Stat Attack: Ironmen on show in round 14
Round 14 produced some enormous individual performances stats-wise, with Eels lock Nathan Brown becoming the first player this season to crack a 50-tackle and 200-metre double.
NRL.com Stats has gone through the season and identified the top 10 ironman displays, and found 10 different middle forwards have produced astronomical numbers this season.
Interestingly, those players represent just five different clubs, with the Titans (three players), Sharks, Eels and Sea Eagles (two players) all having more than one player on the list.
Brown's 80-minute effort produced 51 tackles and 221 metres to help his side to a long-awaited win over the Cowboys in Darwin.
It was more impressive given the match was just his second back from a long-term ankle injury having started from the bench a week earlier. It also came in the muggy Darwin humidity on a night where players were dripping with sweat from the opening kick-off.
It also came just a week after teammate Daniel Alvaro played a lone hand in a dire loss to the Knights, racking up a whopping 58 tackles to go with 172 metres, three busts and two offloads in a huge 63-minute stint.
Arguably the most impressive ironman performance of the season to date has come from Sharks prop Andrew Fifita, who pumped out 80 minutes for an injury-ravaged Cronulla pack against Canberra in round 10 with 51 tackles and 175 metres (plus six busts and four offloads). His teammate and captain Paul Gallen hasn't produced the weight of numbers we usually associate with him this year but was back to his best in round 14 with 43 tackles, 201 metres, a try, try assist and three busts in the win over Wests Tigers.
The other real eye-catching effort of the season came from Manly powerhouse Marty Taupau in the round eight loss to Newcastle. His frenetic 62 minutes including a stunning 15 tackle busts and three offloads as he racked up 247 metres while also making 43 tackles. In the very same club, clubmate Jake Trbojevic accrued 45 tackles and 238 metres.
The Titans had two players in round 14 put in monster stints and like Manly in round eight, it wasn't enough to get their team the win.
You could not have asked more of skipper Ryan James, who brushed off his late exclusion from the NSW Origin side to pump out 46 tackles, seven busts, four offloads, 163 metres and two tries against the Rabbitohs.
Teammate Jarrod Wallace, perhaps stung by criticism over his Origin I performance, certainly had a point to prove after the Maroons' Game I loss and backed up admirably for his club, pumping out 73 minutes in the front row and making 40 tackles to go with 168 metres.
Titans lock Jai Arrow has been doing it all season despite being hampered at times by back and rib injuries. Like a few other names on this list he had a few separate performances that came under consideration but his best game stats-wise was in round eight against the Cowboys when he made 38 tackles and racked up 194 metres with four busts and two offloads. He actually had near identical figures a week earlier against the Cowboys (180 metres and 39 tackles with three busts and two offloads).
Cowboys lock Jason Taumalolo hasn't produced the avalanche of numbers he did last year but he monstered the Bulldogs in round six with 39 tackles, eight busts, two offloads and 188 metres. He was just as impressive in round 13 against Manly with 234 metres, 11 busts and four offloads but was only required to make 27 tackles that week.