The run to the finals has begun now that the Origin period is behind us. The Broncos and Dragons both recorded 30-point wins, while the Sharks, Panthers, Cowboys, Storm and Roosters all got up comfortably enough. The last match of the round saw the Tigers and Eels have a tight battle, the blue-and-golds winning eventually thanks to the boot of Corey Norman, who kicked the decisive field goal in the dying stages.
Penalty Pullers Leaderboard
Just as his ill-disciplined rivals were catching him, James Maloney skipped well clear of the field, now five penalties clear of second-placed Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Jarrod Wallace has made a late surge up the leaderboard as well.
27 – James Maloney (CRO)
22 – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (SYD)
20 – Jarrod Wallace (GCT)
19 – Mitchell Barnett (NEW)
18 – Ryan James (GCT)
17 – Josh Hodgson (CAN)
17 – Sam Burgess (SOU)
17 – Joey Leilua (CAN)
16 – Nathan Brown (PAR)
15 – Beau Scott (PAR)
15 – Will Chambers (MEL)
15 – Nelson Asofa-Solomona (MEL)
Jordan Rapana has been equalled as the leading fumbler in the competition after Tim Lafai joined him this week. Six players are now sitting just two handling errors behind the duo.
27 – Jordan Rapana (CAN)
27 – Tim Lafai (STI)
25 – Matt Moylan (PEN)
25 – Daniel Tupou (SYD)
25 – Josh Addo-Carr (MEL)
25 – Kyle Feldt (NQL)
25 – Jack Wighton (CAN)
25 – Jack Bird (CRO)
24 – Konrad Hurrell (GCT)
24 – Semi Radradra (PAR)
24 – Nene Macdonald (STI)
Perfect Goalkickers Ladder
Goal kicking was greatly improved in Round 20, with just under 80% success rate recorded. Of 68 shots, 54 were good at a rate of 79.41% which was well up on 72% mark last week and the 66.15% from the same time last year. After 20 rounds, 74.47% of goals were kicked in 2016. This year that figure is 76.23%.
No results were reversed on the perfect goalkicking table this week, again with very little movement taking place.
First Half/Second Half Ladders
The Tigers winning the second half against the Eels was enough to see them climb off last place of the Second half ladder, joining the Warriors on 5 wins. The Bulldogs’ first half woes continued in Round 20. They’ve lead at the break just 3 times in 18 games this year and average 4.22 points per game in the first half. The next worst is the Sharks, who average 7.78.
Milestones achieved in Round 20
Luke Lewis (Cronulla) became the 28th player in premiership history to reach 300 career games when he took the field on the weekend. The ageless back-rower began his career with Penrith back in 2001 and after 12 seasons, he had played 208 games before moving to the Sharks in 2013. He has played a further 91 games in the Shire. He also played in the Panthers 2004 World Club Challenge loss. His extensive rep career has also seen him notch 5 games for City, 17 State of Origin games for the Blues and 16 Tests for Australia.
William Zillman (Gold Coast) became just the third player to rack up 150 appearance for the Titans. He debuted at Canberra in 2006, where he played 24 games, before moving to Robina in 2009 where he has played 149 games.
Dale Copley (Gold Coast) made his 100th career appearance this weekend. He began his career with the Broncos in 2009, playing 72 games before moving to the Roosters in 2016. He made 14 appearances at Bondi and then relocated again to the Titans where he has made another 13 appearances.
Trent Hodkinson (Newcastle) reached game number 150 on the weekend. He started his career at Manly in 2010, playing 24 games, before lining up with the Bulldogs for the next 5 years, playing 92 games. He then shifted to the Knights last year and has played a further 33 games. He has also played 1 game for City and 6 Origin games for New South Wales.
Russell Packer (St George-Illawarra) made his 150th NRL appearance in Round 20. The big forward started out with the Warriors in 2008, playing 110 games up until 2013. After spending a year in jail for assault and a further year in lower grades, he returned to the NRL with the Dragons in 2016 where he has played a further 39 games. He also has 1 appearance for the Maori side in 2010 and 3 tests for New Zealand.
Issac Luke (Warriors) grabbed the 4 points needed to register 500 for his career. The cheeky rake started his career in 2007 with the Rabbitohs, where he stayed until 2015 and scored 412 points. Upon moving across the ditch he has scored a further 88 in 37 games for the Warriors. He has also scored 58 points in 40 Test matches for New Zealand.
Milestones within reach in Round 21
Jordan Kahu (Brisbane) needs 2 points to bring up 400 for his career, all scored for the Broncos. Since starting his career in 2013, he has played 72 games and scored 38 tries, 122 goals and 2 field goals. He has also scored 6 points in 2 World Club Challenge games and 23 points in 9 Tests for New Zealand.
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.
Anthony Don (Gold Coast) needs one try to reach 50 for his career and 200 career points, all scored for the Titans. He made his debut in 2013 and has played 80 games since then. He also has a try in his sole appearance for Country this year.
Cameron Smith (Melbourne) will become the third player in the game’s history to reach 350 games this weekend (if he overcomes a pec injury), all played for the Storm. He made his debut in 2002 and has also played in 2 World Club Challenge games, 42 State of Origin games from Queensland and 50 Tests for Australia.
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.
Josh Dugan (St.George-Illawarra) will bring up game 150 when he runs out this weekend. The talented fullback/centre made his debut with the Raiders in 2009 and after 5 years and 70 games, he moved to the Dragons and has played a further 79 games. He has also played in a World Club Series game for the Dragons, 2 games for Country, 12 Origins for the Blues and 7 Tests for Australia.
Gareth Widdop (St.George-Illawarra) needs just 1 point to reach 600 scored for the Dragons, just the second player to do so after Jamie Soward. He is also 10 points shy of reaching 700 career points. He made his debut in 2010 with the Storm, where he played for 4 years, scoring 91 points. Widdop moved to the Dragons in 2014 and has scored a further 599 points. He has also scored 6 points for the Dragons in a World Club Challenge match and 70 points for England in 17 Tests.
Michael Gordon (Sydney) is just 6 points away from becoming the 20th player in the history of the game to reach 1500 career points. He started out at the Panthers in 2006, where he scored 798 points in 7 seasons before spending three years at the Sharks, where he scored a further 400 points. He scored 162 points in his only season at Parramatta in 2016 and already has 134 points at the Roosters this year. He has also scored 10 points for Country and 6 points for the Blues.