NRL Opta facts: Leaders Storm out to continue dominance against Knights
Melbourne Storm are aiming to maintain pole position in the NRL table as they chase a fifth successive victory.
The Storm, 32-10 winners over New Zealand Warriors last time out, hold a two-point lead over South Sydney Rabbitohs heading into round 14.
Newcastle Knights are Melbourne's opponents, while the Rabbitohs face struggling Penrith Panthers in two of eight games scheduled for round 14, with Canberra Raiders, who hammered Wests Tigers 28-0 in round 13, kicking off the action against Cronulla Sharks on Thursday.
Gold Coast Titans claimed a morale-boosting victory away at Brisbane Broncos in their last outing, and will look to continue that form against the Warriors on Friday, with North Queensland Cowboys hosting the Tigers.
The Broncos will attempt to bounce back from that defeat when they take on Parramatta Eels.
Sydney Roosters sit third, and will hope to take advantage of a slip up by either of the sides above them when they host struggling Canterbury Bulldogs on Sunday, while Manly Sea Eagles welcome St George Illawarra Dragons to the Brookvale Oval.
Canberra Raiders (8-5) v Cronulla Sharks (7-5)
- The Sharks have won six of their last eight NRL games against the Raiders, including their last two on the bounce.
- Raiders' Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has gained 1,949 metres over the advantage line in the NRL, the most of any player.
Gold Coast Titans (4-9) v New Zealand Warriors (4-8)
- Tyrone Peachey of the Titans has scored eight tries in his last eight NRL games against the Warriors, as well as providing one assist in that time.
- The Warriors have won 15 of their last 17 NRL games against the Titans, while Adam Blair is set to make his 300th NRL appearance.
North Queensland Cowboys (6-7) v Wests Tigers (5-7)
- The Cowboys have won three of their last four NRL home games against the Tigers, averaging 40 points per match.
- The hosts will have to be wary of Robbie Farah, who has been directly involved in nine tries in his last five NRL appearances against the Cowboys for the Tigers.
Melbourne Storm (10-2) v Newcastle Knights (7-5)
- Melbourne have won their last six NRL games in succession against the Knights, conceding an average of just 13 points per match in that time.
- Mitchell Pearce has been directly involved in 19 tries in this year's NRL, scoring five and assisting 14. Only once in the previous four seasons has he been involved in more.
South Sydney Rabbitohs (10-3) v Penrith Panthers (5-8)
- The Rabbitohs have never lost an NRL game against Penrith at ANZ Stadium, winning seven fixtures by an average margin of 17 points.
- Wayne Bennett's side have scored six tries after forcing a line drop out in this NRL season, the joint-most of any team.
Parramatta Eels (6-7) v Brisbane Broncos (5-7)
- Only the Warriors (169) have made fewer carries per game than the Eels (170) so far this season.
- The Broncos have won four of their last six away games against the Eels in NRL, though only once in that span has either side managed to score 20 or more points in a match.
Manly Sea Eagles (7-6) v St George Illawarra Dragons (5-7)
- The Dragons are on a four-match winning streak against the Sea Eagles. The last time they won more in succession against them was in a six-game streak between 2004 and 2007.
- Tom Trbojevic has made two clean breaks per game this term for the Sea Eagles, the most of any player to have played more than once this season.
Sydney Roosters (8-4) v Canterbury Bulldogs (3-10)
- Against the Bulldogs, the Roosters have won their last four NRL games on the bounce, conceding no points in the first halves of their two most recent encounters.
- The Roosters have scored 22 tries down their left flank in this year's NRL, more than any other team in the competition.