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2021 NRL Round 5: Saturday Preview & Betting Tips

April 9th 2021, 11:48pm, By: Scooby

NRL Saturday Round 5 Betting Tips

Quality is at the forefront again for Super Saturday, with 2 out of the 3 matches fairly evenly matched. The first game heads to south eastern Queensland, a welcome return after the Titans were forced to relocate last week. The second match has the struggling Bulldogs face another tough test against the Storm. The night concludes with the rejuvenated Roosters out to continuing their winning form with new players leading their team around against a tough and resilient Sharks team.

NRL Round 5 Saturday Betting Tips

Gold Coast Titans v Newcastle Knights

Saturday 3.00pm (AEST)

The Titans were forced to move their home game down to Sydney last week and it didn’t prove ideal as they were beaten 20-4 by the Raiders. In a great test of where this improving team was at in 2021, the Titans were hoping to prove themselves worthy of being mentioned a long with the leading teams in the competition. A 6-4 HT deficit gave them hope too but they were unable to build on this in the second half. They only have themselves to blame too; with 53% possession, they completed at only 68%, made just 3 line breaks, committed 14 errors and missed 26 total tackles. In many ways, they can consider themselves lucky that the deficit was not larger. The Knights will also express the same sentiments to some extent, as injuries played havoc in their 22-13 loss. It is going to be a tough couple of months for the boys from the hunter as they look to overcome numerous setbacks. Their effort was positive in most areas though; they completed at 83% with 54% possession, missed just 14 tackles and committed just 7 errors. Fatigue hampered their effectiveness, and they will want a measured effort here with fresh players coming into the line-up to prove their worth.

The Stats

Head-to-Head = Titans 11 Knights 12

At Cbus Super Stadium = Titans 45% Knights 40%

Past 10 matches = Titans 6 Knights 10. The average winning margin is 19.8 points (Titans) and 18.5 points (Knights). Only on 4 occasions has the margin been by 8 points or less (3 Knights 1 Titans). The home side has been victorious in this fixture 9 out of 10 times.


The Titans are strong favourites for this game and rightly so given the players unavailable for the Knights. This is also a ‘home coming’ for the Titans and their crowd is sure to be ‘buzzing’. They were boisterous in their Round 2 victory over the Knights, and you can expect the same here. Attack has been at the forefront of the Titans play this year; they average more line breaks (5.8 – 2nd v 4.3 – 7th), more tackle breaks (34 – 2nd v 26.8 – 12th) and slightly more post contact metres (554.7 – 7th v 541.3 – 8th). The missing players will only compound the problems for the visitors and the return of Ponga will only add so much with others absent. This should be a game that the Titans win and win well. Combined with the average margin of victory, it should be a comfortable display of rugby league from the home side.

Titans 13+


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Melbourne Storm

Saturday 5.30pm (AEST)

The Bulldogs season only got worse last week after their third consecutive match without scoring a point. This time, it was a 38-nil loss to the Rabbitohs which had their fans wondering how much more pain they would have to endure ahead of improved performances. At the end of 80 minutes, they only had themselves to blame with 11 errors and 22 missed tackles creating no momentum for them. More worrying was their ineffectiveness when pressuring the Rabbitohs line for long periods of time. The Storm had no such issues in their comprehensive 40-6 victory over the Broncos later on the same day. Despite conceding the first try after just 5 minutes, they were carried back into the match on the back of some impressive support play by fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen. Head 24-6 at the break, the Storm cruised to victory in the second half. It was little wonder they dominated too with 58% utilised by an 80% completion rate, 10.2m per carry, 16 missed tackles and 9 total errors. It is a new direction for this side without the greats of years gone by and the standard appears to have been maintained. After 2 losses to start the year, the Storm will want to continue to climb up the competition ladder with yet another victory here.

The Stats

Head-to-Head = Bulldogs 21 Storm 21

At Stadium Australia = Bulldogs 51% Storm 63%

Past 10 matches = Bulldogs 5 Storm 5 – Interestingly, the Storm have won the 5 most recent matches, with the Bulldogs winning the 5 prior to that. The Storm have an average winning margin of 15.8 points, with a blowout victories of 41-10 (2020), 28-6 (2019) and 36-18 (2018). The Bulldogs average 15.2 points with blow victories of 28-4 (2014) and 40-12 (2014) swaying statistics. The home side has won just 4 out of 10 matches.


This should be easy; there is no point even giving any attention to any selection other than a Melbourne victory. The Storm are also due for another blowout victory over the Bulldogs and traveling north to Sydney will hold no reservations for this team. Expect their dominance to continue as they cruise to another strong victory.

Storm 30+


Sydney Roosters v Cronulla Sharks

Saturday 7.35pm (AEST)

With plenty written about the Roosters heading into last week, they quickly answered questions about the potential for success in 2021 with a strong 80-minute display over the Warriors. Leading 16-12 at HT, the game was in the balance; but the Roosters went on to score 3 unanswered tries in the second half to prevail 32-12. The games of incoming players were, while not ‘over the top’, enough to have fans contempt moving forward. A key point of difference in this game was their 833 post contact metres, which created a strong platform for the spine to work off. Having missed 29 tackles also ensured confidence returned to their defence after a few lapses in Round 4 against the Rabbitohs. The Sharks game against the Cowboys was also evenly poised 12-6 with just 15 minutes remaining in the first half. The Sharks then went on to score 4 converted tries in 13 minutes to lead at HT 36-6. With all hope gone for the visitors, the Sharks cruised to a comfortable 48-10 victory. There was little wonder they dominated the game so strongly; the Sharks completed at 84% with 57% possession, made 581 post contact metres, had 28 tackle breaks and 5 line breaks. They were strong in defence too, missing just 21 tackles while only having 9 errors over 80 minutes. There was some concern over the quality of this team ahead of the 2021 season, but their passion cannot be questioned. While they face a tough test here, winning momentum is sure to give them confidence heading into this match.

The Stats

Head-to-Head = Roosters 25 Draw 1 Sharks 16

At the Sydney Cricket Ground = Roosters 67% Sharks 38%

Past 10 matches = Roosters 5 Sharks 5 – Interestingly, the Roosters have won the 5 most recent matches, while the Sharks had won the 5 prior. For an average winning margin, the Roosters are 11.8 points and the Sharks 16.6 points. The home side has won 4 out of 10 matches during this period.


This is the hardest game of the round to decide upon. The Roosters were always going to lift for last week’s match following a poor performance against the Rabbitohs and losing so many key players. The real challenge for this squad will be against teams that will test them for 80 minutes. The Sharks, while battered themselves, have the potential to push the Roosters over 80 minutes. The biggest test for the visiting team will be to halt the Roosters momentum on a ground that they know well. If they can, there is no telling what they can achieve. Rather than invest on the home team causing an upset, take the line option. With over a converted try given, there is no reason why the Sharks cannot come within this margin and perhaps even take the game down to the wire against the Roosters. Plenty of traffic will come the way of the Roosters halves, so that may also impact the scoring ability of the home side.

Sharks +8.5



Scooby is our NRL guru with over ten years experience writing about rugby league with Before You Bet and previously at The Profits. His background is in playing and coaching but he's enjoyed the switch to share his knowledge through his articles, as well as sharing his thoughts on Twitter.

Scooby's strength is assessing the overall team - what they offer across the field in a match and how the ethos of a club contributes to their success. Momentum also has a major impact on sports, and Scooby likes to explore this, while underpinning his judgement against a solid basis of statistical analysis. When combined with the aforementioned points, it combines for a holistic approach towards betting on rugby league.

Other sports he enjoys include Cricket, Horse Racing and NFL. There is a reason why Scooby ‘clicked’ with BYB from Day 1 - he loves his sport as much as we do.

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