5 Lessons Learned – NRL Round 18

Round 18 of the NRL season (and Week 1 of NRL Queensland) is in the books and after an eventful build up, the blowouts continued.

Seven of the eight games were decided by a double digit margin with six having a final gap of 14-18 points.

We’ve gone through the numbers, broken down the (digital) film and come up with our five big takeaways right here.

1 – The Points Are Back In Town

After State of Origin brought about the two lowest scoring weeks of the season, the tries were back this weekend.

Over the eight games there was an average of 51 points per game with the Broncos and Tigers topping the charts with their 66 point effort on Sunday, including this slick effort in the first half.

Six games saw both teams score at least 16 points and the two final games of the round saw both teams top 20 points.

In a surprise to absolutely nobody, it was the Storm top scoring this weekend with their 48-4 win over the Knights.

They really can score from anywhere on the park.

So far this season, the Storm have scored 632 points, the Cowboys have given up 527… we could be in for an all time blowout in Round 19.

2 – It Pays to Wait

Patience is a virtue… when punting on Manly at least.

The line for Friday night’s game opened with the Sea Eagles favoured by 19.5 over the Dragons, then came the move to the Gold Coast and the withdrawal of Tom Trbojevic.

With their star man watching, the line dropped to Manly -13.5 and the punters that held off were rewarded for their restraint.

Especially with this final score.

It was also a relief for Manly to get it done without Turbo and DCE.

3 – The Raiders Are About To Be Found Out

Back to back wins are a huge boost for the Raiders but I’m not buying stock in that team just yet.

Sure they managed to beat the Sharks by 16 on the weekend, but they are about to be found out when they take on the Eels next week.

They looked really good coming out of the break with a bang.

But ceded their advantage straightaway.

Parramatta is going to burst that bubble.

4 – Alex Johnston Is South Sydney

24 tries in 17 appearances, Johnston is quite good you know.

He added two more to his tally this weekend making it six straight games where he has scored multiple tries.

That hamstring injury is going to really be a blow not only for Souths but for the punters who had enjoyed his spectacular try scoring run.

His success coincided with Souths going on a six game winning streak, and his tries are very closely tied to their success.

When Johnston scores, the Bunnies are 12-1, when he fails to score they are 1-2.

5 – The Favourites Continued to Dominate

Upsets are few and far between this season in the NRL, and this week mostly followed the chalk.

The only two games where the favourites failed to win were the Sharks (-1.5) and Broncos (-2.5), the two smallest lines of the weekend.

At worst, favourites have won five of the eight games in a complete round of rugby league and it does not look like that trend is slowing down anytime soon.

Head to head the Roosters have been one of the better teams to back as favourites posting an 11-2 record and they should be able to take care of business again this week when they face the Knights.