Stat Attack: Canterbury Bulldogs' attacking woes
Last Thursday, the Bulldogs enjoyed the most attacking field position of any team in any game so far this year and failed to score a point.
It should not be overlooked that Trent Robinson's Roosters put in a monumental defensive effort in their 6-0 win.
Attacking fullback James Tedesco bagged the man-of-the-match award for a brilliant 80 minutes of clean-up work and defensive marshalling that underscores his rapid improvement in off-the-ball play in recent years.
But you can't ignore the fact that in today's Telstra Premiership, to have 53 play-the-balls in your opponents 20-metre zone and not come up with a single point is cause for concern.
NRL.com Stats can reveal that Canterbury's 53 attacking play-the-balls in round seven is the first time this year a team has had more than 50 in their opponents' red zone, beating the 48 by the Cowboys in their round five loss against the Warriors as well as the 48 by the Panthers in their loss to the Sharks last week.
All three of those matches saw strong defensive efforts by the winning side.
However on the next rung down, all three of the instances of 47 play-the-balls inside an opponents' 20-metre zone this year came in wins against the Sea Eagles - by the Knights (in a round one golden point win), the Eels (in their massive 44-10 win last week) and Wests Tigers (a convincing win at Lottoland the week before).
The Bulldogs' strike rate in the attacking 20 (number of play-the-balls per try) is just 5 percent, or 11 tries from 231 plays. It is the second-worst of any club through seven rounds, ahead of only last-placed Parramatta (4 percent, or 10 tries from 228 attacking play-the-balls).