ANZAC weekend delivered some controversy, but more importantly, a swag of tight and exciting games. The Sea Eagles pipped the Raiders in extra-time on Friday, before the Broncos edged Souths by one point in regulation time, both on Friday.
The Titans pulled off a gutsy win over the defending premiers, the Cowboys worked hard to beat the Knights and the Panthers staged a second-half fightback against rivals the Eels but were unable to win. The Tigers overcame the odds again to beat a hot Bulldogs side before the Dragons and Roosters went to golden point, with Mitchell Pearce’s field goal getting the Roosters home. The Storm won a hard-fought battle against the Warriors to close out the round.
Penalty Pullers Leaderboard
Cronulla’s James Maloney racked up a massive four penalties against the Titans to take a commanding lead as the NRL’s penalty-pulling peak performer.
19 – James Maloney (CRO)
11 – Ryan James (GCT)
10 – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (SYD)
10 – Mitch Barnett (NEW)
10 – Beau Scott (PAR)
9 – Blake Green (MAN)
8 – Paul Gallen (CRO)
8 – Brenton Lawrence (MAN)
8 – Josh Jackson (CBY)
8 – Jake Trbojevic (MAN)
8 – Nathan Brown (PAR)
8 – Tautau Moga (BRI)
8 – Josh Jackson (CBY)
8 – Will Chambers (MEL)
8 – Joey Leilua (CAN)
8 – Josh Hodgson (CAN)
Despite having an uncustomary game with no mistakes, Kyle Feldt still leads the competition for most errors, with Jordan Rapana closing in fast.
17 – Kyle Feldt (NQL)
15 – Jordan Rapana (CAN)
15 – Nene Macdonald (STI)
13 – Tom Trbojevic (MAN)
13 – Anthony Milford (BRI)
12 – James Tedesco (WST)
12 – Semi Radradra (PAR)
12 – Ricky Leutele (CRO)
12 – Daniel Tupou (SYD)
11 – Blake Austin (CAN)
11 – Peter Mata’utia (NEW)
Perfect Goalkickers Ladder
Goalkickers had the slightest improvement in Round 8 on the previous week possible. As in Round 7, 46 goals were kicked in Round 8; however, in the previous week there were 65 attempts. In Round 8 there was 64 at a rate of 71.88%. This is down on the same round last year, where kickers nailed 53 of 71 attempts at 74.65%. Over the opening eight rounds, the sharpshooters this year are just 0.04% better than last year.
The readjusted ladder showing how the competition would look if every goal was converted produced its second result reversal, again involving Brisbane. Souths’ loss to the Broncos was overturned, which means the Broncos have now had a win and a loss reversed. The sixth-placed Cowboys shift down to 10th here and the sides above them all shuffle up one place.
First Half and Second Half Ladders
In a new feature this week, we’ve compiled ladders for how teams have performed in the first and second half of matches.
Milestones achieved in Round 8
David Mead (Brisbane) The Broncos winger played his 150th game last week in a performance he’d rather forget. He began his career with the Titans in 2009 and played 147 games before shifting to the Broncos this season, where he’s now played 3 games. He’s also played 2 games for Country and 7 Tests for Papua New Guinea.
Timoteo Lafai (St.George-Illawarra) made his 100th appearance on ANZAC Day. The former Bulldog started his career in 2011 and played 74 games for the Dogs before moving to the Dragons last year, where he has since played a further 26 games. Lafai also has 6 Test appearances for Samoa.
Gareth Widdop (St.George-Illawarra) reached 150 career games on Tuesday. The British half has been in scintillating form this year but succumbed to injury against the Roosters. He began his career in Melbourne in 2010, playing 70 games before he moved to the Dragons, where he has played 80 games. He’s also played 17 Tests for England.
Joel Edwards (Wests Tigers) The journeyman back-rower brought up his 100th career game on Sunday. He started with the Knights in 2010 and played 45 games over three years there. He then played another 43 games in 3 seasons at the Raiders before shifting to the Tigers last year, where he has played a further 12 games.
Milestones within reach in Round 9
Alex Glenn (Brisbane) Will play his 200th game this week, all of which have been at the Broncos. He made his debut in 2009 and has played at least 20 games in every season. He’s also appeared in a World Club Challenge game for the Broncos and 12 Tests for New Zealand.
Jordan Kahu (Brisbane) is 2 points shy of bringing up the 300-point mark for the Broncos and his career. He’ll become the 12th player to achieve the feat at the club. He made his NRL debut in 2013 and was first capped by the Kiwis in 2015, playing 8 Tests for 19 points.
Aiden Tolman (Canterbury) The Bulldogs prop will play his 150th game for the Belmore club this weekend. He began his career at the Storm in 2008 where he played 53 games before moving to the Bulldogs in 2011. He’s also played a World Club Challenge game for the Storm and 3 games for Country.
Andrew Fifita (Cronulla) will run out for his 150th career game this weekend, interestingly enough, at Leichhardt Oval, one of the home grounds of his former club. He began at the Wests Tigers in 2010 where he played 39 games in two seasons before moving to the Sharks, where he has played 110 games. He’s also got 3 games for City, 7 Origins for NSW and 6 Tests for the Kangaroos to his name.
Josh Hoffman (Parramatta) Parramatta winger Hoffman is now one try shy of bringing 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 2 tries. He’s also scored 2 tries in 5 Tests for New Zealand.
Adam Reynolds (South Sydney) Is 3 points shy of reaching 900 career points, all scored for the Rabbitohs. He began his career in 2012 and has also played 2 games for City and 2 State of Origin matches for NSW last year. He will become just the third Souths player to reach 900 career points, behind Eric Simms and Burnie Purcell.
Tyson Frizell (St.George-Illawarra) will make his 100th appearance this weekend. The former Shark started his career in 2011 and played 12 games at Cronulla before moving across Tom Ugly’s bridge to the Dragons where he has played 87 games. He’s also played a World Club Series game for the Dragons, 2 games for City, 2 State of Origin games for NSW, 5 Tests for Wales and 4 Tests for Australia.
Mitch Moses (Wests Tigers) is just 1 point short of reaching 200 in his career, all for the Tigers. He began his career in the back half of 2014 and has only missed 1 game since his debut. He’s scored 13 tries, 72 goals and 3 field goals for 199 points.