Stat Attack: Penalty goals more than double last year's average
The dramatic increase in penalties in the early stages of 2018 has led to a ready willingness from NRL teams to take the two points when they are on offer.
It proved pivotal in the Brisbane Broncos' try-less 9-7 win over Wests Tigers on Friday night and again when the Cronulla Sharks rolled the Parramatta Eels 14-4 on Saturday despite each team scoring one try.
There have been 55 penalty goals kicked in just 24 matches at 2.3 per game.
This is well up on last year's rate of 224 penalty goals in 201 games at 1.1 per game – a 205% increase. If this rate continues there is set to be a whopping 460 penalty goals in 2018.
The Dragons (8), Sharks (7) and Wests Tigers (6) have kicked the most, with the Tigers prevailing in consecutive 10-8 upsets in the first two rounds on the back of some crucial two-pointers.
The Eels (8), Tigers (7), and Cowboys, Storm and Broncs (5) have conceded most penalty goals.