Stats that matter: Round 13
Here are the key numbers and quirky stats from Round 13 of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership season.
Was anyone really surprised to see Sunday's game between the Sea Eagles and Raiders go to golden point? A quick glance at the history books should have been enough to make us tip the draw, especially when you consider one key stat. The Green Machine are the only team to have played multiple golden point matches against the same opposition in the same season, with Sunday's 21-20 loss at Lottoland taking their tally to three (the Broncos and Cowboys went to extra-time twice in 2016 but their finals encounter wasn't decided in golden point). Canberra played out two golden point thrillers with the Wests Tigers in 2006 and went the distance in both of their games against the Knights last year. If you want to go for value in your tipping comps then back the draw when they play North Queensland in Round 17 after they finished all square after 80 minutes back in Round 1.
Hazem in the Cleary
Bulldogs legend Hazem el Masri can sleep easy after Nathan Cleary fell short of breaking his long-standing NRL record of 35 consecutive successful shots at goal with a miss against who else but Canterbury on Sunday afternoon. The Panthers teenager had managed 23 successful shots on the trot but couldn't add to that tally when he hooked a gettable conversion in the fifth minute of his side's record-breaking win over the men in blue and white.
Panthers on the prowl
As we just mentioned, Penrith's 38-0 win over the Bulldogs shattered all sorts of records for the mountain men. It was their biggest win over Canterbury (previous best was 52-16 in 2008 and 44-8 in 1997), it was their biggest win at ANZ Stadium (previous best was 26-0 in 2000 and 30-4 in 2008, both over the Bulldogs) and it was their second-biggest win on the road, falling just short of their 68-28 victory over the Northern Eagles back in 2002.
Hasler's celebrations put on hold
Sunday's match was Des Hasler's 350th as an NRL head coach but there was no time to celebrate after the Bulldogs went down 38-0 to the Panthers. It's the second time Canterbury have been held to nil this season following their 36-0 loss to the Sea Eagles – Hasler's former side – in Round 4. It's also the first time the Bulldogs have been held scoreless twice in the same season since they won the spoon in 2008. Interestingly, the last time a coach reached 350 games in the NRL was Craig Bellamy in 2016. The result? Melbourne lost to the Bulldogs 18-12 at home.
Knight to forget
There are plenty of stats we could have picked out following Newcastle's 40-12 drubbing at the hands of the Storm, but the one that really stands out is the fact Newcastle didn't play the ball inside Melbourne's 20-metre zone until Dane Gagai got tackled there in the 72nd minute. By that stage the Storm had already had 38 tackles in the same area.
Spooky stat of the week
The last time Cameron Smith missed a club game through injury, the Storm were soundly beaten 40-12 by the Bulldogs in 2014. Incredibly, the Victorians rallied without their skipper on Friday to earn a - you guessed it - 40-12 win over the Knights, with youngster Brandon Smith filling the void at hooker in style with a try on debut.