Best attacking centres of 2018: Bulldog edges out Roosters, Raiders stars

When you think of the best attacking centres in the NRL, names like Latrell Mitchell, Joey Leilua and Joseph Manu spring to mind but very few fans would toss up the name of a Bulldog in 2018.

The Roosters and Raiders each had both of their first-choice centres among the top 10 centres in the NRL when it comes to making and creating line breaks, according to NRL.com Stats.

However, there was a surprise leader at the top of the table with Canterbury's Kerrod Holland proving the most dangerous centre for line break involvements in 2018.

By adding each centre's line breaks created and assisted then dividing that by games played at centre, Holland recorded an incredible 1.2 based on his six breaks and six assists in 10 games at centre since moving there mid-season.

Holland's late-season form spike coincided with a strong finish to the season for his club overall after a struggle through the first two-thirds of the year.

He just edged out the year's most dominant centre, Mitchell, who starred for the Roosters, Blues and Kangaroos.

Mitchell did it over a longer period, notching a huge 17 line breaks and nine assists in 22 games for 1.18 line break involvements per game.

Manu, his teammate and a breakout star for the Roosters and Kiwis, was seventh with six breaks and seven assists at 0.76 per game.

Canberra were the only other team with two names in the top 10. The Raiders didn't make the finals but it wasn't for a lack of scoring ability and plenty of that came from their three-quarter line.

Skipper Jarrod Croker (nine breaks, six assists at 0.88 LB involvements per game) came in third and Leilua (13 breaks, four assists) 10th.

The other perhaps surprising entry in the top 10 is Cowboys utility Ben Hampton, who was a rare shining light in North Queensland's surprisingly sluggish season, staking a big claim for a permanent centre spot on the back of five breaks and one assist in just seven games there at 0.88 involvements per game.

Brenko Lee's passing and offloading helped him notch 10 line break assists – the most of any centre – while Greg Inglis proved he is far from a spent force with 12 line break involvements in 15 games at centre.

Holland was taken aback when told of his statistical attacking dominance by NRL.com.

"That's the first I've heard of it – it's not something I look at, I'd rather win games than worry about personal stats," Holland said.

"It's nice to be at the top but hopefully I can do it again this season, it would go a long way to helping the Dogs win a few more games."

Holland credited the backing of coach Dean Pay, the form of his fellow right-edge players like Josh Jackson and Matt Frawley, and a club-wide positive mindset following some early-season turbulence for the late-season form spike.

"We started to form a good combination and the way that Deano allowed us to play and the blokes inside us and giving us room and we played a free style of football. Frawls and Jacko deserve a lot of credit for what Reimis and I did at the back end of the year, they were really good.

"Deano gave us a style of football to play and everyone really adapted and we put together a couple of good performances at the end of last year."