Round 11 of the NRL was another themed weekend, known as the Origin Contenders Selection Trial Round. The problem though was that most of the games weren’t exactly brilliant.
The Sharks went the hard way about beating the Cowboys, the Broncos spanked the Tigers while never getting out of second gear, the Warriors were again dismal against the Dragons, the Sea Eagles ran over the Titans, the Raiders were uninspiring against the Eels, the Roosters let the Dogs back in but hung on to win, the Panthers had another Jekyll and Hyde victory over the Knights and the Storm beat the Rabbitohs in a grinding battle in Perth.
Penalty Pullers Leaderboard
James Maloney continued to draw the ire of the officials and remains nine penalties clear of the competition. Josh Hodgson and Joey Leilua both got pinged three times to fly up the board.
22 – James Maloney (CRO)
13 – Ryan James (GCT)
13 – Josh Hodgson (CAN)
12 – Beau Scott (PAR)
12 – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (SYD)
12 – Mitchell Barnett (NEW)
11 – Josh Jackson (CBY)
11 – Blake Green (MAN)
11 – Joey Leilua (CAN)
11 – Nathan Brown (PAR)
Kyle Feldt was again faultless with his hands and has now lost his place at the top of the leaderboard to Jordan Rapana, who was well down on his early sky-high form – though he did make up for some fumbles with the match-winning try.
21 – Jordan Rapana (CAN)
19 – Kyle Feldt (NQL)
17 – Anthony Milford (BRI)
17 – Semi Radradra (PAR)
17 – Jack Bird (CRO)
16 – Nene Macdonald (SGI)
16 – Matt Moylan (PEN)
16 – Suliasi Vunivalu (MEL)
16 – Daniel Tupou (SYD)
16 – Jack Wighton (CAN)
Perfect Goalkickers Ladder
A few games riddled with bad goalkicking saw the average come down in Round 11 to 74.14% from the 80.52% last week. It was the third time this year that a total of 43 goals were kicked for the round. At the same time last year 72.22% of goals were converted.
On the perfect goalkicking ladder, there was another reversed result, with the Cowboys’ four-point loss to the Sharks being overturned as they missed three goals in the game. This has dropped the Sharks down the ladder a few places.
First Half/Second Half Ladders
Many teams’ form in the first and second halves remained consistent with the data shown in the ladders below. The Bulldogs were again poor in the first half but vastly improved in the second half. The Warriors again shut up shop at halftime.
Milestones achieved in Round 11
Adam Blair (Brisbane) made his 250th career appearance last Friday. The versatile forward began his career in 2006 at the Storm, where he played 121 games. He moved to the Tigers in 2012 where he played 71 matches before moving to the Broncos in 2015 where he has played a further 58 games. He has also has two World Club challenge games for the Storm and one for the Broncos to his name and an immense 39 Tests for New Zealand.
Jarrod Croker (Canberra) became the fourth-youngest player to reach 200 games, all at the Raiders, when he took the field on Saturday. He made his debut in 2009, while also appearing in two games for Country.
James Graham (Canterbury) played his 350th career game on Sunday. The British Test prop began his career for St Helens in the English Superleague, where he amassed 224 appearances before moving to the NRL in 2012, where he has played a further 126 games for the Bulldogs. He also has one appearance in the World Club Challenge in 2007 at Saints as well as five Tests for Great Britain and 29 Tests for England.
Billy Slater (Melbourne) brought up his 200th win at the Storm on Sunday. He achieved the feat in just 287 appearances. He’s also played tjree World Club Challenge games for two wins. He also has 16 wins from 27 Origin games and 22 wins from 25 Tests for Australia.
Michael Jennings (Parramatta) the Eels flyer scored his 125th career try on the weekend, which brought up 500 career points. He began his career at Penrith in 2007 where he scored 71 tries in 122 games. He then moved to Bondi for three years, scoring 41 tries in 71 games. In 2016 he moved to the Eels and has scored 13 tries in 30 games. He also scored 3 tries in his one game for the Roosters in the World Club Challenge, and scored three tries in as many Tests for Tonga, six tries in seven tests for the Kangaroos and six tries in 18 Origins for NSW.
Nathan Cleary (Penrith) The 19 year old Panthers halfback bagged five goals on the weekend to bring up 200 career points in just 26 games. His phenomenal ability as a goalkicker has seen him miss just three goals from 42 attempts this year and 16 from 107 attempts in his career. He also played for City this year.
Ben Matulino (Warriors) The big Kiwi forward played his 200th game on the weekend, all for the Warriors – only the fourth player from the club to achieve the feat. He began his career in 2008 and has also played 23 Tests for New Zealand in that time.
Milestones within reach in Round 12
James Roberts (Brisbane) is two points shy of racking up 200 career points. The 24-year-old journeyman began in 2011 at Souths where he scored 20 points. He scored 24 points in his only season in the NRL at Penrith, before shifting to the Titans where he scored 86 points in two years. He then moved to the Broncos last year and has scored 68 points, giving him a grand total of 49 tries, one goal for 198 points. He also has one appearance for City in 2015.
Jarrod Croker (Canberra) is just four points shy of reaching 1500 career points, all scored for the Raiders. He began his career in 2009 but didn’t become a goalkicker until the following year. He has scored 102 tries and 544 goals for 1496 points. He also has 14 points from a try and five goals in two games for Country.
Gerard Beale (Cronulla) will play in his 150th career game this week. He started his career at the Broncos in 2009 where he played 63 games before moving to the Dragons in 2013. In his seasons with the Red V he played 29 games before linking up with the Sharks in 2015. He’s played 57 games for Cronulla. He also has 10 Tests for New Zealand to his name.
Josh Hoffman (Parramatta) Parramatta winger Hoffman is now one try shy of bring up 50 for his career and 200 career points. He began his career at the Broncos in 2008 where he scored 33 tries. He then scored 14 tries for the Titans in two seasons before moving to the Eels this year where he has picked up a further two tries. He’s also scored two tries in five Tests for New Zealand.
Jake Friend (Sydney) will play his 200th game for the Roosters and his career this weekend. The tough rake started his career in 2008 and has rarely missed any games. He made his Test debut for Australia last year in the Four Nations. He also has a game for the Roosters in the World Club Challenge under his belt.