We take a look at some of the key and quirky stats leading into the eight games in Round 24 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Dragons v Panthers: The Dragons rely heavily on their tight defence to give them confidence in matches. When the Dragons are at their strongest in defence is when their attack seems to flow the most. The Dragons have the best effective tackle percentage with 90.8 per cent. On top of that, the Dragons have conceded the second fewest penalties this season (116).
The Panthers play an expansive brand of football and are happy to chance their arm. They are ranked 1st for offloads per game and 2nd for try assists by an offload (10 in total). However, by playing this style of football the Panthers have made more errors, where they are ranked 2nd highest. This has also affected their completion rate where they are 2nd worst.
Rabbitohs v Bulldogs: The Rabbitohs are ranked 1st for dummy-half run metres (127.8m per game) but have hooker Isaac Luke suspended for this match. Souths are ranked 2nd in both tackle breaks per game (29.6) and overall linebreaks (94).
The Bulldogs are ranked 1st for hit up runs (87 per game) and 1st for hit up run metres (792.4m per game). The Bulldogs aren't far behind the Rabbitohs when it comes to line breaks, racking up 92 so far this season (3rd overall).
Key match up:
Sharks v Tigers: Cronulla hooker Michael Ennis has played 20 games this season and has 14 try assists, averages 36 tackles per game with an 89.1 per cent tackle efficiency and has thrown 190 dummies this season (2nd highest). He has the most receipts out of any hooker - averaging 114 per game and averages six kicks for 146.6m per game.
Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah averages seven dummy half runs for 47.8m per game, has 14 tackle breaks and 14 offloads for the season so far, averages 41 tackles per game of which 9 come from marker. Farah averages four kicks for 110.8m per game. Out of the seven games Farah hasn't played this season, the Tigers have won only once.
Warriors v Cowboys: The Warriors are ranked 4th for offloads (226) and 4th for tackle breaks (566). But they are ranked 14th for completion percentage (72.9 per cent) and 12th for tackles made (6,833).
The Cowboys are ranked 15th for offloads (142) but have the most metres in contact (12,877m).
Key match up:
Roosters v Broncos: These two teams have vastly different styles of play, however both can boast tight defences. The Roosters have only conceded 280 points to date (tanked 1st) and the Broncos have conceded 340 points (ranked 4th).
The Broncos focus on a ball playing forward pack (displayed through their low level of hit-up runs per game 70.6) whereas the Roosters have their backs do a lot of hard work in gaining metres, and focus their forwards on gaining the hard yards without as much off the ball set play assistance (31 decoys per game).
Tries scored by field position:
Tries conceded by field position:
Titans v Raiders: The defensive stats for the Titans do not read well for 2015 so far: 711 missed tackles (worst in comp); 264 break causes (worst in comp); 338 ineffective tackles (allowing an offload - 3rd worst in comp); 243 try causing events (worst in the comp); 160 penalties conceded (2nd worst in the comp).
The Raiders have been the 3rd best attacking team all season. They have scored the 3rd most tries in the competition with 84 and have the best goal-kicking percentage with 85 per cent. They are 3rd in dummy-half runs per game, averaging 15.3.
Sea Eagles v Eels: The experience of Manly's backline is astonishing when compared to the Eels:
Given their poor defensive record for the most part of this year, it can be said that Parramatta's left edge attack has kept them just outside of the top eight for the majority of 2015. Having scored 70 tries this season, Parramatta's left edge consisting of Semi Radradra, Brad Takairangi and Manu Ma'u have combined for 44 tries (62.8 per cent of the Eels total number of tries).
Storm v Knights: The Knights have conceded 96 tries this season (2nd worst). In particular, their right edge defence has been of concern. 37 per cent of tries have been conceded down the right side (36). Despite their strong attacking qualities, the Knights right side defence pairing of Dane Gagai and
Akuila Uate have struggled in defence this season. Both Gagai and Uate have contributed 15 per cent of Newcastle's total missed tackles this season of 523.
Storm five-eighth Blake Green's ability to throw a dummy pass this season has added yet another attacking string to Melbourne's bow. Green has thrown 156 dummy passes this season (ranked 4th in competition) and has made eight linebreaks this season. Out of these eight linebreaks, Green has managed to score three tries, all coming from dummy passes. Moreover, 20 per cent of Green's total touches are dummy passes.