As an attempt to dull the pain of that loss, I’d like to pay mention to a few players who played really well.
All stats via nrl.com
(13) Ryan Matterson - 76 minutes (had a 4 minute rest), 29 runs (274m ,100 post contact), 41 tackles (1 missed), 2 offloads, 2 tackle breaks, 1 line break, 1 forced drop out.
Had one of his best games ever in first grade. Was everywhere in both offence and defence. He was actively ball-playing in the final 15 minutes as an attempt to get something going. Did everything he could have to get a win.
(8) Thomas Mikaele - 46 minutes, 15 runs (162m, 64 post contact), 24 tackles (1 missed), 3 offloads, 5 tackle breaks.
Second start in NRL for the rookie. He’s doing above and beyond what you’d expect a kid to be doing. Threw a few risky offloads, most notably the one which resulted in Robbie Farah’s injury. Has mountains of potential.
(2) Paul Momirovski - 80 minutes, 19 runs (172m, 54 post contact, 34 kick return), 2 tries, 2 line breaks, 5 tackle breaks.
Sadly only kicked 2/5 goals. Hopefully his confidence isn’t dented from the final conversion, as he had his best game to date for us. His two tries were special finishes. Considering his height of 191cm, wing could be his position.
(1) Corey Thompson - 80 minutes, 15 runs (184m, 47 post contact, 166 kick return), 6 tackle breaks.
His kick returns were really good against a Bulldogs side presenting a line as straight as an arrow. Something worrying is the fact 166/184 of his metres gained were from kick returns, meaning his involvement outside of them was almost non-existent. Another downer is the fact he fell off Josh Jackson after dropping Taumalolo last week.
11 players were recorded to have run 100m+ (Thompson, Momirovski, Marsters, Nofoaluma, Marshall, Brooks, Mikaele, Chee Kam, Matterson, Eisenhuth, Twal).
Now to the most frustrating part - the team stats. If you hid the scoreline and only looked at the stats, you’d have thought we won by 20.
- We completed 37/42 sets (88%) vs 27/33 (82%). That means we had 59% possession.
- 1,911m total run metres vs 1,371m
- 4 line breaks vs 2.
- 30 (13%) tackles missed vs 45 (14.3%).
- 5 forced drop outs vs 0.
- 8 errors vs 9, 6 penalties conceded vs 7.
Reading into the stats, you can come to the conclusion that we lacked creativity in attack.