Stat attack: Best and worst sideline goal-kickers

Do you ever watch a goal kicker lining up a tricky sideline conversion and think ‘this is going over for sure’, or ‘nup, he’s no chance’?

At the top of the tree in our list (which includes only players who had a minimum of 10 shots from the sideline last year), it’s no surprise to see the NRL’s most accurate kicker is the best from the touch-line.

Interestingly, Bulldog Kerrod Holland, despite being 14th-best* for accuracy of all goal kickers in 2017, comes in at second on our sideline list. It does suggest he has shanked more than his fair share of those tricky-but-gettable shots so maybe when he does start for Canterbury this year he can just be called upon for the tough sideline goals.

It wouldn’t do much for his career percentage but given teammate and likely first-string kicker Moses Mbye comes in at last on our sideline accuracy list it’s worth Dean Pay considering.

James Maloney, Adam Reynolds and Jarrod Croker are all near the top of both overall and sideline accuracy but Storm skipper Smith is another outlier. He has one of the weaker strike rates for a first-choice kicker in the NRL and was 16th-best overall in 2017 but is elevated to seventh on the sideline list.

Other interesting take-outs include Eels back-up Clint Gutherson doing better from the sideline than the man who replaced him as kicker, Mitch Moses. Manly’s likely top-two goal-kickers, Matt Wright and Dylan Walker, join Mbye in the bottom three of the sideline list.

*Excludes five players who took a single shot at goal in 2017 for a 100% strike rate.

NRL’s sideline conversions in 2017 (min 10 attempts)

1. Nathan Cleary 17 goals from 24 attempts at 71%
2. Kerrod Holland 8 goals from 12 attempts at 67%
3. James Maloney 15 goals from 23 attempts at 65%
4. Adam Reynolds 13 goals from 20 attempts at 65%
5. Jarrod Croker 28 goals from 45 attempts at 62%
6. Michael Gordon 25 goals from 41 attempts at 61%
7. Cameron Smith 26 goals from 43 attempts at 60%
8. Gareth Widdop 19 goals from 32 attempts at 59%
9. Issac Luke 6 goals from 11 attempts at 55%
10. Clint Gutherson 16 goals from 30 attempts at 53%
11. Ethan Lowe 9 goals from 18 attempts at 50%
12. Jordan Kahu 15 goals from 31 attempts at 48%
13. Mitch Moses 11 goals from 23 attempts at 48%
14. Shaun Johnson 10 goals from 21 attempts at 48%
15. Trent Hodkinson 8 goals from 17 attempts at 47%
16. Ashley Taylor 11 goals from 26 attempts at 42%
17. Tui Lolohea 7 goals from 17 attempts at 41%
18. Matt Wright 4 goals from 12 attempts at 33%
19. Dylan Walker 6 goals from 19 attempts at 32%
20. Moses Mbye 4 goals from 16 attempts at 25%

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