Super League’s most successful goal kickers: The 10 best with the boot ahead of new season

Ben Olawumi
'Super League's Dead Eyes: The 10 best with the Boot', Stefan Ratchford, Adam Keighran, Harry Smith, Marc Sneyd & Rhyse Martin in front of Headingley background

A look at the 10 best goal-kickers in Super League in 2024 using last year's statistics - Alamy

Many of rugby league’s most memorable in-game moments come from dramatic tries. A sprinkling come via drop goals. Fewer though seem to come from a conversion, but we’ve seen so many times over the years how costly missing them can be. So, ahead of the new Super League season, who should we expect to be clinical with the boot?

Indeed, when rugby was first discovered, invented, played, however you phrase it, if you didn’t convert a try, it was worth nothing.

Players back then were crossing the white line for a ‘try’, but that ‘try’ was to – in turn – try and earn points via a successful conversion.

Of course, that isn’t the case now, and we’re probably better off for it! But the two points tagged on the end can often prove vital.

The same can be said for penalties, missed or scored, the two points you can pick up or miss out on can impact on a team not just through just the scoreline, but mentally in-game too.

It’s stating the obvious to say you want someone with a dead-eye stood over that ball trying to slot it between the sticks, but they are few and far between.

The art of goal kicking

The player with the most successful conversions ever, at least in this country, is the legend Kevin Sinfield having hammered home a whopping 1,949 from 1997-2015 between Leeds Rhinos, England & Great Britain.

On that list of the players with the highest conversion tallies in this country, the one with the highest amount still playing in 2024 is Leigh cult hero Martyn Ridyard.

The 37-year-old is now back with Rochdale Hornets in League 1, and already has 1,153 successful slots with the boot to his name, including six across the Hornets’ first two competitive games of 2024.

Below, we’ve taken a look at the 10 best kickers in Super League in 2024 according to their conversion statistics last year.

The only stipulations: They have to be in the competition this year (i.e. can’t have left the competition in the off-season) and they have to have attempted a minimum of 25 conversions in the 2023 season in Super League alone.

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Super League’s most successful goal kickers: The 10 best with the boot ahead of new season

10. Harry Smith (Wigan Warriors) – 65% (97/149)

Harry Smith
Harry Smith lines up a conversion for Wigan Warriors in 2023 – Alamy

Towards the back end of the 2023 Super League season, ahead of the play-offs, pundits raised concerns about Smith’s kicking abilities.

At that time, his record stood at just under 65%. The 24-year-old improved towards the end of the campaign though, and was perfect with the boot by the time the play-offs came around, clinging onto a place in this top 10 and showing vast improvement.

Smith would also go on to win the Player of the Series for his showings in an England shirt against Tonga, kicking 11 goals across the three test games. Of course, those 11 didn’t count towards these statistics, but were still worth mentioning!

9. Rowan Milnes (Castleford) – 66% (18/27)

Rowan Milnes
Rowan Milnes kicks a conversion for Hull KR in 2023 – Alamy

24-year-old Milnes is the man on this list with the fewest conversion attempts, just about making it over the 25-minimum ruling with 27 attempts, slotting 18 of those over.

The Bradford-born ace struggled to cement a spot in Hull KR’s starting 13, and made just 14 appearances overall, three of those in the Challenge Cup.

Accordingly, he’s also one of two men on the list to have joined a new club this off-season, set to don a Castleford Tigers shirt in 2024.

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8. Jake Connor (Huddersfield Giants) – 74% (29/39)

Jake Connor
Jake Connor kicks a conversion for Hull FC in 2022 – Alamy

Four different players kicked a goal for Huddersfield in 2023, with Connor slotting over 35, including 29 of his 39 in Super League to earn him a spot on this list.

Doing a lot of the heavy lifting in that tally of 29 were the eight goals he kicked in the penultimate game of the campaign away against former employers Hull FC.

Connor also kicked five in a victory against eventual Grand Finalists Catalans Dragons last April.

7. Olly Russell (Huddersfield Giants) – 77% (40/52)

Olly Russell
Olly Russell kicks a conversion for Huddersfield Giants in 2022 – Alamy

Huddersfield’s main kicker is Russell, whose 40 conversions in 2023 all came in Super League across just 14 appearances.

The playmaker was sidelined for a large chunk of the campaign through injuries to both his hamstring and hand, with his last appearance of the year coming at the end of August against Leeds.

Notably, Russell opened up his account in 2023 with a six-goal haul last March, perfect with the boot in a 36-6 rout of Castleford, also slotting five conversions over against Salford Red Devils the week after.

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6. Adam Keighran (Catalans Dragons) – 78% (73/93)

Adam Keighran
Adam Keighran lines up a conversion for Catalans Dragons in 2023 – Alamy

Australian Keighran is the second man on this list to have joined a new Super League club this off-season, making the switch from Catalans to Wigan, the team who beat the Dragons in a Grand Final which saw him sin-binned at one stage back in October.

During his sole season in Perpignan, Keighran quickly established himself as one of the best goal-kickers in the competition, ending the year with 73 successful slots out of a possible 93.

Nine of his 73 successful conversions came in a 61-0 drubbing of Leeds in September at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, and the ex-NRL ace now holds Catalans’ club record for the most points scored in a single game (30).

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5. Rhyse Martin (Leeds Rhinos) – 79% (77/97)

Rhyse Martin
Rhyse Martin kicks a conversion for Leeds Rhinos in 2023 – Alamy

Papua New Guinea international Martin is renowned for his goal-kicking ability, with the Headingley faithful bellowing out ‘RHYSE’ every time he steps up to the tee.

Despite a poor year for the Rhinos, the fan favourite still kicked 77 goals in Super League alone to earn Rohan Smith’s side 154 points with a success rate of 79%.

The 30-year-old also kicked eight goals in two games for the Kumuls at the back end of the year as they lifted the inaugural Pacific Bowl, taking his career goal tally up to 454. You wouldn’t back against that being well over 500 come the end of the 2024 season.

3. Mark Percival (St Helens) – 85% (58/68)

Mark Percival
Mark Percival lines up a conversion for St Helens in 2023 – Alamy

A total of six different players – across all competitions – successfully hammered home at least one goal for Saints in 2023, but stalwart Percival had by far and away the highest tally of that sextet, missing just 10 of his 68 efforts.

The 29-year-old – with a success rate in 2023 of 85% – has only ever converted more goals in one season than last term, that in 2017 when he kicked 97 across all competitions.

Last year, Percival’s 58 in Super League came in 22 appearances, an average of more than 2.6 goals per game. His career tally is now at 293, with all bar one of those coming in the Red V, the other for England against France back in October 2018.

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= Arthur Mourgue (Catalans Dragons) – 85% (41/48)

Arthur Mourgue
Arthur Mourgue kicks a conversion for Catalans Dragons in 2022 – Alamy

Level with Percival in terms of percentage is Catalans youngster Mourgue, who attempted almost half the number of goals compared to team-mate Keighran, but missed just seven of his 48 efforts.

Starting 19 league games, and coming off the interchange bench in four others, the full-back averaged 1.78 successful goals per appearance.

His last goals of the campaign came in July in a home defeat to Huddersfield, where he was 3/3 with the boot. To date, the 24-year-old also has 12 international goals to his name, those coming across six senior appearances for France.

1. Marc Sneyd (Salford Red Devils) – 86% (84/98)

Marc Sneyd
Marc Sneyd lines up a conversion in the warm-up ahead of a Salford Red Devils game in 2023 – Alamy

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s Sneyd who reigns supreme at the top of the goal-kicking charts. Another man who is renowned for his kicking ability both in-game and on conversions, the Oldham-born veteran now has 1,033 total career goals.

That tally includes 84 in Super League last season from 98 attempts, with a success rate of 86% seeing him jointly top the tree.

The 33-year-old’s influence with the boot is that heavy that Ryan Brierley (with three) was the only other Red Devils player to successfully slot home a goal across all competitions last season, meaning that Sneyd earned almost 97% of the two-pointers they scored in 2023. He also kicked four drop goals.

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= Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) – 86% (98/114)

Stefan Ratchford
Stefan Ratchford kicks a conversion for Warrington Wolves in 2023 – Alamy

Joining Sneyd at the top of the goal-kicking tree is another veteran of the game in Ratchford, who successfully put two points on the board 98 times in Super League last year with a success rate of 86%.

Much like Sneyd, the 35-year-old is in command with the boot at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, with only Josh Thewlis & Peter Mata’utia (one each) kicking a goal for Warrington in 2023 in any competition.

Wigan-born Ratchford now has 633 career goals, with 596 in Wire colours. We’re sure it won’t take long for him to surpass 600 Wolves goals in 2024.

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