Stat Attack: Where each club gets its running metres
Running metres are an integral part of the game – that's no secret.
But which position at your club is excelling, racking up the hard yards?
After breaking down each position, NRL.com Stats can reveal the areas each side is churning out metres, while also pin-pointing the weak spots.
The season average in the opening 10 rounds is set at 8.6%. Seven clubs are above that figure with the Sydney Roosters via James Tedesco (11.81%) contributing to his side the most of any other fullback in the competition with an average of 175 metres. Kalyn Ponga, Tom Trbojevic, and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck are also influential with more than 10% of yardage for their respective teams. South Sydney (6.25%) rely on their fullback position the least.
The evolution of a wingers role has resulted in a drastic change in recent years with the backline spot now considered to be just as important as other key positions. A winger no longer just finishes off a play but are involved in so much more. The season average across all 16 clubs for running metres is 15.67%. Eight clubs are above that number with the Roosters relying on their wingers' work rates the most at 20.48%. Blake Ferguson averages a whopping 194 metres, while the next club heavily reliant is North Queensland at 17.28%. Parramatta (12.51%) use their wingers the least, closely followed by the Bulldogs.
Where the Bulldogs miss the mark in the wing statistics, they make up for in the centre position with 17.39% of their running metres coming from the left and right edges. This smashes the 13.32% season average. On the other end, the Roosters (10.02%) and Broncos (10.28%) have not used the centre positions as much in 2018 – incredibly relevant given the push for Origin hopefuls Latrell Mitchell and James Roberts to see more ball. Roberts alone is averaging just 77.7 metres.
Naturally, the halves will be down in running metres - their primary role is to produce the try assists and kicking to make plays for their teammates. The season average for five-eighths sits at 4.27%.
Penrith are ahead of that figure at 7.3% - that number may be slightly increased for the Panthers given Tyrone Peachey's move to five-eighth once Nathan Cleary got injured but it is exactly what the Panthers needed to allow James Maloney to control the side. Melbourne, on the back of Cameron Munster, were next best. The Warriors (2.47%) and Titans (2.87%) are at the bottom of these standings.
We always hear the words "run the ball!" with the playmakers and based on the opening 10 rounds of the season, halfbacks make up 3.79% of running metres. Six clubs have a higher average with Luke Brooks (6.56%) the most involved in churning out metres and boosted with some long-range tries in 2018. Canberra halves Sam Williams and Aidan Sezer (1.73%) are doing the least running in the NRL.
Gone are the days where it's entirely a forwards battle, but at the same time it certainly helps. The season average sits at 14.59% for starting props. Six clubs are ahead of the figures with Manly (19.72%) and Canterbury (18.85%) most dependent on their big men. Marty Taupau's recent efforts have boosted the Sea Eagles, while it's no secret the Bulldogs thrive on the back of Aaron Woods and David Klemmer's go-forward. The Warriors use their starting forwards at a lowly 11.79%.
The season average is 12.63% - eight clubs are ahead of the mark but overall things are fairly level compared to other positions. Penrith (14.35%) have been reliant on their back-rowers most, followed by the Rabbitohs (14.12%). After struggling with depth in the area, Manly (10.53%) use the edge positions the least. The Titans (10.55%) are also not far behind.
There should be no surprises with the answer to this one. North Queensland lock Jason Taumalalo may not be reaching the heights of last season but that isn't stopping the wrecking ball from playing a part with his workload – running for 11.46% (163.5 metres per game) of the side's total yardage. It is well above the 7.07% season average with the next best Brisbane (9.79%) and Manly (9.22%).
The players used at lock for the Wests Tigers have the lowest percentage of running metres (5.17%).
Immediately we think of the bench as providing an impact rather than workload. Each side works differently. The season average is 16.94% with nine clubs eclipsing that total. Parramatta's bench is producing the most metres for their side at 21.03%, followed by the Tigers (20.83%). Showing they're more reliant on their starting 13, Manly (14.11%) and South Sydney (14.29%) are offering the least amount of bench metres.