The importance of a good goal kicker is under-appreciated. They can win games by the skin of their teeth and propel teams to an even greater points difference.
In the biggest games goal kicking can be the deciding factor and Super League has seen its fair share of quality goal kickers.
But who are the best 5 of all time?
5. Danny Tickle
This might surprise you. But his 79% goal kicking success rate from 2003-17 is only bettered by two men in the same period. His success rates in 2010 and 2012 see him feature twice in the top 10 since 2003. Both seasons saw him achieve a rate above 85%. His 928 Super League goals leave him 5th on the all-time list above the likes of Pat Richards and Sean Long.
4. Danny Brough
In second place on the all-time list is Danny Brough with 1084. Perhaps better known for his in-play kicking, Brough was as reliable as anyone from the kicking tee. I remember one occasion in 2009 when his touchline conversion gave Wakefield a vital win over Harlequins in the last play of the game. Unfortunately for Brough, he was never able to prove his quality on the biggest stage.
3. Paul Deacon
Meanwhile Paul Deacon did. The Bradford Bulls kicker has 1043 Super League goals to his name and was successful with the boot in three separate Grand Finals. In fact, his successes with the boot were vitally important in Bradford’s Grand Final wins in 2003 and 2005 showing that he could nail vital conversions on the biggest stage.
2. Andy Farrell
Farrell’s success rate in 2003 of 87.23% is the highest ever seen in Super League. Add to that the fact he’s 4th on the all-time list of Super League goal kickers with 1026 and it’s clear that he was an outstanding and perhaps somewhat underrated goal kicker. The Wigan skipper and two time Man of Steel also kicked goals in Grand Finals. In fact, his three goals in the inaugural Grand Final were the difference between the Warriors and Leeds.
1. Kevin Sinfield
Who else was it going to be? Sinfield is Super League’s all-time leading goal kicker with a crazy 1566. He’s also the only man to make three appearances in the top 10 success rates since 2003. He’s goal kicking records in 2006, 2013 and 2015 were the finest in the competition and all feature in the aforementioned top 10. There’s arguably not a better player for a match-winning conversion as we saw in the 2011 Super League semi-final against Warrington. He repeated the feat a year later in 2012 during a stint of 21 consecutive successful goal kicks as Leeds pushed towards the Super League trophy. His final conversion in a Leeds shirt won the 2015 Grand Final for the Rhinos but that was just the latest in a long line of vital conversions for Leeds. Even in his early days as a goalkicker he nailed key kicks such as the two-pointer to take the 2003 Challenge Cup semi-final to extra time.