Sunday 24 September 2017 / 10:11 PM

Daily Top 5: NRL sharpshooters

The ability to turn four points into six has become an integral factor in modern rugby league, and the premiership’s goalkickers continue to set new standards for excellence.

The Daily Top 5 takes a look at the players who have been the best statistically since percentage figures began to be kept in 1986.

TOP 5 GOALKICKING PERCENTAGES SINCE 1986 (MINIMUM 50 ATTEMPTS)

5. Hazem El Masri (Canterbury) – 81.97%

‘El Magic’ is regarded by many as the greatest goalkicker of all time, posting his outstanding percentage in successfully landing 891 goals from 1087 attempts. He briefly held the world record for most consecutive goals (35), while the Bulldogs great achieved a season percentage of 85 or higher on three occasions.

4. Michael Gordon (Penrith, Cronulla) – 82.36%

‘Flash’ Gordon rocketed into the annals of goalkicking greatness in 2009 when he finished the season with 57 goals from 61 attempts for the Panthers – an unprecedented success rate of 93.44%. His next best effort was an outstanding 40 from 46 for Cronulla in 2013, while he heads to Parramatta with 453 from 550 in 10 seasons of NRL footy.

3. Aidan Sezer (Gold Coast) – 82.98%

Something of a quiet achiever in the goalkicking stakes, Canberra-bound five-eighth Sezer has landed 156 of his 188 attempts at goal since debuting for the Titans in 2012. He enjoyed a career strike-rate of more than 85% to the end of 2014, but came back to the field slightly with a still-respectable 78.46% this season (51 from 65). Ironically, Sezer may not be the Raiders’ first-choice goalkicker next season, with Jarrod Croker boasting an 81.45% career strike-rate from 496 attempts.

2. Travis Burns (Manly, North Queensland, Penrith) – 84%

A surprise inclusion in this list, Burns only took 50 shots at goal during his eight-season NRL career, but missed just eight of them. After a serviceable 17 from 22 as a tyro for the Sea Eagles, Burns was not required to shoot for goal during two seasons with the Cowboys. Likewise, the presence of Michael Gordon and Luke Walsh (who lands just outside the top five with 81.48%) meant Burns was not often used at Penrith – but he managed 25 from 28 when called upon to kick for the Panthers. This wasn’t his best work, however…

1. Adam Reynolds (South Sydney) – 84.15%

Boasting 345 goals from 410 attempts, many are suggesting the nuggetty Rabbitohs halfback is the sharpest shooter we’ve ever seen. Incredibly consistent, Reynolds’ best season was 90.09% in 2013 (100 from 111) while somewhat ironically his worst was 79.17% the following year when Souths won the comp (95 from 120). Reynolds slotted his last 21 shots of 2015 in succession.

[YouTube – Jazza Bowler]

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About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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