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KFC SuperCoach Plus article: 11 stats to define Round three, via former champion Wilfred Zee

So it’s a bit of a new ‘gig’ for me, in that rather than looking at things that we learned from the previous round, we’re going to take a look ahead at the round to come. Specifically, I’m getting stuck into the stats, really digging into the numbers of things to think about or keep an eye on for the round ahead.

The best way to understand it, is to get into it, so let’s check out 11 stats to define Round 3!

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1. 64

It’s early days yet but so far the Sharks haven’t been the toughest match-up to opposing fullbacks, conceding an average of 64 points per game (47 to Nicoll-, 81 to Gutherson). This bodes well for Tyrell Sloan, who is an incredibly exciting prospect that will rely on attacking stats in order to score well for KFC SuperCoach. Sloan scored just 26 points last week, including a try, which shows how low his floor can be, but SuperCoaches should feel comfortable starting Sloan in Round 3 against the Sharks.

2. 60

It’s not solely a KFC SuperCoach stat but it’s a very important one in the context of a certain player’s KFC SuperCoach scores. Niche Hynes is currently averaging 60 touches a game, which is a lot of opportunities with the ball. It explains why he runs the ball so often, but still not appearing to be hogging the ball all the time; it’s very different if you run the ball 15 times from 30 receipts, compared to 15 times from 60 receipts of the ball! Hynes’ role at the moment is extremely friendly to scoring KFC SuperCoach points, and he is a priority trade-in for those without him on their teams.

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3. 2

Maybe I’m in a bit of a mood but this is a reminder that good NRL players don’t always have to make big splashy plays that score lots of KFC SuperCoach points. Case in point: Josh Curran is doing absolutely great for KFC SuperCoach, but arguably he’s doing even better on the NRL field given he gets through so much work (great for SuperCoach) but also continues to put in the “one percenters” and effort plays that can really reward his team. He currently leads the NRL in chargedowns (yes, it’s not exactly the most common event each game) but we have seen multiple chargedowns lead to a turnover and in some cases (Viliame Kikau in round two) a try.

4. 18

This one blows my mind, that two teams featuring Tom Trbojevic and Cody Walker respectively, are tied for the worst offence in the NRL right now. Yes, that’s correct, the Rabbitohs and the Sea Eagles have each only scored 18 points through two games of football in 2022. Coming from two of the most electric attacking players in the competition last year, maybe this really highlights how 2022 differs from 2021 so far. You wouldn’t expect this to stay the case for long, but it’s not a great start for either club.

5. -14

Sam Walker is an incredibly talented youngster, and he has started off 2022 with promise. However, he is tied for the most missed tackles in the NRL so far this season, which isn’t great reading and surely an area of concern for Trent Robinson. Still, Robbo was coach while James Maloney, perennial missed tackle merchant and resident larrikin, was at the Roosters and he found ways to manage that. In the meantime, opposition forwards and especially edge forwards with the opportunity to run at Sam Walker can lick their lips at the prospect for a tackle bust or two coming their way.

6. 32

Stephen Crichton stands alone at the top of the goalkicking ranks for 2022 so far, with eight goals from ten attempts. No one else has kicked more than six goals so far this year. Crichton is a handy back-up kicker but the sight of Nathan Cleary on the extended bench, with the expected return of Round 4 in sight, should give pause to anybody considering a Stephen Crichton trade-in given he will soon lose the 14 KFC SuperCoach points per game he has gained from goalkicking across the opening two rounds.

7. 57%

It’s a percentage but 57% is the possession that the Knights have had over the opening two rounds. They are playing high percentage football and doing really well (as evidenced by their top-of-the-table status currently). Clifford, Clune and others have really stepped up when plenty had concerns about their game given the loss of experienced heads like Mitchell Pearce. What this amount of possession does however is that it limits the amount of tackles Chris Randall gets to make – tackles being his “bread and butter” for KFC SuperCoach scoring. If this evens out in the coming weeks then expect Randall’s tackle numbers to nudge higher.

8. 3

Three is the number of hooking options, and preferring hooking options, out this week for the Melbourne Storm. Harry Grant has Covid, Tyran Wishart is a close contact and Brandon Smith is still likely out with his broken hand (and/or may have had to isolate anyway as they have spent time together). The Storm may have to think outside the box with someone like Jayden Nikorima technically their ‘first choice’ option, while some development players like Garlick and Geyer could be called upon. It’s definitely not an ideal situation!

Harry Grant is right at the top of this week’s KFC SuperCoach buy list, mainly due to this play.

9. 64%

It’s another percentage but this is the NRL’s worst completion percentage so far this season, with the Raiders completing just 64% of their sets across two games. That’s … not great, to put it lightly, and it obviously impacts their ability to get out of their own end, they get fatigued having to defend repeated sets, and it’s generally harder to score KFC SuperCoach points (aside from tackles and intercepts) when the other team has the ball. This is why those of us with Raiders players in their SuperCoach teams should hold some hope that, “things should get better”. All we need is for the Raiders to hang onto the ball!

10. -18

This is the combined points loss from errors between Selwyn Cobbo and Kotoni Staggs so far this season. For such a talented attacking combo, they sure know how to drop the ball! A number of these balls have been tries too, none more obvious than the one he dropped after Adam Reynold’s creative ‘tunnelball’ pass. He won’t score an easier try than that, and to think he dropped it … but you’d expect that such talented players will turn it around sooner rather than later, and that most likely starts this week!

11. 7

In only one game, in just 50 minutes, Pangai offloaded seven times (six effective) and already became the NRL leader in offloads. The others at the top of the list though have played two games, and plenty more minutes. Pangai is an offload machine, and it seems that he has a licence to continue doing what he does best. Great signs for KFC SuperCoach purposes!

Bring on Round 3!

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