NRL Opta facts: Rapana out to prove Knights' nemesis once more

Only four teams have made a perfect start to the 2019 NRL season, which is just two weeks old.

Wests Tigers, Parramatta Eels, South Sydney Rabbitohs and last year's beaten Grand Finalists Melbourne Storm are all at 100 per cent at this fledgling stage of the campaign, while the likes of St George Illawarra Dragons and Canterbury Bulldogs are yet to get off the mark.

Defending champions Sydney Roosters picked up their first win thanks to a 26-18 success at Manly Sea Eagles last week, Daniel Tupou crossing for a brace to take his tally to three tries in two games.

Tupou is benefiting from the creative abilities of team-mate Luke Keary, who features in our Opta-powered preview of round three.

 

THURSDAY

Brisbane Broncos (1-1) v St George Illawarra Dragons (0-2)

- The Dragons have won their last two NRL games against the Broncos, scoring a total of 82 points in that time; the last time they won more in succession against them was an eight-game spree from 2005 to 2009.

- The Broncos have won nine of their last 11 NRL games played on home turf; however, their last home defeat came at the hands of the Dragons in the 2018 Qualifying Finals.

 

FRIDAY

Canberra Raiders (1-1) v Newcastle Knights (1-1)

- Each of the last seven NRL games between the Raiders and Knights has seen both teams score 20+ points on the day.

- Jordan Rapana (Raiders) has scored six tries in his last five NRL games against the Knights, as well as laying on two assists in that time.

 

Parramatta Eels (2-0) v Sydney Roosters (1-1)

- The Roosters have won six of their last eight NRL games against the Eels, including their last two, across which they've scored 92 points.

- Luke Keary (Roosters) has provided four try assists so far this season, the joint-most of any player alongside South Sydney Rabbitohs' Damien Cook.

 

SATURDAY

Manly Sea Eagles (0-2) v New Zealand Warriors (1-1)

- Two of the last four NRL games between the Sea Eagles and the Warriors have required Golden Point to decide a victor, with Daly Cherry-Evans scoring the winning points on each occasion.

- Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles) has scored five tries in his last five NRL games against the Warriors; only against the Raiders (seven) has he scored more.

 

North Queensland Cowboys (1-1) v Cronulla Sharks (1-1)

- The Sharks have won five of their last seven NRL games against the Cowboys, only once losing in regular time in that period (also one extra-time defeat).

- Sione Katoa (Sharks) has made 17 tackle breaks this NRL season, more than any other player in the competition.

 

Penrith Panthers (1-1) v Melbourne Storm (2-0)

- Four of the previous five NRL games played at Carrington Park have been decided by a margin of six points or fewer, with the Panthers picking up three wins in that span (L2).

- Suliasi Vunivalu (Storm) has scored 11 tries in his last 11 NRL games and has scored two tries from his only two previous games against the Panthers.

 

SUNDAY

Wests Tigers (2-0) v Canterbury Bulldogs (0-2)

- This will be the sixth meeting between these two sides at Campbelltown Stadium, with each of the previous five games won by the Bulldogs.

- The Bulldogs (14) have made the fewest errors of any team in NRL 2019; however, only the Rabbitohs (six) have made more kick errors (five).

 

South Sydney Rabbitohs (2-0) v Gold Coast Titans (0-2)

- The Rabbitohs have won eight of their last 10 NRL games against the Titans, losing just once in regular time in that period (also one Golden-Point defeat).

- Jai Arrow (Titans) has made eight offloads in NRL 2019, the joint-most of any player in the competition alongside the Eels' Brad Takairangi.

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