The NRL Telstra Premiership season delivered another year of unpredictability but rugby league again proved to be the winner, defying the odds to bring fans the greatest game of all.
From record-breaking moments to relocating players and their families to keep the competition going, NRL.com takes a look back at the key numbers that mattered in 2021.
The numbers that mattered in 2021
The number of 20/40 kicks perfected in the season - Storm hooker Brandon Smith with the history-making first during the preliminary final against Penrith.
The number of points that split the Panthers and Rabbitohs in a thrilling Telstra Premiership grand final at Suncorp Stadium.
The number of State of Origin games played in Queensland for the men’s series due to the COVID-19 pandemic - the first time in Origin history.
The number of times Canterbury were held scoreless in 2021, more than any other side. In total there were 13 'duck eggs' for the season.
Two-point field goals kicked in 2021 - Adam Reynolds with a competition-high two for the Rabbitohs
Number of send-offs across the competition in 2021.
Offload turnovers by the Cronulla Sharks in 2021, the best in the competition.
Goals by Nathan Cleary in Origin I as NSW dominated the Maroons 50-6 in Townsville.
Charge downs applied by the Eels in 2021, the most in the NRL.
The number of sin-bins for the Roosters, Warriors and Titans, the most of any other clubs in the competition. The total for the season finished at 115.
The total number of on-field referees used throughout the season.
Intercepts by the North Queensland Cowboys, the most of any team in the competition.
Total points scored in the women’s State of Origin - Queensland retaining the shield with an 8-6 win over NSW.
The best of Tommy Turbo in 2021
Games it took Sea Eagles star Tom Trbojevic to poll enough votes to win the 2021 Dally M winner. Trbojevic became Manly's third winner of the prestigious prize after Cliff Lyons and Matt Orford.
Total points scored in the thrilling preliminary final between the Panthers and Storm at Suncorp Stadium.
Number of teams we'll have in the NRL in 2023 after the Dolphins were granted the licence to join the competition.
The age of Warriors rookie Reece Walsh when he made his NRL debut in round seven against the Storm.
In-goal escapes from the Newcastle Knights, the most of any team in the competition.
One-on-one steals by the Melbourne Storm, the best in the league.
One-point field goals kicked across the competition in 2021 - Roosters playmaker Sam Walker leading the way with three.
Penalty goals made by former Rabbitohs sharpshooter Adam Reynolds, the most in the competition.
The number of retirees in 2021, including a quartet of greats from the Roosters - Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend, Brett Morris and Josh Morris - and the evergreen Benji Marshall, whose 346th and final appearance came in the decider with Souths.
The average age of players in the competition, remaining on par with last year.
Total points scored in the 2021 Telstra Premiership grand final between Penrith and South Sydney.
Thousand, five hundred and thirty-three spectators filled Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium for the State of Origin series opener.
Number of tries scored by Manly superstar Tom Trbojevic. And just for good measure he threw in 28 try assists as well.
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The number of 40/20 kicks throughout the season. The Dragons were the best with five courtesy of Ben Hunt (3) and Andrew McCullough (2).
Tries scored by leading tryscorer, Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston. It takes his career tally to 136 tries in 166 games.
Break causes conceded by the Cronulla Sharks due to lazy efforts, the worst in the competition.
The average amount of players used by each club across the season in 2021.
Average points scored by the Melbourne Storm per game in 2021.
Banana kicks applied across the competition with Raiders winger Jordan Rapana and Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary leading the way with three each.
Years since Parramatta's last premiership. After winning four titles in the 80s the blue and gold have been starved of grand final glory since Price and Cronin bowed out winners in 1986.
Players used by the Warriors and Broncos in 2021, the most of any other club in the competition.
Career tries for Cowboys star Jason Taumalolo after adding just one to his tally in 2021.
Tackles made by NSW forward Kezie Apps in the gripping 8-6 women’s State of Origin clash in June.
Ruck infringements by the Cronulla Sharks, the least of any team in the competition in 2021.
The total number of break causes through poor reads by centres Enari Tuala and Tom Opacic for their respective in 2021.
Total points scored by the Panthers during the Telstra Premiership finals series.
Thousand, three hundred and thirty-nine people attended Magic Round on average across the three days at Suncorp Stadium.
Competition points the Storm and Panthers finished on during the regular season - Melbourne claiming the minor premiership on points differential.
The average number of points scored per game (45.86) from round one through to the Telstra Premiership grand final.
The best of Cody Walker in 2021
Line break assists by Cody Walker in a record-breaking season by the Rabbitohs five-eighth.
The average number of tackles made by Knights hooker Jayden Brailey per game. The hard-working No.9 made a competition-high 1092 tackles for the season.
Bomb kicks defused by the Canberra Raiders, the least amount by a club in the competition.
The combined amount of tries scored by Manly wingers Jason Saab (26) and Reuben Garrick (23) in 2021.
Wins recorded by Wayne Bennett at the Rabbitohs after finishing up following a three-year stint with the club.
Points scored by Knights star Kalyn Ponga in 2021 courtesy of eight tries and 10 goals.
Possession rate per game of the Melbourne Storm in 2021, the best in the league.
Offloads made by Bulldogs-bound forward Tevita Pangai jnr, the best of any player in the competition.
Total tries conceded by the Titans in the second halves of games.
Possession rate of the Maori women’s All-Stars side during their 24-0 victory over the Indigenous All Stars in February.
The total amount of tries Clint Gutherson currently sits on after adding another 13 to his tally in 2021.
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Career tries departing Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will leave the game on after making his NRL debut in 2012.
Missed tackle count by the Panthers in the Telstra Premiership grand final.
Tries scored by the Bulldogs in 2021, the least in the Telstra Premiership.
The number of charge downs in 2021 with the Eels (10), Dragons (9) and Panthers (9) finishing in the top three.
One-on-one tackles made by Sharks back-rower Briton Nikora in 2021, second-best behind Sea Eagles centre Morgan Harper.
Retiring Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner's winning percentage during an illustrious NRL career.
Amount of dummy passes thrown by Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans, well below leading playmakers Ben Hunt (126) and Luke Brooks (122) in this area.
The average NRL Fantasy score for damaging Titans forward David Fifita, who produced a career-high 65.3 during his maiden season at the club in 2021.
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The average number of supports by the Wests Tigers per game, the best in the league.
Points scored by Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell in 2021, including a field goal against to put the finishing touches on a big 35-6 win over Brisbane at Stadium Australia in round five.
The total number of offloads made during the State of Origin series, Queensland finishing with 38 across the three games.
The total average amount of penalties given away each round in the Telstra Premiership.
The total number of tackles made by Roosters forward Nat Butcher - a season-high - during the side's round nine clash against the Eels.
Total tries scored by retiring Raiders forward Iosia Soliola across his 16-year career in the NRL and Super League.
The number of years the Dolphins have waited to gain entry into first grade, the wait now set to end in 2023.
Post-contact metres average for Warriors prop Addin Fonua-Blake during his 15 games in 2021.
Line breaks between them for Josh Addo-Carr (28), Jahrome Hughes (20), Nicho Hynes (15) and Brandon Smith (12), highlighting the potency of the Melbourne Storm attack, which piled on 815 points in 24 matches.
Total points scored by Sea Eagles winger Reuben Garrick across three games against the Bulldogs, Eels and Titans in a record-breaking year.
The average amount of game experience across the competition.
Points scored by the Broncos in the 10 minutes before half-time - their most dangerous period across the season.
The number of players who made their NRL debut in 2021, the Roosters leading the way with nine and Eels with seven.
The best of Reece Walsh in 2021
Set completion rate of the Canterbury Bulldogs, the best in the league.
Kick-return metres average for Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards from 21 games played in 2021.
Tries scored by the Cowboys in 2021, ranking them 10th in the competition.
The average Tom Trbojevic produced in NRL Fantasy this season, the best of any outside back in the competition.
Goal kicking percentage for the Canberra Raiders, the best in the competition.
Tackle efficiency percentage for Dragons utility Jack Bird following a successful season returning from an ACL injury.
NRL career wins for retiring Cowboys five-eighth Michael Morgan, who hung up the boots in April due to a shoulder injury.
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Errors in the opposition half by the Bulldogs across the season, the least amount in the competition.
Ruck infringements conceded by the Parramatta Eels, the most in the competition.
Good kick-chase applied by the Raiders in 2021 - the worst of the competition.
The average number of post-contact metres by Panthers winger Brian To’o in 21 games played.
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1991 in fact. The year Greg Alexander led the Panthers to their maiden premiership. They followed that with a second title in 2003 and then made it a triple treat with Nathan Cleary's masterclass inspiring a 14-12 win over the Rabbitohs on October 3, 2021.
Missed tackles made by Cowboys playmaker Scott Drinkwater and Panthers forward Liam Martin, the most of any in the competition.
The average Nathan Cleary produced in NRL Fantasy this season, the best in the game and a dream for all coaches who captained him weekly.
Total points scored by NSW in their record-breaking 2-1 series win over Queensland in the State of Origin.
Tackle efficiency percentage of recently-appointed Warriors captain Tohu Harris in 2021 before a knee injury cut short his campaign.
Line breaks made by David Nofoaluma during his career at Wests Tigers after recording a further 10 in 2021.
The incredible completion rate of the Warriors during their 20-14 win against the Dragons in round five at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Average career appearances of the Cronulla Sharks in 2021, the most experienced team in the competition.
The milestone Kyle Feldt reached for tries in 2021, touching down against Melbourne in round 19 to bring up triple figures. The mercurial Matt Bowen (130) is the only other man to score 100 tries for the club.
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