Stat Attack: The Roosters' new tackling machine
Roosters second-rower Ryan Matterson's monster defensive effort against the Bulldogs on Thursday night signalled the arrival of a new defensive workhorse, with his 65 tackles easily the biggest one-game defensive effort this year by a player not wearing a No.9 on his back.
While the Roosters' 6-0 win didn't reach the soaring heights of some of the thrilling matches in the rest of round seven, Trent Robinson's squad's backs-to-the-wall tackling effort was hugely impressive in its own right as they soaked up a mountain of pressure on their own line, eventually being forced to make more than 100 tackles more than their opponents (440-336).
Matterson's match-high 65 tackles was easily the most tackles made in a game this year by someone other than a hooker and just one short of the 66 managed by Manly's Api Koroisau in round one (in a golden point game) and Parramatta's Kaysa Pritchard against Canberra in round six.
Next best for a non-hooker was the 57 by Russell Packer in a round-three golden point loss against Brisbane, in which his minutes were hugely inflated by not just extra time but a stack of injuries and HIAs elsewhere in the team. Next best after that so far is 53, by Packer's Wests Tigers teammate Elijah Taylor.
Manly's Jake Trbojevic is the only non-hooker to have made more than Matterson's 289 total tackles this year but if Matterson's past three weeks are any gauge he will easily climb from his current spot of seventh-most tackles by any player this season as the weeks progress.
Matterson's impressive 92.9% effective rate is almost identical to Trbojevic's (93%) and only Bronco Andrew McCullough (313 tackles at 96.3%), Eel Daniel Alvaro (277 at 93.9%) and Storm skipper Cam Smith (276 at 94.2%) make a similar volume of tackles to Matterson at an equal or better effective rate.