By the Numbers: NRL Round 3
Missed opportunities, a broken hand, a marquee signing delivering the goods, and points galore. These are the key numbers and statistics that defined Round 3 of the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership season.
Number of successful conversions by the Sea Eagles against the Bulldogs. With captain and regular goal-kicker Jamie Lyon a late scratching, Manly turned first to Steve Matai, whose conversion attempt clattered into the uprights. Daly Cherry-Evans was then handed kicking duties for the next two attempts, both of which were unsuccessful. With the sides finishing with three tries apiece, it was the boot of Bulldog Trent Hodkinson (2/3) which proved the difference.
Points scored at Suncorp Stadium in Round 3. Points had proved hard to come by for the Broncos (16) and Cowboys (18) in the opening two rounds of 2015. But that was certainly no issue when these sides met in another memorable Queensland derby, with the Broncos scoring six first-half tries to establish a healthy 32-6 lead at the break. They added a further two in the second half, which, along with the Cowboys' four for the match, kept fans entertained right to the end.
Experienced forward Ryan Hoffman is showing why the Warriors went out of their way to secure his services, with three tries in three starts for his new club. He's also not afraid to get through the hard yards, averaging 151 run metres in 2015. Another player recruited from Australia in recent years, Chad Townsend, is beginning to come into his own. Three try assists and two line breaks against the Eels shows he is more than capable of partnering the 2014 Golden Boot winner Shaun Johnson in the halves.
Combined metres by Wests Tigers' starting props against the Rabbitohs. Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway have challenged each other to hit the 100-metre mark in every game they play together. In 2015, they've done so in the opening three rounds. And then some. Woods is averaging 232 metres per game while Galloway sits at 147 metres per game for the same period, including a handy 189 against the Dragons in Round 2. With these two leading the way and Martin Taupau making his presence felt at lock, the Tigers' middle is looking very healthy at this point in time.
Dylan Walker had the use of just one hand for the majority of his side's 20-6 win over Wests Tigers on Sunday afternoon. Despite suffering a fractured left hand that will see the young centre miss up to four weeks, Walker still managed to score two tries and make 136 metres, one line break and three tackle busts. A fair effort with two hands, let alone one.
Some of the game's most exciting outside backs were at their evasive best at Allianz Stadium on Monday night. In his first game this season, Panthers winger Josh Mansour registered nine tackle busts, while Jamal Idris had six and Roosters centres Michael Jennings and Blake Ferguson managed nine and seven respectively. Between the four of them, that's a whopping 31 tackle busts. With each tackle break earning a player three points in NRL Fantasy, there were many satisfied Fantasy coaches at the conclusion of PlayNRL round.