STATS DON’T LIE | Cronulla v Roosters: Three key battles

Cronulla and the Roosters go head-to-head this Saturday as the race to a top four finish heats up with only two rounds remaining. When it comes to big matches you need your side’s big players to win the key battles. So with that in mind let’s take a look at who has already got the better of the rival in this clash.

Valentine Holmes v Michael Gordon

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Valentine Holmes has excelled in his move to fullback this season while Michael Gordon has played a big role since moving to the club in the off-season. There’s not much separating these two, Holmes has scored and set up less tries, but has made 272 runs to Gordon’s 209 for 2905 metres to 2028. He has made 10 line breaks, 61 tackle busts, and 55 tackles. The Roosters’ fullback has made seven line breaks, 59 tackle busts, and has made 85 tackles

James Maloney and Chad Townsend v Luke Keary and Mitchell Pearce

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New South Wales’ halves pairing face off this week and but it’s Pearce and his other half who have had the better season.

They’ve combined for 14 tries, a further 36 try assists. Nineteen line breaks, and 25 line breaks. They have kicked the ball 351 times for 9261 metres and have ran with the ball 215 times.

While Maloney and Townsend are a little behind combing for eight tries, and 21 try assists. They have only broke the line 10 times but have created 23. They have kicked the ball 294 times for 7518 metres and have made 41 more missed tackles than the Roosters’ halves.

Andrew Fifita v Dylan Napa
From Origin team-mates to rivals. Andrew Fifita and Dylan Napa are two of the best big men in the NRL and whoever comes out on top in this slobber knocker will go a long way to deciding the winner in this clash.

But if 2017 form has anything to go by this will be a no contest. Fifita has made 301 runs (101 more than Napa), 2578 metres (917 more than Napa). He has also made 507 tackles (100 more than Napa), 45 offloads (38 more than Napa), and 70 tackle busts (57 more than Napa).

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