On a night when debutant Lachlan Miller stole the headlines and star halfback Nicho Hynes nabbed three Dally M points, it was Cronulla forward Briton Nikora who quietly topped the Telstra Tracker data with a tireless performance against a desperate Titans outfit.
At a glance, Nikora's numbers certainly don't jump out off the page — nine runs for just 58 metres (the lowest of any Sharks forward on the night), along with two offloads and 37 tackles in 80 minutes' work on the Gold Coast.
But what the stats don't highlight is Nikora's work off the ball, which saw the forward top all players in Round 11 for high speed distance, which measures the number of metres covered by players at a speed greater than 20 kilometres per hour.
Nikora's 794 metres was more than any other player, with Dragons backs Zac Lomax (790m) and Cody Ramsey (776m) rounding out the top three.
Interestingly, Nikora was the only forward to feature inside the top 10.
Elsewhere, Penrith overcame a tight first half against the Roosters to run away with a strong win and the Telstra Tracker data highlights why, with three forwards chalking up some impressive numbers in terms of metres covered per minute.
Liam Martin (102.1 metres/min), Scott Sorensen (101.9 metres/min) and Apisai Koroisau (101.6 metres/min) all finished inside the top 10 players for the round — further demonstrating the high intensity of which Ivan Cleary's side are playing at.
Newcastle forward Leo Thompson topped the charts with an eye-catching 116.2 metres per minute, but he did only play 18 minutes against the Broncos.
Ponga breaks the game wide open
Despite their loss to the Broncos, the Knights had several players feature prominently in this week's data, led by fullback Kalyn Ponga, who finished inside the top three players for total distance covered (9,542 metres) and maximum velocity (with a top speed of 37.3 km/h).
Both of those categories were topped by Knights players — Dominic Young had the fastest high speed of the round as he clocked in at 37.3 km/h, while playmaker Adam Clune covered 9,978 metres in total, which was over 400 metres more than any other player.
Telstra Tracker: Round 11
Relative Distance (metres per min)
- Leo Thompson (Knights) — 116.2 metres/min
- Drew Hutchison (Roosters) — 109.7 metres/min
- Liam Martin (Panthers) — 102.1 metres/min
- Dominic Young (Knights) — 37.3 km/h
- Xavier Coates (Storm) — 35.6 km/h
- Kalyn Ponga (Knights) — 35.0 km/h
- Adam Clune (Knights) — 9,978 metres
- Zac Lomax (Dragons) — 9,543 metres
- Kalyn Ponga (Knights) — 9,542 metres
High Speed Distance (metres > 20 km/h)
- Briton Nikora (Sharks) — 794 metres
- Zac Lomax (Dragons) — 790 metres
- Cody Ramsey (Dragons) — 776 metres