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Eye-opening statistic goes largely unnoticed

With so much to savour after Sunday’s heartwarming win over the Dolphins, it was easy to miss perhaps the most exceptional statistic outside the scoreline itself.

There were plenty of numbers to like with the Warriors enjoying a 52 per cent edge in possession and an 85 per cent completion rate as well as leading many of the other key measures.

Adam Pompey’s 100 per cent goal kicking performance was outstanding and critical, too.

But the stats that really jumped out were in the discipline area.

Firstly, the error count. It was down to a season-equalling low of just seven, the same number of errors the Warriors made a week earlier in their stunning upset win against the Panthers.

Above all, though, it was the penalty count which grabbed attention.

For several weeks now head coach Andrew Webster and the players have bemoaned lapses in discipline, highlighting it as an area they needed to fix quickly to turn performances around.

While they conceded three six-again tackle counts for ruck and 10-metre infringements (as did the Dolphins) their discipline elsewhere was absolutely perfect.

Indeed, referee Liam Kennedy couldn’t fault the Warriors as he blew a scarcely believable count of 5-0 in their favour.

Such a statistic naturally begged the question whether the Warriors had ever been on the end of a clean penalty sheet before.

Penalty counts have been reduced since the NRL introduced the six-again rule when the competition resumed in 2020 following the Covid hiatus.

As it happens the Warriors produced another unblemished display in 2021 when the penalties were awarded 7-0 in their favour against the Panthers in round 18; they lost 16-30 that day.

These two instances, however, are the only times in 718 matches dating back to 1995 that the Warriors have emerged from a game without conceding a penalty.

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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