NRL Opta facts: Roosters hoping to address poor ANZAC Day record
Round seven of the 2019 NRL campaign gets under way on ANZAC Day, with two of the joint-leaders in action.
Defending champions Sydney Roosters ended Melbourne Storm's perfect start to the season last week in a repeat of the 2018 Grand Final, the holders bringing themselves level on 10 points with the Storm thanks to a last-gasp 21-20 triumph.
On Thursday the Roosters host St George Illawarra Dragons, against whom they have a poor record in meetings on ANZAC Day, while Melbourne are seeking to continue their dominance of recent fixtures with New Zealand Warriors.
Canberra Raiders and South Sydney Rabbitohs are the other two sides with five wins from the opening six matches and, with the help of Opta data, we take a look at the next round of action.
Sydney Roosters (5-1) v St George Illawarra Dragons (4-2)
- St George Illawarra Dragons have won eight of their past 11 NRL games against Sydney Roosters on ANZAC Day, including a 24-8 victory last year.
- Latrell Mitchell (Roosters) has scored five tries in four games against the Dragons, including a hat-trick in his most recent encounter with them.
Melbourne Storm (5-1) v New Zealand Warriors (2-4)
- Melbourne Storm have won their previous six encounters against New Zealand Warriors, by an average margin of 20 points per game.
- The Warriors have lost their past five games on the bounce away from home.
Canterbury Bulldogs (1-5) v North Queensland Cowboys (2-4)
- North Queensland Cowboys are the only team in NRL 2019 yet to concede a penalty for a high tackle.
- Reimis Smith (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) has made 25 quick play-the-balls in NRL 2019, more than any other player in the competition and more than twice as many as Cowboys' best Nene Macdonald (12).
Penrith Panthers (2-4) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (5-1)
- Penrith Panthers have won three of their previous four games against South Sydney Rabbitohs at Panthers Stadium, with each of their last three meetings at the venue decided by a margin of four points or fewer.
- The Rabbitohs' Damien Cook (102 carries, 255 tackles) is one of only two players (along with Jake Trbojevic) to have made 100+ carries and 250+ tackles this NRL campaign.
Wests Tigers (3-3) v Gold Coast Titans (2-4)
- Gold Coast Titans have won five of their past six NRL games against Wests Tigers, including a 30-12 triumph when they last met in Round 16, 2018.
- Esan Marsters (Tigers) has made 26 tackle breaks so far in NRL 2019, the most of any player who is yet to register a line break.
Brisbane Broncos (1-5) v Cronulla Sharks (3-3)
- Brisbane Broncos have lost their previous four NRL games heading into this fixture - the last time they endured a longer losing streak in the competition was a six-match span from Round 20 to Round 25 in 2012.
- Andrew Fifita (Cronulla Sharks) has made 20 offloads this NRL campaign, the second most of any player in the competition behind the Bulldogs' Kerrod Holland (22).
Manly Sea Eagles (3-3) v Canberra Raiders (5-1)
- Manly Sea Eagles have scored a joint competition-high 12 tries through the middle third in NRL 2019, while only the Storm (two) have conceded fewer tries through this corridor.
- Despite not crossing in either of his last two games against them, Canberra Raiders' Jordan Rapana has scored six tries in his last five games against the Sea Eagles.
Newcastle Knights (1-5) v Parramatta Eels (4-2)
- Newcastle Knights have won 10 of their last 12 NRL games against Parramatta Eels, including their last three on the bounce by an average margin of 16 points.
- The Eels' Reed Mahoney (313) is the only player to have made 300 or more tackles this NRL season.