to 31 = -2<br><br><b>RABBITOHS (3-3, 8th place)</b><br>Believe it or not, the resurgent Rabbitohs are scoring fewer points per game than last season – despite the fact they are breaking the line more, gaining more metres and busting more tackles. In a comforting sign for the Bunnies’ faithful, their defence has been stronger – but letting six more offloads per match get away cannot be something they are happy with. &nbsp;<br><br>Points Scored: 23.6 to 22 = -1.6; Tries Scored: 4.3 to 4 = -0.3; Metres Gained: 1304 to 1361 = +57; Line-Breaks: 4.9 to 5.2 = +0.3; Offloads: 11.1 to 9.2 = -1.9; Tackle-Breaks: 32.2 to 34.3 = +2.1; Points Conceded: 22.9 to 18.5 = -4.4; Tries Conceded: 4.2 to 3.2 = -1; Metres Conceded: 1386 to 1395 = +9; Line-Breaks Conceded: 5.4 to 4 = -1.4; Offloads Conceded: 10.8 to 16.8 = +6; Missed Tackles: 33.9 to 34.5 = +0.6<br><br><b>WARRIORS (3-3, 9th place)</b><br>Just when they look the goods, the Warriors get a spanking from Penrith – but they still are flying much higher than their tragic 2009 campaign. They are scoring more than eight more points a game, breaking the line more, making more metres, throwing more offloads, busting more tackles, and conceding fewer points. Opposition teams are also making fewer inroads against the Warriors – to the tune of 132 metres a match! The most worrying sign, though, is the fact they are missing more tackles this year.<br>&nbsp;<br>Points Scored: 15.7 to 24 = +8.3; Tries Scored: 2.9 to 4.2 = +1.3; Metres Gained: 1359 to 1379 = +20; Line-Breaks: 4 to 5.3 = +1.3; Offloads: 14.8 to 17.5 = +2.7; Tackle-Breaks: 36.2 to 42.8 = +6.6; Points Conceded: 23.5 to 22.3 = -1.2; Tries Conceded: 4.2 to 3.7 = -0.5; Metres Conceded: 1373 to 1241 = -132; Line-Breaks Conceded: 5.3 to 3.2 = -2.1; Offloads Conceded: 13.3 to 11 = -2.3; Missed Tackles: 32.4 to 36.7 = +4.3<br><br><b>BULLDOGS (2-4, 10th place)</b><br>In 2009, the Bulldogs led the way in many categories – but due to a weaker defence, the side is already fighting to keep up this season. Surprisingly, they have scored more points on average, but their offloads are in the negative – both making and conceding. All of their numbers are solid enough to suggest the side will ‘straighten out and fly right’.<br><br>Points Scored: 23.6 to 24.3 = +0.7; Tries Scored: 4 to 4.7 = +0.7; Metres Gained: 1308 to 1314 = +6; Line-Breaks: 5.2 to 5 = -0.2; Offloads: 12.6 to 10 = -2.6; Tackle-Breaks: 36.9 to 41.7 = +4.8; Points Conceded: 17.8 to 22 = +4.2; Tries Conceded: 3.2 to 4.2 = +1; Metres Conceded: 1340 to 1305 = -35; Line-Breaks Conceded: 4.1 to 4.2 = +0.1; Offloads Conceded: 14.7 to 16.5 = +1.8; Missed Tackles: 37.8 to 36.2 = -1.6<br><br><b>EELS (2-4, 11th place)</b><br>Dear oh dear. The Eels have been a shadow of the side that streaked all the way to the grand final last year. But a win over the Rabbitohs at least has them heading in the right direction. They are scoring more than a converted try less this year, are well down on metres gained, break the line over two times less per match, have dropped their trademark second-phase play, have barely bruised a grape in tackle-breaks and are allowing opposition teams more metres. <br><br>Points Scored: 20.2 to 14 = -6.2; Tries Scored: 3.5 to 2.3 = -1.2; Metres Gained: 1405 to 1271 = -134; Line-Breaks: 4.9 to 2.8 = -2.1; Offloads: 17.6 to 15.3 = -2.3; Tackle-Breaks: 39.1 to 24.2 = -14.9; Points Conceded: 18.6 to 17.3 = -1.3; Tries Conceded: 3.2 to 3.2 = 0; Metres Conceded: 1338 to 1384 = +46; Line-Breaks Conceded: 3.7 to 2.5 = -1.2; Offloads Conceded: 10.2 to 9.3 = -0.9; Missed Tackles: 30.6 to 31.3 = +0.7<br><br><b>KNIGHTS (2-4, 12th Place)</b><br>Newcastle’s woes this season have stemmed from a defence allowing almost an extra try a match. They have been vigilant in shutting down opposition offloads but have missed more tackles and are making fewer metres this year.<br><br>Points Scored: 20.8 to 20.3 = -0.5; Tries Scored: 3.5 to 3.7 = +0.2; Metres Gained: 1285 to 1268 = -17; Line-Breaks: 4.4 to 4.7 = +0.3; Offloads: 12 to 11.8 = -0.2; Tackle-Breaks: 35.1 to 37.3 = +2.2; Points Conceded: 20.7 to 25.3 = +4.6; Tries Conceded: 3.6 to 4.5 = +0.9; Metres Conceded: 1280 to 1253 = -27; Line-Breaks Conceded: 4.4 to 4.5 = +0.1; Offloads Conceded: 10.6 to 7.7 = -2.9; Missed Tackles: 29.4 to 30.8 = +1.4.<br><br><b>COWBOYS (2-4, 13th place)</b><br>Still stuck in the doldrums despite having one of the world’s best players on their books the Cowboys are scoring less and conceding a lot more than last year – not a good sign for a side that missed the 2009 finals. They have lifted their line-breaks, metres and tackle-breaks but are missing more tackles and allowing opposition teams more metres.<br><br>Points Scored: 23.2 to 21 = -2.2; Tries Scored: 4.1 to 3.3 = -0.8; Metres Gained: 1291 to 1355 = +64; Line-Breaks: 4.2 to 4.7 = +0.5; Offloads: 10.6 to 13.7 = +3.1; Tackle-Breaks: 29.8 to 35.2 = +5.4; Points Conceded: 19.8 to 26.7 = +6.9; Tries Conceded: 3.5 to 4.7 = +1.2; Metres Conceded: 1219 to 1298 = +79; Line-Breaks Conceded: 4.8 to 5.5 = +0.7; Offloads Conceded: 11.2 to 12.2 = +1; Missed Tackles: 32.5 to 37 = +4.5<br><br><b>BRONCOS (2-4, 14th place)</b><br>The big win over the Sharks boosted some of their numbers but it’s still not pretty reading for the Broncos. They miss 46 tackles a match and even a better attack than last year cannot totally compensate for a defence which is in ‘struggle city’. It’s very hard to win a game when you concede more than 28 points a week. <br><br>Points Scored: 21.7 to 21 = -0.7; Tries Scored: 3.9 to 3.8 = -0.1; Metres Gained: 1260 to 1341 = +81; Line-Breaks: 4.3 to 5.8 = +1.5; Offloads: 9.2 to 11.3 = +2.1; Tackle-Breaks: 37.1 to 39.3 = +2.2; Points Conceded: 24 to 28.2 = +4.2; Tries Conceded: 4.3 to 4.8 = +0.5; Metres Conceded: 1353 to 1379 = +26; Line-Breaks Conceded: 5.4 to 7.8 = +2.4; Offloads Conceded: 14.2 to 17.7 = +3.5; Missed Tackles: 42.4 to 46 = +3.6<br><br><b>RAIDERS (2-4, 15th place)</b><br>Another side that didn’t play finals in 2009 and whose numbers have dropped. The Raiders look set for a long year if they don’t improve quickly. They have gone backwards in points scored, metres gained, line-breaks, offloads and tackle-breaks, plus they are conceding more points, metres, line-breaks and offloads while missing more tackles. It’s all bad on this stats sheet. <br><br>Points Scored: 20.4 to 15.7 = -4.7; Tries Scored: 3.7 to 2.8 = -0.9; Metres Gained: 1349 to 1235 = -114; Line-Breaks: 4.4 to 4 = -0.4; Offloads: 14.3 to 11.5 = -2.8; Tackle-Breaks: 33.1 to 32.8 = -0.3; Points Conceded: 21.7 to 26.1 = +4.4; Tries Conceded: 3.9 to 4.7 = +0.8; Metres Conceded: 1280 to 1482 = +202; Line-Breaks Conceded: 4.9 to 5.5 = +0.6; Offloads Conceded: 10.6 to 11.2 = +0.6; Missed Tackles: 29 to 34 = +5<br><br><b>SHARKS (1-5, 16th place)</b><br>The firm favourites for the wooden spoon. The side was already poor in attack last season and is now worse, scoring just two tries a match. They are down on metres and line-breaks and are now letting in more points as well. It will take some significant heart to stop the side winning its third wooden spoon, its first since 1969.<br><br>Points Scored: 15 to 12.2 = -2.8; Tries Scored: 2.7 to 2 = -0.7; Metres Gained: 1217 to 1168 = -49; Line-Breaks: 3.4 to 2.7 = -0.7; Offloads: 12.3 to 14 = +1.7; Tackle-Breaks: 32.5 to 34.2 = +1.7; Points Conceded: 23.7 to 26.3 = +2.6; Tries Conceded: 4.2 to 4.7 = -0.5; Metres Conceded: 1336 to 1362 = +26; Line-Breaks Conceded: 4.9 to 5.8 = +0.9; Offloads Conceded: 10.5 to 11.2 = +0.7; Missed Tackles: 35.1 to 34.8 = -0.3