By the Numbers: NRL Round 6
The NRL's new metre-eater, a try-scoring machine, Manly's injury woes and Vatuvei's memorable 200th appearance. These are the key numbers and statistics that defined Round 6 of the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership.
It's rare we see a four-pointer decide a match in golden point extra time, but that's exactly what happened on Friday night when Ben Hunt crashed over to cause scenes at Suncorp Stadium usually reserved for a Maroons victory or a Brisbane finals win. Hunt was enormous for his side against the Roosters, making two line breaks, seven tackle breaks, two offloads, 145 metres, 479 kick metres, as well as a try assist and two tries of his own. Perhaps Hunt's enterprising play will encourage other playmakers to chance their arm and take on the line rather than simply set up a field goal attempt the next time they enter the most intense 10-minute period the regular NRL season has to offer.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck might be heading across to the Warriors at the end of this season, but for now the Roosters custodian isn't shirking any responsibilities. Against the Broncos, Tuivasa-Sheck ran for 288 metres. That's off the back of an incredible 339 metres the previous round against the Sharks. He's run under 200 metres just once from six starts this year (178m in Round 2) and is averaging 247 metres per game, with the most running metres of any player in the competition. Not bad for a man in his first season in the No.1 jersey on a full-time basis.
James Roberts has shot to the top of the try-scoring ladder after six rounds, following his hat-trick against the Eels. The Titans might've won only two of their first six games, but with a genuine strike weapon in Roberts, that tally is sure to increase over the coming weeks. Hot on Roberts' heels are Wests Tigers duo Pat Richards and James Tedesco (both six tries each), Curtis Rona (6), Alex Johnston (5) and Manu Vatuvei (5). Speaking of whom...
Vatuvei crossed for two tries in his 200th NRL appearance, a fitting way to celebrate what has been a wonderful career thus far for the fan-favourite. He also made two line breaks and ran for 117 metres in a vintage display from the man affectionately known as 'The Beast'.
Things aren't looking great for the Sea Eagles at the moment, and the sheer number of injuries they've picked up across the first six rounds has meant they've had to field 25 different players in first grade this season. Compare that to 2014, where they used 28 players in total, and you can see what sort of impact these injuries are having. Coach Geoff Toovey isn't using this as an excuse for the side's poor start to the year, but it's certainly not aiding his team's chances.
Mahe Fonua loves playing the Raiders. Points proved hard to come by when Melbourne faced Canberra in the nation's capital on Sunday afternoon, but when Fonua crossed in the 48th minute, he bought up his ninth try against the Green Machine. When you take into account that he's scored just 22 tries in his NRL career, that number becomes all the more remarkable.
The Bulldogs might be missing a host of stars through injury and suspension, but Aiden Tolman certainly has taken it upon himself to fill the void left by James Graham. The stand-in captain played all but six minutes in the Dogs' loss to the Dragons, making 211 metres and 45 tackles in the process. Melbourne Storm's own marathon man up front, Jesse Bromwich, posted similar numbers in his 70 minutes against Canberra (259m, 33 tackles).