By the Numbers: NRL Round 14
Canterbury-Bankstown's surprising stats, Wests Tigers run riot, a returning match-winner and the latest member of the 300 club. Here are the key numbers and stats that defined Round 14 of the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership season.
The Tigers ran rampant on Friday night against a normally resolute South Sydney defence who pride themselves of limiting their opposition to few points. That wasn't to be the case at ANZ Stadium though, as Martin Taupau, James Tedesco, Luke Brooks and Mitch Moses led the young Wests Tigers to a resounding 34-6 victory, the largest losing margin for a Rabbitohs side under coach Michael Maguire since he took the role of head coach in 2012.
Speaking of Taupau and Tedesco, the Tigers pair had 24 tackle busts between them against South Sydney, with the fullback breaking 13 tackles while the powerful lock palmed off his opposition on 11 separate occasions. The pair also scored two tries and had two line breaks each, and ran for a combined 333 metres. Of course, all those tackle busts meant there were missed tackles, with the returning Adam Reynolds (eight), Chris McQueen and George Burgess (both five) the main offenders. Tigers five-eighth Moses also had six missed tackles for the match.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. With scores locked up at 21-all and with less than a minute remaining on the clock, the Roosters spread the ball right and, in his first game back from a long-term injury, Blake Ferguson crossed in the corner to seal a dramatic victory for the Tricolours. Sio Siua Taukeiaho was also strong, with the former Warrior running for 142 metres, making 7 tackle busts and 37 tackles in an 80-minute performance.
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler was critical of his charges' discipline in their 28-14 loss to Gold Coast on Sunday afternoon, and while there will be certainly areas the side can improve on, the numbers don't all necessarily make for terrible reading. The side ran for 1650 metres, 85 more than their opponents despite completing just 25 of 37 sets, a figure Hasler is sure to be disappointed by. However the Bulldogs missed six fewer tackles than their opponents, made two more offloads, but committed two more errors than the victorious home side.
Congratulations to Anthony Watmough, who became the 23rd player to compete in 300 or more first grade games. It was a mixed night for the milestone forward, who picked up a shoulder injury in the Eels' Monday night win over the Storm in Melbourne.