By the Numbers: NRL Round 16
A family affair, the prolific Broncos, wingers run riot and a rookie Bulldog shines. These are the key numbers and statistics that defined Round 16 of the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership season.
The Broncos are flying, finding different ways to win each week. They've lost just three games from 15 starts, and whether it's a tight arm wrestle or a blowout, Wayne Bennett's men are getting the job done ahead of their second and final bye of the season in Round 17. Friday night's 44-22 result was the third match this season they've scored 44 points, and the second time we've seen that same scoreline after their Round 3 demolition of the Cowboys. All three of these games were played at Suncorp Stadium, proving that for the Broncos, there's no place like home.
While the Rabbitohs got the better of the Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium, there were remarkably three sets of brothers who took to the field on Friday night. Twins Tom and George Burgess faced off against Luke following his move to Manly, while Glenn Stewart moved the other way to play against Brett for the first time in the NRL. Rounding out this family affair, the Sea Eagles' promising youngsters Tom and Jake Trbojevic both pulled on the maroon and white jersey. It's the first time since 1993 this has occurred in first grade, with stats guru David Middleton trawling through the archives to find this gem.
The Warriors are building in form, and enjoyed another dominant win over the Raiders in Auckland on Saturday. Given their recent record against the Green Machine, it perhaps shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. In their last four matches since 2013, the Auckland-based outfit have scored 188 points in this fixture, while Canberra have managed just 54.
The Sharks have a habit of causing an upset, and that was the case in Townsville on Saturday night. The Cowboys have brushed past some of the competition's best sides during their 11-game unbeaten run, and up 18-0 at half-time in front of their home crowd, the streak looked set to be extended another week. But the Sharks weren't about to lie down, scoring 24 unanswered points to end the streak and temporarily move into the top eight in the process.
He was meant to be replaced after 25 minutes, but stand-in dummy half Cody Nelson went the distance in his Parramatta debut. Generally used as an edge forward, Nelson made 54 tackles, two offloads and a line break against the Dragons, performing admirably in the absence of hookers Nathan Peats, Isaac De Gois and Kaysa Pritchard.
Panthers winger David Simmons has been quietly going about his business on the wing for the Sharks and Panthers since making his debut at Cronulla in 2003, and on Sunday brought up and passed the 100 career-try mark with his four tries against Wests Tigers. Not to be outdone, Parramatta's own try-scoring sensation Semi Radradra crossed for a hat-trick, bringing up 14 tries for the season, the fourth straight week where he's scored two tries or more. In fact, there have only been two games from his nine starts this season where he's failed to cross the stripe.
In just his third NRL appearance, rookie Bulldogs forward Shaun Lane announced his arrival as a genuine first grade talent. Replacing the suspended Josh Jackson, Lane scored a try, assisted another, made 166 metres, five tackle busts, 32 tackles, two offloads, one line break and a line-break assist in a fairly complete 80 minute performance. While Jackson's return to the side might bump Lane to the bench, he looms as a more than capable replacement for injured second-rower Tony Williams.