By the Numbers: NRL Round 11
Reynolds hoodoo broken, Coote and Tolman rise, and an NRL Fantasy favourite returns to his best. These are the key numbers and statistics that defined Round 11 of the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership.
Until Friday night, the Rabbitohs hadn't been able to win without their premiership-winning halfback Adam Reynolds. Winless from four starts without Reynolds steering the side around the park, Luke Keary stepped up and filled the void left by his usual halves partner, with John Sutton returning to five-eighth after making a seemingly permanent shift to the forwards late in 2014.
With Johnathan Thurston and Michael Morgan away on Holden State of Origin duty, and hookers Ray Thompson and Rory Kostjasyn in the halves, the Cowboys turned to their fullback Lachlan Coote for inspiration against Wests Tigers and he... pretty much did everything. 24 runs for 264 metres, 482 kick metres, five tackle busts, an offload and a line break made for a busy evening at Campbelltown Stadium for the former Panther.
The Raiders and Bulldogs produced one of the more incredible games of the season, with a see-sawing scoreline and 13 tries at GIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon. While there were points being scored at a remarkable rate, one man who may have been overlooked is Aiden Tolman, who played the entire match in the front row. With James Graham a late scratching through injury, and NSW forwards Josh Jackson and David Klemmer away with the Blues, the stand-in skipper ran for 178 metres and made 35 tackles in his 80 minutes on the field.
Injuries for the Raiders also meant Shaun Fensom played 80 minutes for the first time in 2015. With Jordan Rapana leaving the field in the first half, a backline reshuffle resulted in Fensom's most prolific match of the season, with the Canberra workhorse producing 55 tackles, 178 metres, three offloads, three tackle breaks and a try. Those with Fensom in their NRL Fantasy side would have been pleased with his efforts, as he posted a round-high score of 91.
All 10 starting outside backs in Monday night's Knights-Broncos fixture smashed through the 100 run metres barrier. Newcastle's Dane Gagai (191), James McManus (110), Siona Mata'utia (100), Joseph Leilua (107) and Akuila Uate (111) were all strong, while Brisbane's Lachlan Maranta (144), Daniel Vidot (216), Jack Reed (148), Jordan Kahu (143) and Corey Oates (147) delivered. But with the Broncos gaining the ascendency on the scoreboard, it should come as little surprise that they also scored a win in this area, with the team running for a total of 1777 metres as opposed to Newcastle's 1474 metres.