NRL Opta facts: Smith eyes history against the Bulldogs

Cameron Smith has the chance to become the highest points scorer in NRL history this weekend as table toppers Melbourne Storm take on Canterbury Bulldogs.

Smith needs nine points to surpass Hazem El Masri at the top of the rankings, the hooker currently on 2410 heading into round four of the 2019 campaign.

The Storm are one of two sides yet to taste defeat this season, the other being South Sydney Rabbitohs – who face Manly Sea Eagles a day before Melbourne play.

Only the Gold Coast Titans have yet to pick up a point, something they will hope to do when they travel to Auckland to meet New Zealand Warriors.

Here, we take a look at the latest round of fixtures with the help of Opta data.

THURSDAY

Sydney Roosters (2-1) v Brisbane Broncos (1-2)

- The Broncos have gained 1,407-metres over the advantage line per game in NRL 2019, the second-most of any team in the competition behind Wests Tigers (1,446m).

- Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters) has made 80 tackles thus far in NRL 2019, the most of any player who is yet to miss a single attempt.

 

FRIDAY

New Zealand Warriors (1-2) v Gold Coast Titans (0-3)

- The New Zealand Warriors have won 14 of their last 16 NRL games against the Gold Coast Titans; including seven of the last eight at Mt Smart Stadium.

- The Titans – who have only won one of their last five away games - have never opened an NRL campaign with four successive defeats.

 

Penrith Panthers (1-2) v Wests Tigers (2-1)

- Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers) is set to line up for his 100th NRL appearance.

- The Tigers have scored five tries in the final quarter of games in NRL 2019, the joint-most of any team in the competition

 

SATURDAY

Manly Sea Eagles (1-2) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (3-0)

- The Rabbitohs' Greg Inglis is just one try away from his 150th in the NRL. However, he's not crossed the whitewash against Manly since round 23 in 2013.

- Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles) has been directly involved in 12 tries in his last five NRL appearances (seven tries and five try assists).

North Queensland Cowboys (1-2) v Canberra Raiders (2-1)

- The Cowboys have made 10-plus offloads in each of their three games this season, more times than they had done so in their 11 NRL games prior.

- The Raiders have scored the opening try of the game in five of their last six games against the Cowboys, with Jack Wighton claiming the opening try twice in that time.

 

Parramatta Eels (2-1) v Cronulla Sharks (2-1)

- The Sharks have won their last five NRL games against the Eels; a sixth straight win would equal the longest winning streak of either team in the history of this fixture.

- In their opening three matches the Eels have conceded just four penalties per game, the fewest of any team in the competition.

 

SUNDAY

Melbourne Storm (3-0) v Canterbury Bulldogs (1-2)

- Five of the last six NRL games between the Storm and the Bulldogs have been won by the away team, with the Bulldogs picking up four wins in that time.

- Cameron Smith totalled 12 points in his last NRL game against the Bulldogs, a repeat of that would see him become the NRL's top points scorer.

 

Newcastle Knights (1-2) v St George Illawarra Dragons (1-2)

- The Dragons have won 11 of their last 13 NRL games against Newcastle, including four wins after trailing at half-time.

- Jordan Pereira (Dragons) has made seven clean breaks this NRL campaign, the second-most of any player behind Brisbane Broncos' Corey Oates (8).

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