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Sulasi Vunivalu celebrates a try against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

To celebrate Katy Perry's short stay in Australia we've decided to combine her greatest hits with some of the quirkiest stats to come out of Round 17 of the NRL Telstra Premiership. 

Last Friday night

The Melbourne Storm's form against the Broncos had their fans dancing on table tops and Cameron Smith taking heaps of shots at goal. One of the keys to their success was right winger Suliasi Vunivalu whose outrageous try-scoring record continued with two tries in the first half. The Fijian flyer now has five tries from two appearances at Suncorp Stadium and averages more than one four-pointer per game after 36 NRL matches. 

Dark horse

Having scored just four tries from the first nine rounds it seemed absurd to consider Alex Johnston a genuine chance to finish the season as the competition's leading try-scorer. But with nine tries in his past four appearances – including a club-record-equalling five against the Panthers on Sunday – the Rabbitohs winger now sits on 15 four-pointers and is one clear of Jordan Rapana and Vunivalu. He has already surpassed last year's tally of 11 tries and is closing on his personal-best haul of 21 from the 2014 season.  



Luke Brooks must have had the eye of the tiger, been a fighter and danced his way through the fire – or maybe he's over the hamstring injury that has plagued him in 2017. Either way, the Tigers halfback produced his best 80 minutes of the season with a career high 22 runs for 177 metres in his side's big win over Newcastle. Brooks had managed just one line break this season but burst through twice against the Knights. He also nailed the second field goal of his career – and first since Round 7, 2014 against the Eels – when he also scored a try in a Tigers' win. 

Teenage dream

Raiders winger Nick Cotric must think he's dreaming given just how well he's adapted to life as a first-grader. The 18-year-old took his tally to 10 tries for the season with a terrific solo effort against the Cowboys and has been a standout performer in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Green Machine. He's not the only teenager having the time of his life with Storm sensation Curtis Scott relishing his opportunity at right centre. The 19-year-old has bagged four tries and has averaged six tackle busts in three games for the Storm this year and is justifying the hype that made him one of the most sought-after players on the open market. 


Hot and cold

It was quite fitting that the Raiders lost at home in sub-zero conditions against a Cowboys side more accustomed to stifling humidity and energy-sapping mid-winter heat. The defeat summed up Canberra's hot and cold season; a bitterly disappointing scenario given most people had tipped them to play in the grand final. The Green Machine haven't made back-to-back finals series since the 2003-2004 seasons and are long odds to make the top eight after finishing second in 2016. Ricky Stuart's men are on 14 points after 17 rounds and realistically require at least six wins from their final eight matches if they want to make the post-season. 

Bon appétit

There might have been plenty of food in the Central Coast Stadium media box but that was nothing compared to the smorgasbord of tries on the field. The 44 points amassed by the Sharks was their highest score against the Roosters since they piled on 48 in 1991. It was also their sixth-straight win against the Tricolours – a club record – with Shane Flanagan's men showing a hunger for points with 113 in their past three wins over the Bondi boys.  


Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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