A massive afternoon of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW saw all six Round 4 games played on Saturday across Sydney and Wollongong, producing a number of thrilling results. While the Penrith Panthers had the biggest win, defeating the Wyong Roos 32-10, all other matches were decided by margins of eight points or less as the competition heated up.
Despite competing hard in a tight arm wrestle of a win, the North Sydney Bears had 57 per cent of the ball against Mounties. Statistically the visitors dominated last year's grand finalists, running 450 more metres for three more line-breaks. Both teams have shown promise throughout the opening four rounds.
Last week, we emphasised the poor start the Wests Tigers had endured over Rounds 1-3, including more than 1,800 metres conceded and 43 missed tackles on average. They fell agonisingly short of their first win on Saturday, but put forward a much improved performance which included the week's highest metre tally (1,704 metres). They also missed the third-fewest tackles (19) and had relatively few errors (seven) and penalties conceded (nine) in a remarkable turnaround of form.
The best attack of Round 4, of course, went to the Panthers with their 32 points, coming from a week-high seven line-breaks. Three of these came via the second row, while props Tim Browne and Moses Leota each had a line-break-assist to their name in a sign of a dangerous forward pack. Their 32 missed tackles - third most in Round 4 - was not pretty, but it was nothing compared to the 52 registered by opponents Wyong. They were forced to make more tackles than any other team (349), however, and were generally solid defensively.
Mounties, Wentworthville and North Sydney all have some work to do, with the most least metres (Mounties: 999 metres), errors (Magpies: 18) and penalties conceded (Bears: 13) respectively. Individually, Illawarra lock Blake Laurie ran further than any other forward (200 metres), while Wests Tigers fullback Watson Heleta had him covered with 220 metres. Jets prop Kurt Dillon (47 tackles) and Panthers hooker Mitch Rein (46 tackles) had the largest workloads defensively from the six games.
View the full stats reports from each of the games below - and stay tuned for the Round 4 Team of the Week, to be released on NSWRL.com.au later today.