Stat Attack: Will Hopoate's stunning double feat
He may have finished up on the losing side but Canterbury fullback Will Hopoate racked up a double statistical feat that may never be repeated in his team's 24-6 loss to South Sydney on Saturday.
The 26-year-old has had only three games back in the custodian's role since the departure of Moses Mbye to the Wests Tigers but has warmed to the task quickly, on Saturday producing a stunning 10 tackle busts and 10 offloads.
It may be the only time in history a player has managed both 10 offloads and 10 busts – it is certainly the only time in the NRL era, since detailed offload and tackle break stats have been kept (1998-present).
While 10 busts is a big figure, it is not that uncommon to see a player hit double figures for tackle breaks (Jarryd Hayne managed 15 on Thursday night against the Knights and James Tedesco produced 17 in Origin I).
Double-figure offload counts are rare as hen's teeth, however.
The most we can find since game-by-game offload data kicks in in 1998 is 14, by former Sharks, Blues and Kangaroos forward Phil Bailey in 2004. That mark is shared with Penrith centre Sid Domic who hit the same tally in 1998 against the Adelaide Rams.
Sharks back-rower Sean Ryan popped 12 against the Dragons in 1999, equalling current Warriors coach Steve Kearney's 12 offloads against Cronulla in 1998.
Two men also notched 11; current Bulldogs coach Dean Pay while he was playing for the Eels against the Bulldogs in 1998 and Bulldogs back-rower Gavin Lester against Melbourne in 2004.
Hopoate's mark of 10 has been reached a few other times since 1998, notably by dynamic Warriors forward Ali Lauiti'iti in 2003 and most recently by then-Panthers five-eighth Bryce Cartwright in 2016.
However none of those instances also featured double figures of tackle breaks, suggesting Hopoate's rare achievement could last as a one-off indefinitely.
Of other players to rack up some big offload counts in 2018, both Andrew Fifita and Martin Taupau have recorded seven in a game.
Fifita also has one instance of eight tackle busts and six offloads in a game this year against the Eels in round nine, plus six busts and seven offloads against the Roosters in round five, but that is still a fair way short of Hopoate's double-10.