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Stats that matter: Round 24

Smith salutes, Johnston sizzles and Cleary kicks clear. Here are the key numbers and quirky stats from Round 24 of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership season. 

Remember the first half, Titans? 

Remember that try Jarryd Hayne scored in the 14th minute against the Panthers back in Round 20? It was the one where he scored to give the Titans the lead. Ring any bells? Well that was the last time the Titans scored a first-half try. They've now gone four games without a first-half point after they were once again held to nil in the opening stanza, this time by the Eels. 

You can bank on Johnston scoring at ANZ 

Rabbitohs fullback Alex Johnston continued his love affair with ANZ Stadium, taking his tally to 17 tries from his last seven matches following his three-try haul against the Warriors on Friday. The speedster leads the league with 22 tries in 2017 and has bettered his personal best haul of 21 that he set back in his debut season (2014). 


Smith creates new record

We're running out of superlatives when it comes to describing Cameron Smith's record-breaking season, and on Saturday afternoon, the Storm legend added another milestone to his unrivalled CV when became the first player to lead his side out for the 250th time as skipper. His record as captain is phenomenal (181 wins, 67 losses and two draws) and it was fitting that his special day would result in a record-breaking victory as Melbourne recorded its biggest win over the Knights in Newcastle (44-12). It also capped an amazing year on the road for the Storm who finished with an 11-1 away record that featured wins in NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, the ACT and New Zealand. Their only defeat was a golden point heartbreak in Adelaide when they were without their State of Origin stars. 

Another nail-biter for plucky Roosters 

Losing the close ones will more than likely cost the Raiders a spot in the finals, but it's a different story for the Roosters who should cement a top four spot thanks to their ability to close out the tight ones. Trent Robinson's men have now won nine matches this season by six points or less following their 22-18 win over the Wests Tigers – their 10th in a row over the black and golds – which is a far cry from their 2016 form that saw them lose eight games by the same margin. 


It's boys against men…and they're winning! 

Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary proved he's one of the best teenagers in the game after he became the youngest player in history to score 200 points in a season. Manly legend Graham Eadie previously held the record with 216 points in 1974 when he was still only 20, but Cleary (19) bettered that mark with a try and five goals against Canberra to etch his name into the annals of history. It was fitting that another son of a current NRL coach, Sharks halfback Kyle Flanagan, also broke the NYC record for most points in a season last weekend. 


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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