5 Lessons Learned – NRL Round 6

There really is no clear, succinct way to sum up the drama and chaos that unfolded in the NRL this weekend.

Round 6 had plenty of talking points, as well as some phenomenal moments.

In terms of highlights, it was tough to find a better (albeit controversial) ending to a game than Souths and the Tigers on Saturday.

While the effort may have been for nought, it was a good reminder to always play the whistle.

We have summed up the best moments from the weekend with our five big takeaways below.

1 – The Underdogs Had Their Day

While the opening five rounds of the NRL season were dominated by the favourites with a clear line of delineation between the haves and have nots, the underdogs clearly won Round 6.

Five of the eight teams managed to cover their handicap lines plus a push in the Knights-Sharks game on the closing line of Knights -4 made it a profitable weekend to back the upset.

Manly, Parramatta and the Warriors all sprung outright upsets and had you backed every underdog to win, it would have returned a small profit for the weekend.

It’s the perfect time of year to pick the teams that are on the verge of a bounce back and look to back them in.

Head to head Parramatta is a very strong bet winning all three games they have entered as outsiders, including this weekend over Canberra.

Two teams have performed very well against the spread so far this season as underdogs, with the Dragons and Sharks both holding 3-1 records when the market is against them.

While the Dragons did not enjoy their game as favourites this weekend, the early market for this weekend has them as outsiders against a Roosters team that had a limp effort in Melbourne this weekend.

2 – Penrith Knows Its Strengths

It might not have been the prettiest performance, but Penrith knows how to win games.

Up against a Broncos side putting in arguably their most determined effort of the entire season, the Panthers showed phenomenal maturity to just wear down their hosts on the evening.

Having entered the game at $1.03 to win and -26 on the $2 Line, the Panthers found themselves met with stern resistance as they tried to extend their record to a perfect six from six.

Rather than panicking and trying to force something as early as possible, Nathan Cleary and company just continued to execute and worked to break down Brisbane’s resilient efforts before finally sealing the game three minutes from time.

For such a young team, it was a nice reminder that there does not appear to be any sort of hangover after losing the Grand Final last year.

3 – Tommy Turbo Really Is That Good

Rugby League might be a team game, but Manly may as well rebrand themselves as the Tom Trbojevic.

Not since the days of Jonathon Thurston (before 2017) has a team been so heavily reliant on its superstar staying in one piece.

It took all of 10 minutes to remind everyone of the difference he can make to a side that had been largely atrocious to date.

Then he showed off his freshly healed hamstring crossing for a try of his own.

A couple of weeks ago I wondered if even someone as good as Tommy Turbo might find themselves powerless to save Manly but he certainly put me in my place this weekend.

4 – The Raiders Are In Trouble

Three losses from their last four games including a collapse against the Eels on Saturday night, something is off in the nation’s capital.

When the game is out of hand and you are letting up soft tries such as this one, you know there’s a real issue in the team.

While this may not be the best time to look at cashing out your Raiders premiership bets, it certainly is time to wonder if you missed the window closing.

The Raiders still have more than enough talent to right the ship but at the moment, they are in such a state that the $1.26 on offer for them against North Queensland (at publish) looks far too short.

5 – The Sharks Could Get A New Coach Bounce

You always hear about a playing group getting some sort of new coach bounce and Cronulla could very well be in line for one.

They showed plenty against the Knights on Friday despite falling short and have a chance to really impress interim coach Josh Hannay when they take on Canterbury this Saturday.

With Hannay taking the reigns for the rest of the season, keeping the seat warm for Craig Fitzgibbon at the end of the year, the Sharks players know they have to put forward a good showing for their new boss.

What better way to do it than beating up on the competition’s lightweights in Canterbury?