Some amazing results in Round 22 ensured that plenty of sides began gearing up for a finals push or to gain some momentum for a run to the big dance in October. The Eels look to have secured their first finals campaign since 2009 with their win over the Dogs. The Storm strengthened their grip on the JJ Giltinan Shield with their win against the Cowboys. The eighth-placed Dragons’ loss to Souths and the ninth-placed Panthers win over the Tigers has seen the sides swap ladder positions. The Raiders blitzed the Sharks to keep their slim hopes alive. The Broncos demolished the Titans, the Sea Eagles bounced back from a horror fortnight to belt the Roosters and the Knights disposed of the Warriors.
Penalty Pullers Leaderboard
With James Maloney still out injured, the rest of the field seemingly behaved themselves, doing their best to avoid taking his title off him. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, though, is now just three penalties shy of top spot.
27 – James Maloney (CRO)
24 – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (SYD)
23 – Jarrod Wallace (GCT)
20 – Josh Hodgson (CAN)
19 – Mitchell Barnett (NEW)
19 – Ryan James (GCT)
18 – Sam Burgess (SOU)
17 – Joey Leilua (CAN)
17 – Nathan Brown (PAR)
17 – Luke Lewis (CRO)
Plenty of fumbles from our frontrunners has seen a new butterfingers leader claim outright top spot. Canberra’s Jack Wighton has become the first player this year to rack up 30 handling errors.
30 – Jack Wighton (CAN)
29 – Tim Lafai (STI)
28 – Kyle Feldt (NQL)
28 – Semi Radradra (PAR)
27 – Jordan Rapana (CAN)
26 – Josh Addo-Carr (MEL)
26 – Jack Bird (CRO)
26 – Nene Macdonald (STI)
26 – Tom Trbojevic (MAN)
25 – Matt Moylan (PEN)
25 – Daniel Tupou (SYD)
25 – Suliasi Vunivalu (MEL)
Perfect Goalkicking Ladder
Goalkicking was down on last week’s stellar 82.26%, with 77.14% converted in Round 22. This was down on the same time last year where 84.13% of goal attempts were successful.
The perfect goalkicking table saw one result changed. The Dragons loss to Souths became a draw, which has been enough to keep the Dragons in the top eight.
First Half/Second Half Ladders
The Storm remain the best first half team in the competition, with the Bulldogs the worst, having scored roughly half as many points as the second worst team in the opening 40. Cronulla is still the top second half side, but they came back to the field this week.
Milestones achieved in Round 22
Dylan Walker (Manly) played his 100th game on the weekend. He began his career with Souths back in 2013 where he played 62 games over 3 seasons before moving to Manly last year where he has played a further 38 matches. He also played a World Club Challenge game for Souths, 1 game for City, 2 Origins for the Blues and 4 Tests for Australia. He also needs 8 points to bring up 300 in his career. He scored 136 for Souths and a further 156 at the Sea Eagles. He also scored 4 points in the World Club Challenge.
Blake Green (Manly) made his 200th career appearance on Sunday. The journeyman made his debut in 2007 at the Eels where he played 6 games. He then spent 2 years at the Sharks, playing 19 games. After switching to the Bulldogs in 2010 and playing 18 games, Green headed over to England where he played 40 games for Hull KR in 2011-12 and a further 48 matches for Wigan in 2013-14. He returned to Australia for two seasons at the Storm where he played 50 games. This year he moved to Manly where he has racked up a further 19 matches. He also has one World Club Challenge appearance for Wigan.
Cameron Smith (Melbourne) became just the fourth player in the games history to reach 2100 career points. He now has 2105 points, all scored for the Storm since his debut in 2002. He’s also played 2 World Club Challenge games where he scored a further 16 points, 42 Origin appearances for Queensland for 58 points and 50 Tests for Australia, scoring 120 points.
Trent Hodkinson (Newcastle) went past 600 career points on Saturday with his 5 goals. He began his career at Manly in 2010 where he scored 19 points before switching to the Bulldogs the following year. In his 5 years at Belmore he scored 417 points before moving to the Knights in 2016, where he has scored a further 170 points. He has also scored 6 points for City and 28 points for New South Wales in Origin.
Lachlan Coote (North Queensland) play his 150th career game on the weekend. The custodian made his debut with Penrith in 2008, playing just 83 games in 6 injury plagued years. He moved to the Cowboys in 2015 and has played 67 games in 3 years. He has also played 2 games for City and 3 Tests for Scotland.
Leeson Ah Mau (St.George-Illawarra) made his 150th appearance on the weekend. He made his debut in 2009 for the Warriors where he played just 2 games before shifting to the Cowboys for two seasons. After 33 games there he moved to the Dragons in 2012 where he has been ever since, playing 115 games. He has also played 1 World Club Challenge game and 11 Tests for Samoa.
Gareth Widdop (St.George-Illawarra) scored 8 points on the weekend to pass 700 for his career. He made his debut in 2010 with the Storm, where he played for 4 years, scoring 91 points. He moved to the Dragons in 2014 and has scored a further 613 points. He has also scored 6 points for the Dragons in a World Club Challenge match and 70 points for England in 17 Tests.
Milestones within reach in Round 23
Sosaia Feki (Cronulla) needs one try to bring up 50 for his career and 200 points, all scored for the Sharks. The premiership winning winger made his debut back in 2013 and has also played in 2 Tests for Tonga.
Paul Gallen (Cronulla) will become the fourth player this year and the third currently at the Sharks to reach 300 career games. He is the 29th player to reach this milestone in the history of the game. He made his debut with Cronulla back in 2001 before going on to play 2 games for City, 24 Origins for NSW and 32 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.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Newcastle) needs just 2 points to bring up 500 for his career. The big winger made his debut in 2007 for the Roosters where he stayed until mid-2017, scoring 490 points in 224 games. His 2 games at the Knights this year has produced a further 8 points. He has also scored 4 points for the Roosters in the World Club Challenge. He’s also scored 36 points in 21 Tests for New Zealand.
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.
Tim Mannah (Parramatta) will play his 200th club and career game this weekend. The big front rower began his career with the Eels back in 2009 and has been a mainstay of their front row since. He’s also played 4 games for City and made 4 appearances for the Blues in Origin.
Tim Browne (Penrith) will run out in game 100 this weekend. The durable forward began his career at the Bulldogs in 2010, where he remained until the end of 2016, playing 84 games. He shifted to Penrith this year and has played a further 15 games.
Nathan Cleary (Penrith) needs just 6 points to reach 300 for his career. In just his second season at Penrith and still a teenager, Cleary has amassed 294 points in 35 games. He also has 1 game for City.
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.
Aidan Guerra (Sydney) will run out for game number 150 this weekend, all of which he has played for the Roosters. Guerra began his career in 2010 and was a member of the Roosters World Club Challenge winning side in 2014. He has also played 10 Origins for Queensland, 3 Tests for Italy and 1 Test for Australia.
Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers) needs just 1 try to break the Tigers club record for most tries by a player. He is currently placed equal first with Benji Marshall on 76 tries. He made his debut in 2006 and has also played in 3 games for City, scoring a try and 6 Tests for Australia where he scored 4 tries.
James Tedesco (Wests Tigers) needs just one try to bring 50 for his career and 200 points, all scored for the Tigers. The brilliant fullback made his debut in 2012 and has played 85 games since. He has also played 2 games for City, scoring a try, 4 Origins for the Blues, scoring a try and 3 Tests for Italy, also scoring a try.