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Naiqama tops Telstra Tracker data in NRL return

Kevin Naiqama marked his return to the NRL last week with a try, a win, and his name on top of the Telstra Tracker data as the Sydney Roosters winger chalked up the highest speed of the round.

Playing in his first NRL game since departing Wests Tigers in 2018, the 33-year-old was a strong late inclusion for Trent Robinson's men against the Cowboys — finishing the night with 116 metres from his 16 carriers along with a try.

But what was perhaps most surprising from the Fijian international was his speed — topping the Telstra Tracker charts with maximum velocity of 35.2 km/h to lead all players, narrowly ahead of Cowboys halfback Tom Dearden (35.1 km/h).

Waqa Blake's runaway try against the Dragons saw him peak at 34.9 km/h while Bulldogs duo Matt Dufty (34.9) and Josh Addo-Carr (34.8) rounded out the top five.

Dally M hopeful and Dragons star Emma Tonegato once again dominated the headlines in the women's competition — topping the charts with 525 metres of high speed distance, which is run at a speed greater than 17.5 kilometres per hour.

Broncos duo Julia Robinson (449 metres) and Emily Bass (436 metres) finished behind Tonegato in the rankings as they went down to the Sydney Roosters.

Other notable Telstra Tracker data from Round 4 of the Telstra Premiership and the Semi Finals of the Telstra Women's Premiership included:

  • Sharks duo William Kennedy and Blayke Brailey both finished inside the top three players of the round for total distance run (9641 and 9549 metres)
  • Nathan Cleary marked his return from injury with a strong effort — covering 9618 metres in his first game back for the Panthers (second among all players) while also finishing fourth in relative distance (100.1 metres/min)
  • Cowboys forward Tom Gilbert was a surprise leader in relative distance, topping the charts with 104.1 metres/minute in his side's loss to the Roosters
  • Bulldogs new recruit Brent Naden edged out the likes of Reuben Garrick and Ryan Papenhuyzen to top both the high speed distance (741 metres covered at a speed greater than 20 km/h) as well as sprint distance (322 metres covered at a speed greater than 25 km/h)
  • Dragons flyer Teagan Berry chalked up the highest speed of the Women's Premiership Semi Finals with a maximum effort of 30.1 km/h
  • Broncos hooker Lauren Brown once again topping the total distance charts (7667 metres) while also finishing second in relative distance (93.1 metres/min)

Telstra Tracker: NRL Round 5

Maximum Velocity

  1. Kevin Naiqama (Roosters) — 35.2 km/h
  2. Tom Dearden (Cowboys) — 35.1 km/h
  3. Waqa Blake (Eels) — 34.9 km/h

High Speed Distance (metres > 20 km/h)

  1. Brent Naden (Bulldogs) — 741 metres
  2. Stephen Crichton (Panthers) — 709 metres
  3. Reuben Garrick (Sea Eagles) — 708 metres

Total Distance

  1. William Kennedy (Sharks) — 9641 metres
  2. Nathan Cleary (Panthers) — 9618 metres
  3. Blayke Brailey (Sharks) — 9549 metres

Relative Distance (metres per minute)

  1. Tom Gilbert (Cowboys) — 104.1 metres/minute
  2. Drew Hutchison (Roosters) — 102.8 metres/minute
  3. Tyson Frizell (Knights) — 100.5 metres/minute

Telstra Tracker: NRLW Semi Finals

Maximum Velocity

  1. Teagan Berry (Dragons) — 30.1 km/h
  2. Karina Brown (Titans) — 28.5 km/h
  3. Isabelle Kelly (Roosters) — 27.8 km/h

Relative Distance (metres/minute)

  1. Hayley Maddick (Broncos) — 105.3 metres/minute
  2. Lauren Brown (Broncos) — 93.1 metres/minute
  3. Sara Sautia (Broncos) — 90.9 metres/minute

Total Distance

  1. Lauren Brown (Broncos) — 7667 metres
  2. Emma Tonegato (Dragons) — 7334 metres
  3. Rachel Pearson (Dragons) — 7189 metres
Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys 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.