Despite his side going down to the Broncos in Round 14, Raiders forward Joseph Tapine produced a determined performance to top the VB Hard Earned Index for all players in the round.
Tapine finished with a table-topping 96-point score from the round courtesy of six offloads and 20 total carries — 15 of which went for eight metres or more — as the Raiders fought valiantly to get past a desperate Broncos outfit.
Tapine was joined on top of the leaderboard by a fellow front-row forward with Sea Eagles big man Josh Aloiai producing arguably his best effort of the season against his old club on Sunday. In addition to his two-try performance against Wests Tigers, Aloiai had six tackle busts with 16 of his 22 carries going for eight metres or more.
In fact, only powerhouse wingers Brian To'o (18) and Greg Marzhew (17) had more carries for eight-plus metres than Aloiai (16), with the Panthers and Titans wingers refusing to shirk their responsibility in bringing the ball out from their own end.
Brian To'o's spectacular double
In a strong return to the top grade, Marzhew finished the round with 13 tackle busts — more than any other player — with Dragons winger Moses Suli (12) and Dominic Young (11) rounding out the top three in that particular category.
Despite those efforts all three outside backs were part of losing teams in Round 14.
Elsewhere, Chris Randall tackled his heart out in Newcastle's heavy loss to Penrith with 59 successful tackles (more than any other player) with Roosters lock Nat Butcher also surpassing the half century (53) in his side's loss to the Storm.
Tapine's stellar run of form — combined with Isaah Yeo sitting out last week's game — has seen the Kiwi international climb to second on the overall leaderboard behind Eels forward Isaiah Papali'i. Papali'i is the first player to top the thousand-point mark this year, having not missed a game for the blue and gold in 2022.
VB Hard Earned Index: Round 14
- Joseph Tapine (Raiders) — 96 points
- Josh Aloiai (Sea Eagles) — 92 points
- Patrick Carrigan (Broncos) — 89 points
- Thomas Flegler (Broncos) — 88 points
- Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys) — 88 points
- Max King (Bulldogs) — 87 points
- Haumole Olakau'atu (Sea Eagles) — 85 points
- Brian To'o (Panthers) — 85 points
- Keaon Koloamatangi (Rabbitohs) — 84 points
- Corey Horsburgh (Raiders) — 84 points
VB Hard Earned Index: Leaderboard
- Isaiah Papali'i (Eels) — 1008 points
- Joseph Tapine (Raiders) — 988 points
- Isaah Yeo (Panthers) — 973 points
- James Fisher-Harris (Panthers) — 947 points
- Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys) — 892 points
- Paul Vaughan (Bulldogs) — 892 points
- Payne Haas (Broncos) — 884 points
- Angus Crichton (Roosters) — 879 points
- Dylan Edwards (Panthers) — 877 points
- Tino Fa'asuamaleaui (Titans) — 862 points