Just four games were played in Round 18 leading into the final State of Origin contest this Wednesday. An understrength Roosters held on to be arch rivals the Rabbitohs by two points, the Eels beat a determined young Storm side 22-6, the Panthers had a somewhat controversial eight-point victory over the Sea Eagles, and the Bulldogs scored two late tries to break the hearts of a spirited Knights team.
Penalty Pullers Leaderboard
Second placed Jared Waerea-Hargreaves moved within three conceded penalties of leader James Maloney this weekend, while Sam Burgess and Nelson Asofa-Solomona both jumped up the leaderboard.
25 – James Maloney (CRO)
22 – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (SYD)
19 – Mitchell Barnett (NEW)
16 – Josh Hodgson (CAN)
16 – Ryan James (GCT)
16 – Sam Burgess (SOU)
15 – Beau Scott (PAR)
15 – Will Chambers (MEL)
15 – Nathan Brown (PAR)
15 – Nelson Asofa-Solomona (MEL)
Three players all joined leader Jordan Rapana on 25 fumbles for the year so far, with Matt Moylan’s solitary error and a pair to both Daniel Tupou and Josh Addo-Carr creating the four-way tie. Suliasi Vunivalu closed out the top 10 with his 14th error in his last eight games.
25 – Jordan Rapana (CAN)
25 – Matt Moylan (PEN)
25 – Daniel Tupou (SYD)
25 – Josh Addo-Carr (MEL)
24 – Tim Lafai (STI)
23 – Semi Radradra (PAR)
23 – Kyle Feldt (NQL)
23 – Konrad Hurrell (GCT)
23 – Jack Wighton (CAN)
23 – Suliasi Vunivalu (MEL)
Perfect Goalkickers Ladder
Just five goals were missed in Round 18 as goalkickers landed 80% of conversion attempts. This was slightly down on the 83.33% last weekend but a strong improvement on the 74.29% in the corresponding round last year. After 18 rounds, 76.22% of goals have been converted which is up on the 75.29% after the first 18 rounds last year.
One result was reversed on the perfect goalkicking ladder, with the Knights’ loss to the Bulldogs overturned. A few teams have been impacted, but not by much.
First Half/Second Half Ladders
The Storm trailing at halftime against the Eels last weekend was just the third time that has happened this year, and while the Bulldogs picked up just their third halftime lead of the year, they are still clearly the worst first half team in the competition. The Sharks remain the strongest second half team.
Milestone achieved in Round 18
Isaac Liu (Sydney) played his 100th game, all for the Roosters. He began his career in 2013 and has rarely missed a game. He has also played 4 tests for Samoa.
Milestones within reach in Round 19
Valentine Holmes (Cronulla) is just 3 points away from bringing up 200 points for his career, all scored for the Sharks. The 21-year-old began his career in 2014 and has scored 197 points in 70 games. He also has a try to his name from his only Origin appearance to date and a further 2 tries in 5 tests for Australia.
Martin Taupau (Manly) will play his 100th career game this weekend. The powerful prop began his career at the Bulldogs in 2010, playing only occasionally. After 21 games in 4 years, he moved to the Tigers and was a regular in 2 seasons, playing 45 games. He then shifted to Manly in 2016 where he has since played a further 33 games. He also has 1 Test appearance for Samoa and 16 Tests for New Zealand to his name.
Matthew Wright (Manly) is now 2 points shy of bringing up 200 for his career. He made his debut in 2009 for the Sharks where he stayed for 5 years, playing 62 games and scoring 60 points. He then spent two years at the Cowboys where he scored 72 points in 34 games. In 2016 he moved to Manly and has scored a further 66 points in 20 games. He has also played 3 tests for Samoa, scoring 10 points.
Kyle Feldt (North Queensland) is just 4 points shy of notching 200 points for his career, all scored for the Cowboys. The part-time goalkicker began his career in 2013 and has played 62 games, scoring 40 tries and 18 goals for 196 points.
Michael Morgan (North Queensland) needs one more try to bring up 50 in his career and 200 points, all scored for the Cowboys. He made his debut in 2010 and has played 116 games. He has also played 7 Origins for Queensland for 4 points and 7 Tests for Australia for another 4 points.