NRL Opta facts: Burgess and Murray out to repeat strong starts in round two
A clash between St George Illawarra Dragons and South Sydney Rabbitohs will kick off round two of the 2019 NRL season on Thursday.
The Bunnies claimed the standout result of week one, beating city rivals and defending champions Sydney Roosters 26-16 at the SCG.
That win owed much to Sam Burgess and Cameron Murray, who each made an impact in attack and defence.
Details of their impressive showings are included in our look at the best Opta facts for the upcoming fixtures.
St George Illawarra Dragons (0-1) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (1-0)
- The Rabbitohs have won eight of their last 10 NRL games against the Dragons, coming from behind to win by a solitary point in their most recent encounter.
- Bunnies duo Sam Burgess (21 carries, 23 tackles) and Cameron Murray (20 carries, 30 tackles) were two of only three players to make at least 20 carries and at least 20 tackles in round one (also David Klemmer - 20 carries, 27 tackles).
Canberra Raiders (1-0) v Melbourne Storm (1-0)
- The Storm have won 13 of their last 16 NRL games against the Raiders in Canberra.
- Canberra have won four of their last six home games, despite only being ahead at half-time in two of those contests.
Brisbane Broncos (0-1) v North Queensland Cowboys (1-0)
- Four of the last seven NRL games between the Broncos and Cowboys have been decided by just one point. Three have been decided in Golden Point and there has been one further instance of extra time.
- The Cowboys' Gavin Cooper has scored a try in each of his last three meetings with the Broncos. His tally of nine career tries against the Broncos is the joint-most he has managed against any team (also nine tries against Cronulla Sharks).
Cronulla Sharks (0-1) v Gold Coast Titans (0-1)
- The Titans gained just 842 metres over the advantage line in their round-one loss to the Raiders. Only once in the past six seasons have they made less yardage in a game (816m v Penrith Panthers in round six, 2018).
- Cronulla's Shaun Johnson has been directly involved in 27 tries in his last 14 appearances against the Titans (11 tries, 16 assists).
Newcastle Knights (1-0) v Penrith Panthers (0-1)
- The Knights are looking to make it back-to-back wins against the Panthers for the first time since they won five in a row from 2011 to 2013.
- The Panthers have not led at half-time in any of their last eight NRL away games, but they nevertheless won four of those contests.
Manly Sea Eagles (0-1) v Sydney Roosters (0-1)
Mitchell Aubusson of the Roosters made 52 tackles in round one, the most by any player not to miss a single attempt.
Joel Thompson is set to make his 200th NRL appearance. In his last three games against the Roosters, he has only missed one tackle in 89 attempts.
Canterbury Bulldogs (0-1) v Parramatta Eels (1-0)
- The Eels have won five of their last six NRL games against the Bulldogs, but neither side has managed to score more than 20 points in a game in that period.
- The Bulldogs made just five errors in round one, the fewest of any team, despite losing heavily to New Zealand Warriors. The last time they made fewer errors in a game was in round 23 of the 2014 season (4).
Wests Tigers (1-0) v New Zealand Warriors (1-0)
- The Warriors have lost four of their last five games against Wests Tigers, but won the last meeting 26-4.
- These two teams missed fewer tackles than any other sides in round one of the season (Warriors 16, Wests Tigers 21).