Stats that Matter - Round 3

50

Suliasi Vunivalu played his 50th game on Thursday night and the milestone also doubled as a record breaker. The Fijian Flyer has now scored the equal-most tries after 50 NRL games of any player in rugby league history since the stat was first recorded in 1980. His career tally of 48 from 50 appearances has him tied with his fellow countrymen Semi Radradra at the top of the list and one suspects Vunivalu will occupy that top spot for a very long time to come.

Most tries after 50 first grade games (1980-2018)

Players

Year

 Tries

Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne)

2018

48

Semi Radradra (Parramatta)  

2016  

48

Alex Johnston (South Sydney)    

2016  

44

Steve Ella (Parramatta) 

1983 

44

Nathan Blacklock (St George Illa) 

1999

41

Phil Blake (Manly)   

1984

40

Curtis Rona (Canterbury) 

2016

39

Noa Nadruku (Canberra)  

1995 

38

Scott Donald (North Queensland)

2004

38

Billy Slater (Melbourne)        

2005

37

 

92.5

When your percentage of tackles made is that high it is rare you will lose any football games. A sore point out of last week’s loss was the 32 missed tackles Melbourne committed however against the Cowboys that stat was down to a more respectable 19. Ryan Hoffman led the way with a game-high 32 as the purple wall were back with a vengeance.

 

70

To put 30 points on the Cowboys with a low completion rate of 70 per cent is a sign that this Storm attack has plenty of improvement still in it. The men in purple seemed likely to score almost every time they ventured deep into Cowboys territory, it was just a matter of holding onto the ball long enough to get up there. Craig Bellamy wants his side up in the 80s for this stat so expect this to be focus point for Melbourne moving forward. Cleaner ball will equal more points so it is an exciting sign for the weeks ahead.

 

7

That is seven straight wins in a row for Melbourne over North Queensland. For as close as these two teams have appeared in their form over the last few years it is hard to believe the recent head-to-head has been so one sided. There will be no complaints though from Storm who will hope to continue their run and make it eight straight when they meet again in Townsville in Round 12.

 

1

In his 38th NRL game Christian Welch produced his maiden NRL try and boy didn’t his teammates love it. The 23-year-old collected the ball from Cameron Smith out of dummy half and with just five metres between him and home, there was simply no stopping him. Every single teammate ran over to celebrate with Welch as the moment was the perfect cherry to top off a fantastic comeback after missing most of last season with an ACL injury.