With just 18 minutes of play-time to assert your dominance, turning four points from a try (or five in the bonus zone) into six or seven can be absolutely crucial at the NRL Nines – but with the tricky drop-goal and shot-clock requirements, few kickers have had any sort of consistent success.
Drop goals are hard enough, but to have to try to kick them under fatigue under a strict time limit and often from out wide explains to poor historical conversion percentage for most kickers. The unlimited interchange means a preferred kicker is no guarantee to be on the field when a goal is needed, while the shot clock means sometimes whoever is simply nearest at the time has to grab the ball and try their best.
In four years of the Auckland Nines, the overall success rate was just 42.3%, with 295 goals kicked from 698 attempts.
That means 806 points went begging through 124 games at 6.5 points per game.
Former Warriors Nines star turned Shark Shaun Johnson will be the only established Nines kicker at the tournament. His career record of 21 goals from 40 attempts (52.5%) makes him the fourth best kicker by percentage from anyone with at least 10 Nines goal attempts.
Of those above him, Jarrod Mullen (57.1%) and Daniel Holdsworth (66.7%) have retired. The all-time leader, Rabbitohs half Adam Reynolds, holds a remarkable 80% success rate and was a key plank of the club's 2015 tournament win – however he will be kept on ice for the Perth tournament.
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