Statistics show Greg Inglis is well below his best this NRL season however his South Sydney teammates have brushed off suggestions their superstar skipper is playing injured.
Inglis’ slow start to the season has fuelled rumours the Queensland and Australian No.1 is playing through a knee injury which is affecting his movement.
Numbers provided by Fox Sports Show that the premiership-winning custodian has been nowhere near his explosive best in 2016 amid his side’s alarming form slump which saw them thrashed 44-18 by North Queensland on Saturday.
In the first seven rounds, Inglis has scored just once, made three linebreaks, had one try assist and one linebreak assist – his numbers down in all the major attacking statistics when contrasted against previous years.
This year he has broken just 18 tackles at an average of 2.5 per game, a significant drop on 2015 (3.85 per game), 2014 (4.6) and 2013 (6.05).
He has averaged just 129 running metres this year, compared with 154m in Souths’ premiership year in 2014 and 145m in 2013.
His three linebreaks this year pale in comparison to his output in previous seasons – 15 from 20 games in 2015, 21 from 24 games in 2014 and 15 from 20 games in 2013.
He is even setting up his teammates less with just one try assist to his name this year. In previous years he was having a far bigger affect on the scoreboard with 13 try assists last year, 14 the year before and 11 in 2013.
Despite these numbers, his teammates leapt to his defence on Tuesday with Kirisome Auva’a declaring Inglis’ form was down only as much as the rest of the side.
“The last few weeks we’ve been working on what we need to do and Greg is just one piece of the puzzle,” Auva’a said.
“We all have to play a role.”
Hymel Hunt also dismissed talk Inglis was playing injured.
“I think Greg is good, he’s an awesome leader for us young boys who look up to him,” Hunt said.
“I think he’s fine injury-wise. I think that’s just talk.”
OUT ON FORM
A statistical analysis of Greg Inglis’ form over the last four seasons
* 2016: 7 games, 1 try, 18 tackle busts, 3 linebreaks, 1 try assist, 129 avg metres
* 2015: 20 games, 8 tries, 77 tackle busts, 15 linebreaks, 13 try assists, 126 avg metres
* 2014: 24 games, 13 tries, 112 tackle busts, 21 linebreaks, 14 try assists, 154 avg metres
* 2013: 20 games, 14 tries, 121 tackle busts, 15 linebreaks, 11 try assists, 145 avg metres