By the Numbers: NRL Round 1
A premiership-winning halfback taking his game to the next level, an electric winger, the most lethal backline in the competition, and a superstar's season put on hold through injury.
These are the key numbers and statistics that defined the opening round of the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership season.
Adam Reynolds' NRL Fantasy points per minute in Round 1. The South Sydney halfback displayed sublime form in the season-opener, dominating stats across the board in an 80-point performance. A key indicator of the quality of a Fantasy player is his points per minute (PPM). If the player's PPM sits close to one, he's doing more than OK. For Reynolds, seven tackle breaks, 220 kick metres, 22 tackles, an offload, try assist, linebreak assist, and eight from eight with the boot made for a great night out at Suncorp Stadium.
The number of line breaks made by Semi Radradra against the Sea Eagles. On his day, the Parramatta winger is virtually unstoppable. Crossing for a hat-trick, running for 141 metres and making seven tackle breaks along the way, if this performance is any indication Radradra is poised to reach new heights in 2015.
Total combined run metres by Newcastle's outside backs against the Warriors. If you weren't aware, the Knights possess more than a few guns across their backline. The fact that a current Kangaroo in Sione Mata'utia (179m) was only included in the side at all due to Kurt Gidley's late withdrawal should give you an indication of the strike power at their disposal out wide. They didn't let anyone down, with James McManus (62m), Dane Gagai (222m) Joey Leilua (180m) and Akuila Uate (161m) all playing their part in the victory.
The number of missed tackles by Luke Brooks in the Tigers' win over the Titans. The young halfback has been criticised for his efforts without the ball in the past, but showed great improvement in this area to begin 2015. His halves partner Mitchell Moses missed six, the most of any player in this game. With each missed tackle costing a player two points in NRL Fantasy, Moses will need to take a leaf out of Brooks' book before he can become a genuine Fantasy force.
Combined weight of the Canterbury-Bankstown bench. While the Bulldogs couldn't quite get over the top of a red-hot Panthers side, their monstrous forward pack will certainly look to get the better of their opponents in the weeks to come. Tim Browne (112kg) scored a rare try to spark his side's late comeback, while Sam Kasiano (122kg), David Klemmer (120kg) and Frank Pritchard (112kg) all made valuable contributions.
Mitch Cornish's total kicking metres against the Sharks. Starting the year alongside new recruit Blake Austin in the halves, Cornish has been charged with leading the Raiders around the park as Ricky Stuart continues to mould his side into a finals contender. An astute performance with the boot helped Canberra to an invaluable first-up win over the Sharks on the road, and he'll need to continue in this fashion if the Green Machine are to become a top eight side.
Josh Dugan's minutes played against the Storm. Reverting to fullback after spending much of 2014 in the centres, it was a sad sight for Dragons and NSW supporters to see the custodian assisted from the field with what appears to be a syndesmosis injury. Dugan could expect to be ruled out for between six and eight weeks, a cruel blow for both the Red V and Dugan's Origin chances. It was a completely different story for Cameron Smith, who made a successful return from injury, managing an 80 minute performace and producing 48 tackles in the process. The Kangaroos, Maroons and Storm skipper hasn't missed a beat.