Thursday night in the NRL boasts a monster clash between 3rd and 4th place on the ladder in the Sydeny Roosters and Melbourne Storm! As usual, we have a full preview and betting tips courtesy of Scooby, with the game set to kick off from 7.50pm at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
This game promises to be a thrilling way to kick off the round of fixtures. The Storm are slowly coming to terms with how the new rules are to be exploited; in doing so, they are improving their execution and performance each week. They were at the dominating best against the Warriors, comprehensively beating them 50-6. The game was all but over at HT as the Storm were ahead 22-nil. Despite an early second half try to their opponents, the Storm continued to pile on the points and their defence held strong. The key for them was how they carried the ball, averaging 10.3m per carry to set up victory. It wasn’t as easy for the Roosters, who had to overcome two significant injuries and come back from a 12-8 deficit. They held their composure and it showed in their performance; they missed just 21 tackles, generated a massive 787 post contact metres and had 27 tackle breaks in their 26-12 win over the Dragons. This win demonstrated their resilience and class; undoubtedly, the benchmark for all others. It was once the Storm who set this mark and now they must prove they can mix it with the best team in the competition.
The Roosters are point scoring machines in 2020. They average the highest of any team (27.8 points per game) compared with the Storm, who are 6th with 21.1 ppg. It is no surprise that the Roosters also lead the competition in linebreaks (5.6 per game), well ahead of the Storm who are in 7th with 3.4 per game. When it comes to post contact metres, the Roosters average 673.3m per game (1st) while the Storm average 573.2m (5th). While attack may take the limelight, these two sides have conceded the least amount of points in the competition (Roosters averaging 9.9 ppg conceded – the Storm 11.9 ppg conceded).
The Roosters are deserved of favouritism for the match and the odds for the Storm reflect the doubts about how they will go without Cameron Munster. He leaves a massive gap in the halves; the uncertainty about how the Storm will cover his loss is making investors wary. The Roosters have their own injury issues, yet, they have ready-made replacements to cover in the pack. A tight contest is expected and the history between each side supports this; just 3 out of the past 10 matches have been decided by 13+ points and just 1 in the past 7. Be wary; only 37.5% of matches since the resumption in Round 3 have had a margin of 12 points or less. It appears as though the new rules are allowing for larger ‘blowout’ margins towards the end of matches. Taking both sides on their merit, this appears as though it will be a tight contest. The Storm are out to prove their capabilities, especially after they were beaten by the Raiders in Round 3. The Roosters are undoubtedly class across the field and are playing with the confidence to match.
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