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Stat Attack | Friend Joins Top Tacklers

Chris Kennedy, NRL.COM

You couldn't question the commitment of Roosters captain Jake Friend in Round 24 after he notched one of the biggest individual tackle tallies of the NRL era.

His 73 tackles brings him level with Storm skipper Cameron Smith, who recorded his career-high in a 2016 grand final loss to Cronulla.

The pair are in equal fifth since the NRL began in 1998, with former Cowboys and Warriors workhorse Michael Luck's phenomenal 78 tackles against the Storm in 2009 maintaining its near decade-long run at the top of the list.

Wests Tigers lock Elijah Taylor made 77 for Penrith against North Queensland in 2015 while long-time Raiders fan favourite Shaun Fensom is in third, with a whopping 75 against Canterbury in 2011. Ex-Knights lock Matt Hilder is one ahead of Smith and Friend with 74 against the Warriors in 2009.

Friend is no stranger to big tackle counts – he is also equal seventh on the list with 72 against the Storm in 2016, as well as equal 11th with 70 against the Knights in 2014.

Friend is the only player other than Nathan Hindmarsh to appear on the list more than once. The former Eels back-rower is equal ninth (with himself) for two 71-tackle efforts in 2007 and 2011 and equal 11th with Friend for 70 against the Roosters in 2011.

Friend has been on a big-tackling mission of late; heading into the Broncos game he had tallied a remarkable 221 tackles in four games with four straight 50+ efforts.

The recent run has moved him to the top of the 2018 tackle count, past former leader Cameron McInnes from the Dragons (who also features on the shortlist with 72 tackles against Canberra last year).

Despite playing limited minutes in quite a few games earlier in the year, Friend now has 1062 tackles in 23 games this year at just over 46 per game at a 91% effective rate.

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.