NRL Round 3 Insight & Stats Preview | The Sporting Base
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NRL Round 3 Preview: Supercoach and Betting Insights, Stats & Everything You Need To Know

March 29, 2019

We were able to pick seven out of eight winners last round but with some great games scheduled we will be looking for more. Here’s a look at everything you need to know for this week’s matchups.


CANBERRA RAIDERS VS NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS – FRIDAY 29 MARCH, 6:00PM, GIO STADIUM

Canberra looked a strong chance at upsetting the Storm at home in what was supposed to be wet conditions, but the Raiders failed to show up to their own party losing by 12-points.

The Knights were equally disappointing following a Round 1 win over the Sharks. Many bought into what Newcastle were selling, but a two-point loss to the Panthers at home now leaves Newcastle with a few questions to answer.

These two sides met only once last year in a thrilling 30-28 Knights victory in Canberra. Two of the last five meetings between the two have gone to overtime, but with homefield advantage again this week, the Raiders enter as the short-price favourite.


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Team News

Raiders: A late change to the squad named on Tuesday with Aidan Sezer (stomach muscle) out of the side and Sam Williams coming in at halfback. With Joe Tapine sidelined with a broken thumb, John Bateman switches to the back row. Bateman’s fellow Englishman Ryan Sutton gets the nod to start at lock, while Hudson Young has been elevated to the bench. Jack Murchie was omitted from the squad 24 hours before kick-off.

Knights: Fullback Connor Watson (knee) is out and will be replaced at fullback by Kurt Mann. Josh King and Jamie Buhrer were named in the reserves on Tuesday but were elevated to the bench 24 hours before kick-off. Herman Ese’ese went from the bench to the reserves list and Mason Lino was omitted.


Supercoach Tips:

  • Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad ($265,500) – Was great value last week with 52 points.
  • John Bateman ($400,00) – Has justified his pricetag with a total of 134 points.

Betting Insights:

  • Joey Leilua has scored at least one try in six of Canberra’s last seven matches following a loss.
  • Jarrod Croker has scored at least one try in each of Canberra’s last five home matches against Newcastle.
  • Newcastle has lost 15 of its last 16 interstate matches.
  • Each of the last seven matches between Canberra and Newcastle have gone OVER the total match points line.
  • Sione Mata’utia has scored at least one try in each of his last three appearances against Canberra.

TIP: Canberra should be too good at home.



PARAMATTA EELS VS SYDNEY ROOSTERS – FRIDAY 29 MARCH, 7:55PM, ANZ STADIUM

The Parramatta Eels are one of four undefeated teams in the NRL after two rounds and will be looking to consolidate their top-two position when they face the Sydney Roosters in a showdown at ANZ Stadium.

It will be the first time Blake Ferguson meets his former team since departing at the end of last season and he is fresh off a double against the Dogs, which included a 90-metre intercept try.

The reigning premiers chalked up their first win of the season at the hands of Manly, opening up a 26-0 lead before surviving a late surge from the home team.


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Team News

Eels: The unbeaten Eels have rushed Michael Jennings straight back into the starting side after his suspension. He replaces Josh Hoffman who is a reserve alongside Oregon Kaufusi. Meanwhile, Peni Terepo is back from a club imposed suspension and will come from the interchange bench. David Gower and George Jennings were omitted from the squad on Thursday.

Roosters: Cooper Cronk (hamstring) will miss another week and his place at halfback is taken by rookie Lachlan Lam, who will make his first NRL start after coming off the bench against Manly. Jake Friend returns at hooker, Victor Radley shifts back to lock, while Matt Ikuvalu replaces Brett Morris (knee) on the wing. Isaac Liu and Angus Crichton drop to the bench, with Trent Robinson opting to start veteran Mitch Aubusson. Asu Kepaoa was omitted 24 hours before kick-off.


Supercoach Tips:

  • Luke Keary ($460,000) – Is the highest scorer of both teams with 163 points.
  • Dylan Brown ($168,100) – Has proven to be great value with 3.113 dollars per point making the the lowest dollar to point ratio in this match.

Betting Insights:

  • Daniel Tupou has scored at least one try in each of Sydney’s last six matches.
  • Clint Gutherson has scored at least one try in each of Parramatta’s last four matches following a win.
  • Latrell Mitchell has been the first try-scorer in two of Sydney’s last three matches against Parramatta.
  • Eight of the last nine matches between Parramatta and Sydney have gone OVER the total match points line.
  • Parramatta has won three of its last four matches at ANZ Stadium by a margin of 13+ points.
  • Blake Ferguson has scored at least one try in three of his last four appearances against Sydney.

TIP: Roosters have the ability to dominate here and will put an end to Parramatta’s great start.



MANLY SEA EAGLES VS NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS – SATURDAY MARCH 30, 3:00PM, AMI STADIUM CHRISTCHURCH

Manly find themselves 0-2 for the first time since 2017. Last week’s loss to the Roosters was a tough break for Des Hasler’s side, however the Sea Eagles can take pride in the fact they played out a strong second half.

The Warriors have much bigger concerns to address ahead of Round 3. New Zealand, a team renowned for their strong play on the road last season, looked underdone against the Tigers losing by 28-points in Campbelltown. New Zealand’s usually explosive attack cracked the scoreboard only once, as Wests dominated possession exhausting the Warriors’ defence.

The Sea Eagles now travel to Christchurch on Saturday in what is sure to be an emotional game for the Warriors and their fans. The last time Manly traveled to New Zealand they won in thrilling overtime fashion back in 2017, but of course, a lot has changed since then.

For New Zealand, the key to this game is maintaining momentum. The Warriors have struggled to cope with the ebbs and flows of a full 80-minutes, evident in last week’s collapse in the first half against the Tigers.


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Team News

Sea Eagles: Manly fans will be delighted to see fullback Tom Trbojevic back from an ankle injury, with Brendan Elliott moved to the reserves. Prop Addin Fonua-Blake returns from suspension for Toafofoa Sipley, who moves to the bench. Kelepi Tanginoa drops from the bench to the reserves. Curtis Sironen has been named but copped a head knock against the Roosters and will be monitored during the week.

Warriors: No changes from Stephen Kearney despite a disappointing loss in round two. Sam Lisone has been named on the interchange bench pending his judiciary hearing on Tuesday night where he will plead not guilty to dangerous contact charge from Sunday’s clash with the Wests Tigers. Lisone will miss two games if found guilty.


Supercoach Tips:

  • Ken Maumalo ($370,000) – Is the highest scorer of these two teams with 158 points.
  • Adam Keighran ($168,100) – Is a big value player for this match with a total of 118 points.

Betting Insights:

  • Manly has won seven of its last eight matches against New Zealand.
  • Each of Manly’s last eight Round 3 matches have gone UNDER the total match points line.
  • Solomone Kata has scored at least one try in four of New Zealand’s last five matches as a favourite in New Zealand.
  • David Fusitua has scored at least one try in four of New Zealand’s last five matches as a favourite.
  • Tom Trbojevic has scored at least one try in four of Manly’s last five matches against New Zealand.

TIP: Manly may have a great record over New Zealand but with the way both teams have started the Warriors should win here at home.



NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS VS CRONULLA SHARKS – SATURDAY MARCH 30, 5:30PM, 1300SMILES STADIUM

The North Queensland Cowboys and Cronulla Sharks will both be aiming to end Round 3 inside the eight after each splitting their opening two matches. The Cowboys were outmuscled by an enthusiastic Broncos outfit last Friday, eventually succumbing to a 29-10 defeat.

Meanwhile, the Sharks got their season going after an opening-round defeat, as new recruit Shaun Johnson led a routine 20-6 victory over the Titans. North Queensland will be reeling from the loss of star forward Jason Taumalolo to a knee injury that could see him spend 10 weeks on the sidelines.


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Team News

Cowboys: Paul Green has opted for a major backline reshuffle with Te Maire Martin switching from five-eighth to fullback and youngster Jake Clifford getting his chance in the No.6. Centres Justin O’Neill and Tom Opacic have both been dropped. Their places are taken by Ben Hampton and Kahu, who moves from fullback to centre. In the pack, Coen Hess comes into the starting side for Jason Taumalolo, who is expected to miss 6-10 weeks with a knee injury. Corey Jensen is the new player on the interchange.

Sharks: Cronulla are unchanged for the third consecutive week as they look to celebrate Paul Gallen’s record breaking 329th game for the club with a win in Townsville.


Supercoach Tips:

  • Briton Nikora ($168,100) – Is a must have with 157 points this season.
  • Chad Townsend ($443,700) – Isn’t living up to his price tag with only 39 points this season.

Betting Insights:

  • Gavin Cooper has scored a try in six of North Queensland’s last seven matches as an underdog.
  • Cronulla has covered the line in each of its last eight interstate day matches.
  • Thirteen of North Queensland’s last 14 Saturday matches at 1300SMILES Stadium have gone UNDER the total match points line.
  • Josh Dugan has scored a try in each of Cronulla’s last four day matches.
  • Coen Hess has scored a try in each of North Queensland’s last two matches against Cronulla.

TIP: The Sharks here.



PENRITH PANTHERS VS MELBOURNE STORM – SATURDAY MARCH 30, 7:35PM, CARRINGTON PARK BATHURST

The Penrith Panthers will host the Melbourne Storm in their annual home match at Bathurst this Saturday as they look to record consecutive victories over the Storm for the first time since 2005.

Penrith has won just two of its last 19 contests against Melbourne, but did triumph in their most recent meeting at AAMI Park last season. The Panthers got off the mark in season 2019 with a tight 16-14 win at Newcastle on Saturday, with their resilience sure to give them some confidence. The Storm have established their spot in the top four early after a solid away victory over the Raiders.


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Team News

Panthers: Test and Origin winger Josh Mansour returns from a shoulder injury, pushing Malakai Watene-Zelezniak back to the reserves. Reagan Campbell-Gillard is named to start after coming off the bench last week. Frank Winterstein moves from interchange to the starting side to replace Isaah Yeo (concussion). Tyrell Fuimaono has been added to the bench.

Storm: No changes to the 17 which downed Canberra in the nation’s capital last Friday. The Storm head to Bathurst looking to continue their dominance over Penrith having won 17 of their past 19 against the Panthers.


Supercoach Tips:

  • James Tamou ($423,400) – Is is the highest scorer in this match
  • Josh Mansour ($459,200) – Is back from injury this week so expect him to add to the 15 points he has.

Betting Insights:

  • Melbourne has won each of its last five matches as a favourite against Penrith by a margin of 13+ points.
  • Melbourne has won each of its last 12 Saturday matches against Penrith.
  • Waqa Blake has scored at least one try in seven of his last eight appearances with Penrith as an underdog.
  • Josh Addo-Carr has scored at least one try in each of his last four appearances in New South Wales.
  • Nine of Melbourne’s last 10 interstate matches have gone UNDER the total match points line.

TIP: The Storm have started the season well and should get the win here.



WESTS TIGERS VS CANTERBURY BULLDOGS – SUNDAY MARCH 31, 4:05PM, CAMPBELLTOWN STADIUM

The Tigers look every bit a contender as they remain a perfect 2-0. Last week’s standout win over the Warriors has Wests as the heavy favourites entering Round 3, while the Dogs lick their wounds following a blowout loss to the Eels.

These two split their two-game series one win apiece last year. Both games were relatively low-scoring and uneventful, however the Tigers’ explosive attack over the last fortnight has certainly caught the eye.

Not only did the Tigers dominate possession against New Zealand, they also executed well with the boot. That kind of form should transition nicely into this uneven match up, especially if Michael Maguire’s side can continue to dictate the pace.


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Team News

Wests Tigers: Michael Maguire has named the same 17 which took care of the Warriors last Sunday. Josh Reynolds is again named as a reserve as he bides his time behind a stable squad which has started the season in fine style.

Bulldogs: Sweeping changes for the Bulldogs, as coach Dean Pay looks for a winning formula. Fullback Nick Meaney, backrower Corey Harawira Naera and winger Jayden Okunbor have all been promoted to start. Will Hopoate has moved to the centres, while Rhyse Martin, Chris Smith and Ofahiki Ogden are the new faces on the bench. Winger Christian Chrichton was dropped, while Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Marcelo Montoya and Sauaso Sue have been demoted to the reserves.


Supercoach Tips:

  • Robbie Farah ($581,500) – Has been unstoppable this season with 233 points.
  • Luke Garner ($265,100) – Has been good value with 130 points this season.

Betting Insights:

  • The favourites have won each of the Wests Tigers’ last 11 matches at Campbelltown Stadium.
  • Reimis Smith has scored at least one try in four of Canterbury’s last five matches in New South Wales.
  • Each of Canterbury’s last five matches have gone OVER the total match points line.
  • Canterbury has lost six of its last nine away matches by a margin of 1 to 12 points.
  • Kerrod Holland has been the first try-scorer in two of Canterbury’s last five away matches.

TIP: The Tigers are in sensational form this season and are a clear pick here.



SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS VS GOLD COAST TITANS – SUNDAY MARCH 31, 6:10PM, ANZ STADIUM

The Rabbitohs have left no stone unturned so far this season leading the league in tries, points, kick return metres and try assists heading into Round 3.

That kind of dominance is the very reason Souths were able to pick apart the Dragons last week in a convincing 34-18 win. The Titans, on the other hand, aren’t quite as sharp at the minute losing by a whopping 14-points at Shark Park last week.

It mightn’t look the most enticing match up on paper, but these two sides have put together some memorable performances in recent memory. The Bunnies have won the last two match ups, but last seasons 18-16 thriller in Round 14 was one of the highlights of Souths season.


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Team News

Rabbitohs: No surprises with Wayne Bennett keeping last week’s winning team intact. Greg Inglis (shoulder) will make a final decision later in the week whether he takes his place.

Titans: Garth Brennan has named an unchanged side for this Sunday’s trip to Sydney to face the Rabbitohs. Dale Copley has been named among the reserves as he looks to return from a calf injury.


Supercoach Tips:

  • Damien Cook ($726,000) – Isn’t performing to his price tag with 151 points this season.
  • Braidon Burns ($286,000) – Is still proving to be great value with 147 points this season.

Betting Insights:

  • South Sydney Rabbitohs score the first try in 51.7% of their matches.
  • Both teams average over 41 points per game.
  • Clashes at ANZ Stadium average 37.7 total match points.
  • The average winning margin at ANZ Stadium is 12.8 points.

TIP: The Rabbitohs are a class above.


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