NRL Opta facts: Roosters and Storm set for Adelaide clash
Sydney Roosters will be aiming to make up ground on leaders Melbourne Storm when the high-flying sides clash on Friday in the NRL.
After three straight defeats, the third-placed Roosters bounced back to form last time out by crushing Canterbury Bulldogs, a signal they may be ready to test the front-runners in a match to be played at the Adelaide Oval.
Second-placed South Sydney Rabbitohs get the week's action under way on Thursday when they tackle mid-table Wests Tigers, and will aim to build on having won three of the last four NRL games between the teams.
Saturday sees lowly Gold Coast Titans bid to earn a fourth straight NRL win over the Manly Sea Eagles, which would be in defiance of each team's form this season.
Newcastle Knights also sit well ahead of Brisbane Broncos this season going into their Saturday game, but before beating the Broncos 15-10 in last year the Knights had lost six in a row in their rivalry and conceded an average of 40 points a game.
Parramatta Eels and Canberra Raiders also go head to head on Saturday, with Sunday seeing New Zealand Warriors tackle Penrith Panthers and Cronulla Sharks play the bottom-of-the-table Bulldogs.
Wests Tigers (6-7) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (10-4)
- Wests Tigers have missed just 26 tackles per game in NRL 2019, fewer than any other team in the competition.
- Damien Cook, of South Sydney Rabbitohs, has made 19 try assists from his 13 appearances in NRL 2019. That is five more assists than any other player in the competition and 10 more than West Tigers’ best Luke Brooks.
St George Illawarra Dragons (5-8) v North Queensland Cowboys (6-8)
- St George-Illawarra Dragons have won three of their last four NRL games against the North Queensland Cowboys, though they were defeated 24-12 in their last encounter.
- North Queensland Cowboys’ Jordan McLean has a tackle success rate of 98 per cent this season, the highest of any player to have attempted at least 400 tackles.
Sydney Roosters (9-4) v Melbourne Storm (11-2)
- This will mark the third successive year where Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm have played an NRL game at the Adelaide Oval. Each of the previous two were decided by a margin of just one point on the day, with one win each.
- Melbourne Storm's Felise Kaufusi is set to make his 100th NRL appearance, and team-mate Cameron Smith needs just 12 more points to become the first player in league history to score 2,500 points.
Gold Coast Titans (4-10) v Manly Sea Eagles (8-6)
- Gold Coast Titans have won their last three NRL games on the bounce against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. Neither side has managed to string together four successive wins in the history of this fixture.
- Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles’ Curtis Sironen is set to make his 100th NRL appearance, while Gold Coast Titans back Tyrone Roberts is set to play his 150th game.
Newcastle Knights (7-6) v Brisbane Broncos (5-8)
- Newcastle Knights have made 24 quick play-the-balls per game this NRL campaign, four per game more than any other team in the competition.
- Brisbane Broncos’ Corey Oates (21) and Newcastle Knights’ Edrick Lee (17) have made more line breaks than any other players in the competition this NRL season.
Parramatta Eels (7-7) v Canberra Raiders (9-5)
- Parramatta Eels have won four of their previous five NRL games at TIO Stadium, which stages this weekend's game. Canberra Raiders lost their only previous NRL game at the Darwin venue in 2014, going down 18-10 to the Eels.
- Canberra Raiders have scored 11 tries from kicks in NRL 2019, the second most of any team in the competition and just one behind the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.
New Zealand Warriors (5-8) v Penrith Panthers (6-8)
- New Zealand Warriors have won only one of their last nine NRL games played on a Sunday, losing their last five Sunday games in succession. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Blake Green are each set to make their 150th NRL appearance this weekend.
- The Penrith Panthers have won their last four NRL games on the trot. The last time they won more was a seven-game streak in 2017 which included a 34-22 defeat of the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.
Canterbury Bulldogs (3-11) v Cronulla Sharks (7-6)
- Cronulla Sharks have won their last five NRL games in succession against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs after having won only one of their nine prior meetings.
- Canterbury Bulldogs prop Aiden Tolman is one of only two players - Jake Trbojevic being the other - to have made 200 or more carries and 500-plus tackles this NRL season – he is also set to play his 250th NRL game.