How do you get five takeaways from a weekend of NRL that only featured four games?
You’ll just have to read our weekly 5 Lessons Learned recap to find out.
There were some big moments over the weekend as Origin gave us a light load of games and massively depleted some sides.
1 – Panthers Finding Form
It might not have been overly pretty but the Panthers are starting to look like a team that might be a strong Origin option.
Only losing Nathan Cleary might just have been a blessing in disguise for this side, James Maloney is a big in to have at this time of year and having him (and just about the rest of the side) fresh to take on a Roosters team full of talent could come in very handy.
Of course any game might have to be a knock down, drag it out battle since the last time they broke 20 points was in Round 6 and they have only scored six more points than the Bulldogs.
2 – Rabbitohs “Over” Blown
Yes we know the Rabbitohs lost, but the over continues to be a good play in their games this season.
Their 26-14 defeat at Bankwest Stadium saw a Souths game go over for the ninth time on the year and they are the best team in the competition at hitting the over.
The Eels have been a productive overs team as well, clearing the points line on seven occasions including a run of four straight from Rounds Six to Nine.
Of course, being on the right end of a 51-6 victory and the wrong end of a 64-10 thumping will help that out.
3 – Raiders Under the Radar?
While the points seem to be flowing with the Rabbitohs and Eels, they are at a premium for the Raiders at the moment, as evidenced by Saturday’s game that had a grand total of 22.
Unsurprisingly that was very much under the pregame total and was the third straight week they have gone Under the total match points number.
They might have covered in seven of their first nine but it appears defence might be the way forward in Canberra.
4 – Game of Round 12
With all due respect to the Titans and Cowboys, instead of trying to find something constructive from that game, let’s look ahead to what shapes to be game of Round 13 between the Rabbitohs and Knights.
We touched on the Rabbitohs already but the Knights were on a massive hot streak before their bye week so the question is, will they have lost momentum?
They had their big statement moment crushing the Roosters at home but now they face a big test travelling to ANZ Stadium to face a Rabbitohs side that could be a bit understrength thanks to Origin.
Of course it probably won’t be too easy for the Knights either with Kalyn Ponga a possible out as well although Nathan Brown will have a plan in place for sure.
5 – Origin 1 Thoughts
It would be remiss to not mention one of the biggest games of rugby league this season here.
Just two big things stand out looking at this game, Queensland is at home, although it hasn’t been a strong venue, losing Game 1 there in 2014 and 2017.
The other note is that no starting Queensland player will be making their debut, so while they may not be the most experienced side, the 13 guys on the park at kickoff know what’s coming.
At a guess? New South Wales and the Under.