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Stat Attack: Run it on the last during the Nines

Over four years at the Auckland Nines, a gulf emerged between the teams that chose to run the ball on the last and those that were happy to stick to the 13-a-side policy of putting it on the boot.

The Shaun Johnson-led Warriors were the kings of the last-tackle dash in the modified game, running a whopping 62 per cent of the time when they got to the end of a set.

With Johnson's new club since the last Nines, Cronulla, sitting equal-second on that list (running 51 per cent of the time, level with the Roosters), expect the Sharks to try and catch opponents short on last plays in Perth this weekend.

The Warriors' 10 tries from last-play runs is the most by any club. The Panthers have nine, running 41 per cent of the time on the last.

At 53 per cent of last-play runs ending in a try, Penrith is the only club to score more than half the time when making a last-play dart.

The Sharks and Eels each have eight tries when running on the last. The Eels are second behind Penrith for effectiveness – they run just 29 per cent of the time on last play but score 44 per cent of the time when they elect to do so.

Running on the last is clearly only going to be an effective option when the dummy half or first receiver either sees open pasture in front of them or the team is within attacking range, so it's not as simple as running on the last as often as possible.

However, with five clubs registering a try at least two in five times they give it a shot, it is clearly an effective ploy when there is even a sniff of a chance.