Two games this Sunday to wrap up Round 16 of the NRL season, and both look like pretty one-sided affairs. In the first match, the Sea Eagles will be desperate to keep it tight against the Storm, before the Raiders should have a big win against the Bulldogs. Read on for our NRL Round 16 Sunday betting tips.
Already missing several key players, the Storm were impacted further for their match against the Eels. In the end, only to lose 14-nil was a pleasing effort, especially when you consider the factors which were against them. Suffering an 8-1 penalty count, the Storm could do little else with a 73% completion rate, 8.3m per carry, 1 linebreak and 11 errors. Clearly, the flow was missing from their attack; they can be pleased somewhat with their defence, limiting the Eels to just 2 tries and missing 16 tackles for the match. A defensive standard like this will serve them well with players missing in the future.
As for the Sea Eagles, the less said about their 56-16 loss, the better. It was a horror night for this team that could do little else than watch their opponents relentless dominate them in numerous areas. Hopes were high that they would perform well with the impending return of a few players. While their injury toll is still troubling, little excuse can be offered for the final result of a 38-nil HT deficit. They did little to aid their cause; with just 36% possession, they completed at 69%, made just 2 linebreaks, missed 36 tackles and made 13 errors. Accountability will certainly be on the agenda at training this week, as will the quality of execution and performance. Playing their ‘traditional’ rival in the Storm will be sure to lift them as their season is undoubtedly on the line in this contest.
The most glaring statistic ahead of this game is where each team sits in attack and defence. The Storm score an average of 24 points each week (equal 3rd) and concede 12.1 (2nd); whereas the Sea Eagles only score 16.9ppg (12th) and concede 22.9 (9th). When it comes to carrying the ball, the Storm average 592.2pcm (6th) ahead of the Sea Eagles 567pcm (10th) and average 1711.2m total per game (7th) compared with the visitors 1610.4m (13th). When it comes to recent history, the Storm have won 6 out of the past 8 meetings between these two sides, dating back to Round 24, 2016. In that same time, their average winning margin was 17.2 points, with blowout scores of 36-6, 40-6 and 38-18.
The big guns are returning for the Storm with Smith, Munster, Hughes and Bromwich all returning for this match and all named to start. It is no surprise that they also head into this game as strong favourites to win this match. You can expect the Sea Eagles to ‘bounce back’ somewhat, especially with time running out for them to keep their season alive. Yet, by how much they can improve within a week to compete with a team like the Storm appears to be a bridge too far for them. The Storm are also yet to lose a game at their ‘new’ home ground on the Sunshine Coast. The smart decision would be to take the Storm to win by more than 2 converted tries, but this is a desperate time for the Sea Eagles and it would be very surprising to see them lose by a ‘blowout’ score line (Storm 13+ @$1.80). Sure, the Storm have quality but their key players are also returning from injury and their training load is likely to be higher in these weeks as they prepare for the Finals. Last week was unlike any Sea Eagles team coached by Hasler and they will be sure to push the Storm this week. It could be crazy in hindsight, but it’s hard to go past the potential value on offer for a closer match.
The Raiders did everything required of them last week to record a strong 36-16 win over the Titans on the road. After being behind 6-nil after 14 minutes, the Raiders soon clicked into gear and found themselves ahead 22-6 at HT. By that stage, they were well in control of the result and it only ever appeared likely that they would win. This was supported by the stats, as they completed at 84%, had a massive 772pcm, 51 tackles breaks, just 22 missed tackles and 9 total errors. An impressive effort from Papalii only symbolised the current effort and attitude of this squad.
It was a different story for the Bulldogs, who were again courageous in defeat. Eventually, the power of the Warriors was too much as they watched a 14-6 lead turn into a 20-14 loss. Having only a 46% share of possession didn’t aid their cause, neither did a 76% completion rate, 28 missed tackles or 11 total errors. Yet, there are some positives for Bulldogs fans; they created 5 linebreaks, 17 tackles breaks and 712 pcm, all of which are above their season average.
When it comes to scoring points, the Bulldogs are a team which struggles; they average just 13.5ppg (16th) while the Raiders (surprisingly for a team in 5th) average 20.3ppg (9th). On the other side of the ball, the Bulldogs concede 24.1ppg (11th) compared with the Raiders 15.3ppg (5th). The Raiders have a better average when it comes to linebreaks (3.5 v 2.5), try assists (2.8 v 2.1) and missed tackles (28.3 v 31.6). Interestingly, the ledger sits at 18 wins to each side since 1998. The Raiders have won 5 of the past 6 meetings between these two sides, with victories being by an average margin of 9.6 points. Interestingly in that same period, the two games which were played in Canberra were won by an average of 14 points.
It is no surprise to see the Raiders as favourites for this game and all signs points towards them dominating this contest. They are the superior team and unlike other weeks where the Bulldogs have fought well, the Raiders appear capable of making another statement about the dangerous attacking quality within this team. The home ground conditions are sure to favour them further. The past two weeks of 28 and 20 point victories points towards just how tough it will be for the visitors as the Raiders look to improve their points difference; which at this stage, is the sole reason they are not sitting inside the Top 4. With that in mind, the Bulldogs are going to have a tough time of stopping the home side here and this one could get ugly by fulltime.
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