High Performance Stat of the Week

Lightning fast on his feet, Jack Bird showed on Sunday that he's quick between the ears, too.

Bird's reaction time in the act of executing a pass under pressure to winger Valentine Holmes for a try in the 62nd minute was miniscule, with the play sending the Sharks to an 18-point lead.

There had already been eight passes in the play leading up to the decisive moment, with Bird having covered more than 6.5 kilometres by the stage of the game.

Raiders winger Edrick Lee was only two metres from Bird when he received the ball from Mick Ennis, and makes a play to tackle the centre with the collision occurring 400 milliseconds after Bird catches the ball.

As Bird sees Lee approaching, sensory neurons from his eyes send messages to his brain's visual cortex, then onto the motor cortex, along his spinal cord to his arms, telling him to respond with a pass that travels marginally below Lee's approaching arm and onto Holmes in the clear.

The average reaction time of humans in visual reaction time tests is around 300 milliseconds in controlled circumstances, let alone on a rugby league field under fatigue.

In that split-second, Bird had made an assessment of Lee's position and delivered the pass to Holmes in under 300 milliseconds to lay on an important try.

That’s a lot happening in less than a third of second!