Stats that matter: Round 22
He's the hottest ticket in town so what better way to celebrate Jerry Seinfeld's Australian tour than by linking the comedic genius to the greatest game of all?
A stat about nothing
For Parramatta fans, there is nothing better than downing the Dogs twice in the same season. Interestingly though, the blue and golds will finish 2017 with no second-half tries against Canterbury with the Eels doing most of the damage in the opening 40 minutes of both matches. In Round 17, Brad Arthur's troops piled on 12 first-half point but only sealed the 13-12 win when Mitch Moses slotted a golden-point field goal. Similarly, they opened up a 16-0 lead last Thursday but were only able to add a couple of penalty goals via the right boot of Moses in the second stanza.
Dragons double dip, and slip
Victory over the struggling Rabbitohs would have seen the Red V stay in the top eight for at least another week, but unfortunately for the Dragons they coughed up two late tries to go down 26-24 and drop to ninth spot on the ladder. Scoring 24 points should get you a win, but remarkably Friday's result was the second game in a row against the Bunnies they'd scored 24 and lost after they fell 34-24 in Round 11, 2016.
What's the deal with everyone scoring tries?
The race to be the season's leading try-scorer is well and truly on with the top seven poachers all finding the line in an action-packed round of footy. Jason Nightingale and Sosaia Feki both crossed to move up to 13 tries for the season, but they have a bit of work to do if they want to catch the top five. Broncos flyer James Roberts took his tally to 15 four-pointers with a try against the Titans while Jordan Rapana and Josh Addo-Carr bagged doubles to move one clear of 'the Jet'. The men to catch right now are Alex Johnston and Suliasi Vunivalu – the former scored once while the latter claimed his sixth double of the season – to take their respective tallies to 17 tries for the season. While the rest of us sit around with our buddies chewing some gum, you can expect these elite athletes to pull out all the stops in a bid to finish the year on top.
A Festivus for the rest of us
While most of us recognise the sacred Seinfeld-inspired holiday on December 23, celebrations were brought forward after Newcastle claimed back-to-back wins for the first time since rounds 23 and 24, 2015. The Knights have become everyone's second team this season, so seeing them ease past the Warriors was a wonderful moment (for non-Warriors fans) after what's been a difficult two-year stretch for Nathan Brown's side. On the flip side, the Warriors have now lost five on the trot so you expect them to air some grievances heading into Sunday's game against the Raiders.
No points for you!
It was the shellacking few saw coming, and Brisbane's 54-0 win over the Titans not only had Gold Coast fans yelling 'Serenity now!' but had historians rifling through the record books in search of some nuggets of gold. Saturday's result was Brisbane's highest score since they piled on 71 points against the Knights back in 2007, while it was also the Titans' heaviest defeat. While their attack was hotter than a bowl of Jambalaya soup, it was Brisbane's defence that had more appeal than the Kavorca. Holding a team to nil is nothing new for the Broncos – they did it to the Knights and Dragons last season – but doing it on the road hasn't been as common. Incredibly, Saturday's shutout was the first time they had done it since they held the Bulldogs and Eels scoreless in consecutive weeks away from home in rounds 24 and 25 back in 2006.
Playing at home is one of the biggest advantages in rugby league, unless it's a game involving the Sharks and Raiders. Canberra's comfortable win on Saturday night was the ninth match in a row the travelling side had claimed the competition points in a rivalry that is fast becoming one of the most bizarre in the modern era.
It's definitely preposterous
A halfback ran for more metres than every member of the opposition's forward pack? That's outrageous, egregious and preposterous. And more importantly, it's true. On Sunday, Sea Eagles No.7 Daly Cherry-Evans carried the ball for 169 metres – 29 clear of Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves who topped the count for the Tricolours. Interestingly, it was DCE's best output since he ran for 156 metres against the Roosters in Round 4, 2014.
This has no relevance to anything stats-related, but it would be remiss of us to not mention the hilarious scene at the ill-fated Chinese restaurant. Good luck to Bryce and the Panthers for the rest of the season.