By the Numbers: NRL Round 12
Parramatta's kicking improves, a Broncos miracle, North Queensland's front row machine, and the Roosters dominate a fellow competition heavyweight. These are the key numbers and statistics that defined Round 12 of the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership.
In the past few rounds, the Eels have come agonisingly close to victory, going down in golden point to the Warriors and by two points to the Rabbitohs. But on Friday night against the Panthers, Parramatta held on for a six-point victory, with resurgent halfback Chris Sandow kicking five goals from as many attempts. Compare that with the South Sydney game, where the Eels missed all four attempts on goal, and the Warriors clash (Luke Kelly zero from three attempts), and it was a welcome return to form with the boot for Parramatta.
The Broncos travelled 95 metres after the half-time siren on Saturday night to score one of the tries of the season, with five passes and a kick ending with Lachlan Maranta crossing for four points in an astonishing passage of play. How good is rugby league?
There was some talk Matt Scott might be a late scratching for North Queensland's Round 12 meeting with Manly, but the Cowboys co-captain played and didn't shirk any responsibility. By full-time Scott had two tries, two line breaks, 39 tackles, eight tackle busts, two offloads, 147 metres, and no errors or penalties conceded, and all after Origin I on Wednesday. That also meant he finished with the highest individual NRL Fantasy score of the season to date, with his 105 also making him the first to score over 100 in a single game this year.
Two sublime attacking players were at their potent best when the Warriors and Knights clashed on Sunday afternoon. Shaun Johnson and Dane Gagai had 10 tackle breaks between them, while the reigning Golden Boot winner had two try assists, one line break, and a line-break assist. Gagai is still finding his feet in his new fullback role for the Knights, but showed he's more than up to the task with a try, try save, try assist, two line breaks, one line-break assist, and 190 metres.
While the Roosters didn't pile on the points in the same way the Dragons did against the Sharks earlier in the round, their victory over the Storm was just as comprehensive. The Tricolours ran for 2015 metres and had six line breaks, while Melbourne couldn't breach the 'Bondi Wall' on any occasion and had a run total of 1047 metres. The Storm were forced into making 142 more tackles than their opponents, and missed 34 (the Roosters missed just nine), while the home side completed at 82 per cent (74 per cent for Melbourne) and enjoyed 59 per cent of possession. A remarkable set of numbers against a quality side like the Storm, which indicates the Roosters are well and truly in the premiership mix.