NRL Round 2 Preview: Supercoach Insights, Stats & Everything You Need To Know
March 21, 2019
There were some surprises in round one and with some great matchups scheduled for this week it looks like we’re in for some more.
ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS VS SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS – THURSDAY 21 MARCH, 7:50PM, JUBILEE STADIUM
The Wayne Bennett era at Redfern got off to a perfect start with Adam Reynolds starring in the 26-16 victory while Sam Burgess was also instrumental in his new position in the second row.
The Dragons scored the opening try against the Cowboys but that’s as good as it got as they went down 24-12 and lost star forward Tyson Frizell to a freak incident which will sideline him for up to six weeks.
Dragons: Blake Lawrie replaces the injured Tyson Frizell (ruptured testicle) at lock, with Josh Kerr joining the interchange.
Rabbitohs: Kyle Turner replaces Corey Allan on the bench in South Sydney’s only change.
- Cameron Murray ($458,900) and Braidon Burns ($286 600) – were the highest scorers out of both teams last week with 70 points.
- Paul Vaughan ($493,000) – will to gain valuable points this week with plenty of run metres and he has a knack for finding the tryline.
- Mathew Dufty ($460,800) – was disappointing last week with only 13 points and with a hefty price tag it’s hard to keep him in for a tough matchup here.
- Euan Aitken has scored a try in each of St. George Illawarra’s last four Thursday night matches.
- Each of South Sydney’s last six Thursday night matches have gone OVER the total match points line.
- South Sydney has won seven of its last eight night matches against St. George Illawarra.
- Paul Vaughan has scored a try in three of St. George Illawarra’s last four matches as a home underdog.
TIP: Souths will be too strong here
CANBERRA RAIDERS VS MELBOURNE STORM – FRIDAY 22 MARCH, 6:00PM, GIO STADIUM
Canberra made short work of the Titans on a rain-soaked Gold Coast track last week, heading home 21-0 winners thanks to a dominant attacking performance.
The Storm had their hands full with the Broncos last week, for all of five minutes. Melbourne pounced on Brisbane in the opening half to lead 10-0 at the break, leaving the Bromwich brothers to do the rest in the second half.
Overall, Canberra’s defence could keep this close. Their line play was superb last week, and the battle between Cameron Smith and Josh Hodgson should provide fireworks.
Raiders: Jordan Rapana is named to make a shock early return from injury, with Bailey Simonsson bumped to the reserves.
Storm: Patrick Kaufusi replaces the injured Tom Eisenhuth (fractured larynx) on the bench.
- Brandon Smith ($248,900) – proved great value last week with a total of 42 points last week.
- Cameron Munster ($548,900) – is a must-have after his 105 points last week.
- Baily Simmonsson ($168,100) – has to find a spot in your team after 44 points last week.
- Melbourne has won each of its last four matches against Canberra.
- Suliasi Vunivalu has scored a try in each of Melbourne’s last two matches against Canberra.
- Six of the last seven matches between Canberra and Melbourne have gone UNDER the total match points line.
- Iosia Soliola has scored a try in two of Canberra’s last three night matches.
BRISBANE BRONCOS VS NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS – FRIDAY 22 MARCH, 7:55PM, SUNCORP STADIUM
The Broncos enter their first of two QLD derby’s following a loss to the Storm last week. There’s plenty of learning curves ahead for new coach Anthony Seibold, but it appears the same old problem is plaguing Brisbane for the second season in a row.
The Cowboys started life without Johnathan Thurston in the best possible fashion, with new skipper and number seven Michael Morgan playing a starring role in their 24-12 win over the Dragons.
Since the start of 2010, the Cowboys lead the head-to-head 12-11, including the epic 2015 decider.
Broncos: Matt Lodge (two-week suspension) is replaced by Tevita Pangai jnr at prop, while David Fifita starts in the second row with Jaydn Su’A back to the bench. Shaun Fensom is the new man on the interchange.
Cowboys: The Cowboys have named the same team they did last week, so Josh McGuire reverts back to the bench with Gavin Cooper named to start.
- Javid Bowen ($196,900) – managed 48 points last week.
- Corey Oates ($504,000) – was a machine last week with 108 points and always scores points at Suncorp.
- Gavin Cooper has scored a try in nine of North Queensland’s last 10 matches.
- Corey Oates has scored at least one try in each of Brisbane’s last six night matches at Suncorp Stadium.
- Brisbane has won each of its last eight matches at Suncorp Stadium following a loss.
- Seven of the last eight Friday matches between Brisbane and North Queensland have gone OVER the total match points line.
TIP: Broncos Will Hit Form Again Back At Home
CRONULLA SHARKS VS GOLD COAST TITANS – SATURDAY MARCH 23, 3:00PM, SHARK PARK
It was a disappointing start to the season for the Titans and they will be eager to respond with a big performance and win second-up, away from home.
In what turned out to be a stalemate between the Sharks and the Knights, Cronulla allowed a crucial last minute try to Edrick Lee in Newcastle, going on to lose 14-8.
This game will likely be just as close. The Sharks finished 7-2 as the home favourite last year, while the Titans went 4-7 as the away underdog.
Sharks: Cronulla are unchanged.
Titans: With Tyrone Roberts and Ash Taylor injured, Ryley Jacks joins AJ Brimson in the halves with Anthony Don starting on the wing and Phillip Sami shifting to the bench.
- Briton Nikora ($168,100) – has a small price tag but scored a whopping 65 points last week.
- Sosaia Feki ($429,000) – was well over value last week with only 12 points.
- The Sharks score the first try in 60% of their matches.
- Clashes at Southern Cross Group Stadium average 49.4 total match points.
- Each of the last five matches between Cronulla and Gold Coast at Southern Cross Group Stadium have been decided by a margin of 1 to 6 points.
- Chad Townsend has scored a try in each of Cronulla’s last three home matches.
TIP: Sharks Will Have Too Much Class Here.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS VS PENRITH PANTHERS – SATURDAY MARCH 23, 5:30PM, MCDONALD JONES STADIUM
The Knights will attempt to frank the incredible form that they showed to sneak past the Sharks in Round 1 when they host the Panthers on Saturday evening.
The Panthers are typically slow starters, but they’ll need to find some spark on the road this week. Their first half efforts left a lot to be desired against Parramatta, but if they can win the forward battle and silence Mitchell Pearce, Penrith can easily turn their fortunes around.
Knights: Herman Ese’ese replaces the injured Daniel Saifiti (knee) on the bench.
Panthers: Sione Katoa returns from concussion at hooker, with Wayde Egan moving to the bench and Jarome Luai out of the 17. Frank Winterstein replaces Tyrell Fuimaono on the interchange. Reagan Campbell-Gillard is named to start, with Moses Leota dropping back to the bench.
- James Tamou ($423,500) – was a big earner last week with 106 points.
- Mitchell Pearce ($463,500) – wasn’t worth the price tag last week with only 44 points.
- Waqa Blake has scored at least one try in each of Penrith’s last six away matches.
- In each of Penrith’s last six away matches, the highest scoring half has been the second.
- Nine of Penrith’s last 10 away matches have gone OVER the total match points line.
- Penrith has covered the line in each of its last three night matches against Newcastle.
TIP: Hard one to pick but we think the Knights will prevail at home.
MANLY SEA EAGLES VS SYDNEY ROOSTERS – SATURDAY MARCH 23, 7:35PM, BROOKVALE OVAL
Sydney were dominated in the possession count, while they also looked flat on defence missing 27 tackles and committing 15 errors. In sum, it was a very uninspiring performance after a very strong preseason.
The Sea Eagles were held scoreless right up until the 79th minute, a performance that left little to the imagination aside from Addin Fonua-Blake’s impressive numbers.
Sea Eagles: Addin Fonua-Blake (suspension) and Trent Hodkinson drop out of the 17 with Toafofoa Sipley starting at prop and Manase Fainu on the bench.
Roosters: No changes for the Roosters from the 17 which went down to Souths in round one, with Angus Crichton again named on the bench.
- Mitchell Aubusson ($293,200) – was great value last week with 79 points.
- Martin Taupau ($605,100) – was overpriced with only 43 points.
- The Roosters win by 1-12 in 32.1% of their matches
- Clashes at Lottoland average 47.9 total match points.
TIP: Roosters…. Easily
CANTERBURY BULLDOGS VS PARRAMATTA EELS – SUNDAY MARCH 24, 4:05PM, ANZ STADIUM
As expected, the Bulldogs were no match for the Warriors in Auckland last week, falling by 34-points. The Eels, on the other hand, were perhaps the most encouraging side to emerge from the opening round, storming home to defeat the Panthers 20-12 on the road.
Recent meetings between these two haven’t exactly been exciting. The Eels have won four of their last five games against Canterbury, but it’s worth keeping in mind the pair split their two-game series one win apiece last season.
Bulldogs: The Bulldogs have named an unchanged 17 as they look to turn things around after a loss to the Warriors.
Eels: Michael Jennings (suspension), Nathan Brown (pectoral injury) and Will Smith are out, with Josh Hoffman starting at centre, Junior Paulo returning from injury at prop, Tepai Moeroa at lock and Jaeman Salmon on the bench. George Jennings could be a late inclusion after being named in the reserves.
- Blake Ferguson ($611,700) – struggled last week with only 40 points.
- Reimis Smith ($487,400) – averaged $20 per point (24) last week.
- Games involving the Bulldogs exceed the total match points market 80% of the time.
- Both teams average over 40 total match points.
- The average winning margin at ANZ Stadium is 15.4 points.
TIP: Parramatta showed they have the ability last week and should win.
WESTS TIGERS VS NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS – SUNDAY MARCH 24, 6:10PM, CAMPBELLTOWN STADIUM
The Warriors and the Tigers won in convincing fashion last week, setting up what could be a fiery clash between two sides that know how to score.
Despite last week’s large scoreline, try not to get too carried away with expectations just yet. The Tigers made short work of a lethargic Manly side, but there’s still plenty of areas to work on for coach Michael Maguire.
The same also goes for the Warriors, who have become dependent on Blake Green. The 32-year-old will have his hands full this week with the Tigers’ attack, and in particular Benji Marshall, who played a big role in the win over Manly.
Wests Tigers: No changes to the 17, although Moses Mbye and Josh Reynolds are both available after being included in the reserves.
Warriors: Isaiah Papali’i returns on the bench in place of Blake Ayshford, while Issac Luke could return after being named in the reserves.
- Robbie Farah ($581,800) – was the highest earner in the league with 110 points.
- Adam Keighran ($168,100) – averaged just under $2 per point (87) last week.
- The Warriors score the first try in 80% of their matches.
- The Tigers average over 23.4 poinst against.
- The Warriors have a 75% win rate when favourites.
- Campbelltown Stadium averages 38.8 total match points.
Our Supercoach Team
- Kalyn Ponga
- Josh Addo-Carr
- Jarrod Croker
- Latrell Mitchell
- Suliasi Vunivalu
- Corey Norman
- Cooper Cronk
- Boyd Cordner
- Cameron Smith
- Jason Taumalolo
- Paul Vaughan
- Leeson Ah Mau
- Mitchell Aubusson
- Tui Kamikamika
- Brendan Elliot
- Clint Gutherson
- Dani Levi