If you love close, competitive rugby league then Round 4 of the NRL season was not for you.
There were all sorts of Easter treats and nightmares across the competition with the most lopsided weekend of results in over a decade.
We have broken down the five biggest storylines from the weekend just gone by, read on to see our five lessons learned.
1 – It Was An Even Worse Week For Blowouts Than First Thought
There is no way of sugar coating this, it was an absolute bloodbath this weekend no matter which way you try and paint it.
Seven of the eight favourites won, all by double digits but even more surprising were the lines that those seven favourites covered.
Penrith’s line reached -18, the Storm were -20.5 at kickoff and Souths closed at -24.5, with those three teams winning by a combined margin of 112 points.
Including the Dragons upset, the average winning margin across the eight games made history.
If you take out the Dragons upset it was even worse with the average margin moving to 28.57 points.
Wests managed 22 points in defeat, the other seven sides mustered a total of 51 combined points in their games.
It was a brutal week all over and if the perceived gap between the haves and have nots even holds firm, we could be in for a lot more blowouts.
North Queensland has lost three of its four games by 24 or more points and the club is in dire need of a rebound at some point soon.
2 – You Can’t Get The Over If You Can’t Score
Round 4 was the highest scoring weekend of the season, no thanks to the Bulldogs whose scoreless streak reached a horrendous three games.
They were utterly dismantled by Souths on Friday and there’s an argument that the 38-0 final score was actually generous for Canterbury.
Punters should be looking to capitalise on their attacking woes going forward, especially with the struggle for value in their head to head and even line markets.
When only one team is doing all the scoring, it makes the total points number very tough to reach.
During their losing streak, the Bulldogs have given up 28, 24 and 38 points, failing to hit the respective points totals of 38.5, 41.5 and 45.5.
Unless Canterbury suddenly discovers their scoring touch, it’s hard to see any of their games going over.
3 – Xavier Coates Continues To Deliver For The Broncos
While Ryan Papenhuyzen was (rightfully) getting all the headlines for his four try effort on Friday, it’s worth giving some love to Broncos flyer Xavier Coates.
He has been one of the most consistent performers early on in the season and sits equal third on the NRL’s try scoring ranks through four rounds.
He has scored six tries in four games and has crossed in every match so far.
Outpacing Josh Addo-Carr is not an easy task and he did it to open the scoring against the Storm, a handy reward for the punters that backed him at $19.
Throughout any season, punters love consistency and there are few more consistently performing players than Coates right now.
4 – Tommy Turbo Won’t Save Manly
Through the opening month of the season, Manly has been holding onto the hope that the eventual return of Tom Trbojevic will spark their season into life.
Based on their efforts against Penrith, they will need five or six versions of him to make them competitive against the competition’s big boys.
Four games, four losses, four failures to cover and not a lot of cause for optimism going forward.
5 – It’s Testing Time For The Dragons
Few people expected St George Illawarra to get off to a 3-1 start this season but lo and behold, the Dragons have delivered.
They were the one team to record an upset this weekend and showed plenty of mettle to storm home in the second half.
Coming up this weekend is a real opportunity to stamp themselves as finals contenders when they take on the so far perfect Parramatta Eels.
This is the perfect opportunity for a statement victory against one of the best performing clubs in the competition.
Looking at the early market, the Dragons will be able to play the “nobody believes in us” card all week long.