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The Dragons are winless after two rounds.

St George Illawarra were the worst side at coming out of trouble last season, ranking down the bottom for net metres gained from long kicks and yardage metres.

In a club-low year where they finished 15th, an NRL Stats analysis found the Dragons averaged a net gain of 31.4 metres for every long kick inside their own 40 metres.

Only wooden spooners Gold Coast (31.1) had a lower figure, while back-to-back premiers the Roosters (36.4) led the way. The average of the top four teams was 34.3.

The net gain is calculated from the point the ball is kicked to where the team receiving possession is held for their first tackle.

A poor average net gain would suggest a team's kick-chase is lacking, their punts are often shallow or the opposition aren't usually being made to move much to gather the ball.

Of the 25 players who placed 10 or more long kicks from inside the defensive 40 metres, St George Illawarra playmakers Ben Hunt (31.1) and Corey Norman (31.0) rated 21st and 22nd for average net metres.

Raiders halfback Aidan Sezer (25.7) was 25th, while Panthers general Nathan Cleary (38.9) was top of the pops.

If a team can't relieve pressure through their long kicking, racking up running metres out of danger becomes more important.

Many successful clubs including Manly, Parramatta and Canberra relied mostly on just one of the two factors to establish field position.

But the Dragons failed to compensate for their low net kicking metres through yardage.

Five key match-ups of the Dragons' 2020 draw

They ranked last with 44.3 average metres per set that began inside their 40 metres – a fair way behind the Sea Eagles' benchmark of 48.9.

Yardage set metres excluded sets with defensive penalties and stopped if the tackle count was restarted.

Even the Titans (45.7m per set) finished ahead of seven teams for average yardage metres.

The Broncos (44.9 per set) were the second-worst at yardage despite boasting the competition's premier post-contact metre-eater in prop Payne Haas.

However, winger Corey Oates (148.6m, 21 games), Anthony Milford (121.5m, 11 games at fullback) and Darius Boyd (122.1m, 15 games at fullback) were the only regular Brisbane outside backs to average more than 115 metres per match. 

Unsurprisingly, the Roosters (36.4 net kick metres, 47.3 yardage) and minor premiers Melbourne (34.4 net kick metres, 48.6 yardage) achieved the rare feat of being strong in both categories.

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