Stats that matter: Round 2

Quick starts, identical records and the incredible Queensland derby. The key numbers from Round 2 of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership.

 


Gold-standard rivalry

Move over Celtic and Rangers. Adios Real Madrid and Barcelona. Ciao Roma and Lazio. The greatest sporting rivalry on the planet is between the Broncos and Cowboys. For the fourth time in five matches, the Queenslanders went to extra time, with a Johnathan Thurston field goal the only difference on a special night at Suncorp Stadium. The Broncos have led at half-time in all five of the epic encounters but have only gone on to win one of them (21-20 in Round 4, 2016). North Queensland also became the first team in NRL history to start a season with back-to-back golden point games after they edged the Raiders in Round 1 in freakish circumstances. 

Legends etch their names into the history books

It was fitting that Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston both reached the magical 2,000 point milestone on the same night. Born in the same year, in the same city, the Maroons and Kangaroos legends became the fifth and sixth players respectively to reach 2,000 points, with Smith getting there first virtue of New Zealand's favourable time zone. Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson ensured the home crowd had something to cheer about, passing Stacey Jones's club record 674 points on Friday evening with a try. 

'Turbo' a maroon and white metre-eater

Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic couldn't have done much more to get his side over the line on Saturday evening. The 20-year-old ran for 305 metres against the Rabbitohs in what was later confirmed as the seventh-most prolific performance in the game's history. As rugby league statistician extraordinaire David Middleton revealed, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck holds the record with 336 metres for the Roosters in Round 4, 2015. 

 


Blink and you missed it

Those of you who thought you would be clever and put the leftover pizza in the microwave at the start of the Dragons v Eels game on Sunday night were kicking yourselves after Parramatta's Clint Gutherson touched down in the first minute of the contest. The five-eighth planted the ball down after 34 seconds, equalling the record for the quickest try in NRL history set by Reece Robinson (Round 10, 2014), Sisa Waqa (Round 22, 2012) and Albert Torrens (Round 17, 2004). 

Hot and cold starts

There is nothing surprising about the Storm starting the season 2-0, but it's a new experience for some of the other top-four sides. This is the first time since 1999 that the Eels have won their first two games, while it's been a decade since the Cowboys have gone back-to-back to kick-off the competition. Despite winning three-straight minor premierships in recent years, this is the first time since 2010 that the Roosters have started 2-0. It's a different story for the Bulldogs who are 0-2 for the first time under Des Hasler, who experienced his first Round 2 loss as a coach since 2010.  

Tries galore for rookies

It was a special weekend for generation next with a glut of youngsters crossing for their first tries at NRL level. Tyronne Roberts-Davis and Viliame Kikau each crashed over on debut, Dylan Edwards, Jayden Brailey, Sam Stone and Joe Greenwood scored in their second game, while Titans utility Karl Lawton crashed over in what was his third game. 

 


Semi takes flight

Eels winger Semi Radradra is used to finding his way to the try-line, but Sunday night was the first time he had scored four tries in a game. In doing so, he became the first Eel since Jarryd Hayne in 2006 to bag four meat pies. That night also saw Andrew Johns pass Jason Taylor to become the leading points-scorer at the time; somewhat fitting given what Thurston and Smith were able to achieve last week. 

Spooky starts by Round 3 foes

The Knights and Rabbitohs will head into their showdown this weekend with an identical record after the first fortnight of the season. Both sides have scored 56 points, comprised of 10 tries and eight goals. They've each conceded 52 points, made up of 10 tries and six goals. It's an incredible anomaly in the draw that the teams will square off on Saturday to hopefully separate themselves on the ladder.