Bursting onto the scene in 2008, Andrew McCullough has become one of the most underrated hookers in the NRL. His ability to jump out of dummy half and give good service to his halves has made Peter Wallace and Corey Norman’s job replacing Darren Lockyer much easier.
But what did it mean for his value as a DT player?
Brisbane’s slow start to the year was clearly reflected in McCullough’s points, where he was only getting mid 30s for the first 3-4 rounds. As the Broncos really started to fire, so did McCullough, racking up 66 in their Round 5 win over the Dragons, then 64 in Round 7 against the Raiders and 60 in Round 9 against the Warriors.
As with any hooker, his primary point scoring area is in defence. He was amongst the best tacklers in the NRL in 2012, which virtually assures him of 35 points per game at least. A fairly consistent 1-2 missed tackles a game hurts these numbers slightly, but in all he scored quite well on a consistent basis.
What made McCullough such a good investment in 2012 however, is his attacking stats. Try assists, line breaks, line break assists – he can do it all. These have meant McCullough is averaging around the 50 mark, which are good numbers for a slightly cheaper option at hooker. Tackle busts have also added to his attacking numbers, and have been quite consistent.
The main problem McCullough had is consistency of points. His involvement in games varied from week to week, and while his defence meant you got the 35-40 points out of him as a minimum, the frustration is clear when he had the potential to get 55-60 if he got more involved with the ball in hand.
Finished the season strongly, and is one to keep an eye on for 2013 – potentially the third best option at hooker in the game behind Smith and Farah.