It should come as no surprise if Luke Bailey, Brett White or Dan Hunt start trying to throw dummies when close to the line in the last few games of the season – the trio of forwards are just some of many NRL stars who remain without a try to their name this year.

In one of rugby league’s longest-standing traditions, those who don’t cross the line during a season face an end-of-year Mad Monday punishment, traditionally a ‘nudie run’ (done behind closed doors of course), or something of similar embarrassing but light-hearted ilk.

It’s a cruel custom because the big forwards do all the hard muscle work during games but rarely get the reward of tries, while the speed demon backs (Nathan Merritt is at 21 tries from as many games), or the creative halves (Cooper Cronk has 12 from 20 games) take all the spoils and steer clear of the of birthday suit sprint.

With just three rounds to go for half of the teams in the NRL, time is running out for those on the ‘duck egg’ to get across the stripe.

Some players have had more chances than others to get across the line. White and Hunt have each played 20 games and Bailey has 19 to his name… giving them ample opportunity to post a ‘meat pie’. But spare a thought for the young rookies, like Raider Mick Picker or Shark Tyson Frizell, who are amongst 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 who had their seasons cut short through injury? Rabbitohs including Roy Asotasi and Sam Burgess come to mind, as do Titans’ hooker Nathan Friend and Raider Terry Campese.

Then there are the guys who retired mid-year after minimal games – Paul Whatuira at the Eels was gone after just one game and Mark Riddell at the Roosters, once a known try-scorer, couldn’t get across in 11 games before he quit. Will these guys man-up and be at the end-of-year ritual?

You might feel sorry for Titan Mat Rogers… he comes out of retirement nearing the end of the season, plays one game from the bench, doesn’t score, hurts himself, and is back in the casualty ward, career over. He played 45 minutes only but will no doubt be revved up by his buddies to be there at year’s end. (The Titans have 16 players who have played first grade this year but not scored a try – the most of any club. They may need to spread their sprint over two heats!)

On the other hand the Cowboys have just five guys who have played but not scored in 2011, ensuring theirs will be a more intimate affair at season’s end.

In total there are 161 players who have played this season but not grabbed a try – that’s up from 143 when Stats Insider delved into the matter at the corresponding stage last season.

For some players the run is getting all too familiar.

Bryce Gibbs was none from 17 in 2008, none from 21 in 2009 and none from 23 last season. Now he is none from 16 and counting… that’s 77 games without a try! That’s tough to, ahem, bare.

The record amount of games played in a first grade career which didn’t herald a single try goes to Mark Brokenshire, who amassed 103 in his top-grade career without ever crossing the stripe. At least Gibbs has scored before. Ed Rigney went 102 games, Ben Cross 95 games, Lin Johnson 91 games and Steve Waddell with no tries in his 90-game career round out the top five guys who never scored.

Of current players Bronco Scott Anderson (58 games) has never scored. The next four current players to never score are Broderick Wright (40 games), Clint Amos (37 games), Mitchell Dodds (36 games) and Will Matthews (30 games).

Guys without tries this year who also went without last year include Hunt, Matt White, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Tim Mannah, Matthew Bell… the list goes on.

If you are looking for big odds in the last few weeks, run your eye over this list and maybe have a flutter on last try-scorer… their motivation will be greater than usual!

Players without tries in 2011

BRONCOS
Andrew McCullough – 20 games; Ben Hunt – 13 games; Scott Anderson – 13 games; Mitchell Dodds – 13 games; Josh McGuire – 12 games; Nick Kenny – 9 games; Corey Norman – 9 games; Dane Carlaw – 7 games; Dunamis Lui – 6 games; Shane Tronc – 4 games; Shea Moylan – 1 game.

RAIDERS
Brett White – 20 games; Alan Tongue – 16 games; David Shillington – 13 games; Trevor Thurling – 13 games; Tom Learoyd-Lahrs – 12 games; Josh Miller – 12 games; Sam Mataora – 8 games; Danny Galea – 8 games; Matt Orford 6 games; Travis Waddell – 5 games; James Stuart – 2 games; David Milne – 2 games; Mick Picker – 1 game; Terry Campese – 1 game.

BULLDOGS
Sam Kasiano – 16 games; Corey Payne – 15 games; Greg Eastwood – 14 games; Mickey Paea – 9 games; Jake Foster – 9 games; Michael Hodgson – 8 games; Ben Roberts – 7 games; Chris Armit – 5 games; Martin Taupau – 3 games; Trent Cutler – 2 games; Gary Warburton – 2 games.

SHARKS
Kade Snowden – 17 games; Broderick Wright – 9 games; Siosaia Vave – 3 games; Dean Collis – 3 games; Scott Porter – 3 games; Tim Smith – 1 game; Tyson Frizell – 1 game.

TITANS
Matthew White – 20 games; Luke Bailey – 19 games; Luke O’Dwyer – 16 games; Michael Henderson – 16 games; Ryan James – 14 games; Clinton Toopi – 11 games; Ben Ridge – 10 games; Brenton Lawrence – 6 games; Riley Brown – 6 games; Jordan Rankin – 5 games; Nathan Friend – 4 games; Dominique Peyroux – 3 games; Kevin Gordon – 2 games; Will Matthews – 2 games; Mat Rogers – 1 game; Kayne Lawton – 1 game.

SEA EAGLES
Vic Mauro – 18 games; Brent Kite – 17 games; Jason King – 16 games; Tim Robinson – 9 games; Shane Rodney – 6 games; Darcy Lussick – 5 games; Terence Seuseu – 4 games.

STORM
Jaiman Lowe – 18 games; Adam Woolnough – 17 games; Rory Kostjasyn – 9 games; Atelea Vea – 8 games; Troy Thompson – 6 games; Robbie Rochow – 1 game; Dane Chisholm – 1 game.

KNIGHTS
Joel Edwards – 18 games; Evarn Tuimavave – 16 games; Dan Tolar – 14 games; Isaac De Gois – 13 games; Mark Taufua – 8 games; Tyrone Roberts – 7 games; Steve Southern – 6 games; Marvin Karawana – 5 games; Zane Tetavano – 4 games; Con Mika – 2 games; Ben Rogers – 2 games; Marvin Filipo – 2 games.

COWBOYS
Dallas Johnson – 21 games; Matthew Scott – 18 games; Michael Morgan – 4 games; Isaak Ah Mau – 1 game; Clint Amos – 1 game.

EELS
Nathan Hindmarsh – 21 games; Mitchell Allgood – 20 games; Tim Mannah – 19 games; Daniel Mortimer – 9 games; Carl Webb – 6 games; Pat O’Hanlon – 6 games; Billy Rogers – 5 games; Paul Whatuira – 1 game; Justin Poore – 1 game; Rory Brien – 1 game; Manase Manuokafoa – 1 game.

PANTHERS
Luke Walsh – 20 games; Matthew Bell – 19 games; Nathan Smith – 13 games; Dayne Weston – 10 games; Sarafu Fatiaki – 8 games; Taioalo Vaivai – 5 games; Yileen Gordon – 3 games; Harry Seijka – 2 games; Joseph Paulo – 2 games.

RABBITOHS
David Tyrrell – 20 games; Shannon McPherson – 20 games; Shaune Corrigan – 10 games; Roy Asotasi – 8 games; Luke Burgess – 7 games; Luke Stuart – 5 games; Ben Lowe – 5 games; Sam Burgess – 4 games; Deon Apps – 2 games; Scott Geddes – 1 game; Kane Morgan – 1 game.

DRAGONS
Dan Hunt – 20 games; David Gower – 5 games; Michael Greenfield – 5 games; Jack Bosden – 4 games; Jack De Bellin – 3 games; Bronx Goodwin – 1 game.

ROOSTERS
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves – 19 games; Anthony Mitchell – 12 games; Tinirau Arona – 11 games; Mark Riddell – 11 games; Brad Takairangi – 8 games; Lama Tasi – 6 games; Daniel Conn – 5 games; Boyd Cordner – 4 games; Steve Naughton – 3 games; Rhys Pritchard – 2 games; Willie Mataka – 2 games; Mark Khierallah – 1 game; Johnathon Ford – 1 game; Francis Vaiotu – 1 game.

WARRIORS
Russell Packer – 20 games; Jeremy Latimore – 8 games; Ukuma Ta’ai – 7 games; Alehana Mara – 6 games; Steve Rapira – 4 games; Isaac John – 1 game.

WESTS TIGERS
Keith Galloway – 19 games; Bryce Gibbs – 16 games; Todd Payten – 11 games; Alan Schirnack – 9 games; Ben Murdoch-Masila – 5 games; Matt Groat – 5 games; Tim Simona – 4 games; Jacob Miller – 4 games; Sean Meaney – 3 games; Jason Schirnack – 2 games; Geoff Daniela – 2 game; Sam Latu – 1 game; Mark Flanagan – 1 game.