19 rounds are done and dusted in the 2021 NRL season and we were treated to another entertaining weekend of action from South East Queensland.
Three games were decided by a converted try or less and plenty of exciting passages of play.
We are recapping the weekend that was in our 5 Lessons Learned right here!
1 – It Was Another Unders Week
After several weeks of overs providing a fill up, unders are starting to be the way to go with the average points per game dropping below 50 for the second time in the last three full rounds.
Over the eight games we saw an average of 48 points per game and that was without a doubt boosted by Souths scoring 60 on their own.
Although when they face defending like this, it’s hard to expect anything less.
Since that infamous Magic Round back in May, we are seeing an average of 48.8 points per game but the points totals are overcorrecting with five of the eight games having total numbers over 50.
Like always you will have to play the matchups but there are worse strategies to follow over the coming weeks.
2 – Time To Throw Out Home & Away Form
With the next two rounds already locked in for South East Queensland (plus Mackay and Rockhampton), you have to throw out the perceived home and away records for the bulk of the NRL teams.
Especially if that gets extended out beyond Round 21 and the competition finishes in Queensland.
This week the nominal “home teams” went 4-4 both head to head and against the spread.
Perhaps the only team to benefit from the relocation is the Storm who, let’s be honest are Queensland’s fourth team anyway.
Over the next few weeks just back the good teams (groundbreaking strategy I know), with favourites winning seven of the eight games.
That goes for next weekend’s blockbuster between the Storm and Panthers with Melbourne already a 12.5 point favourite.
For reference when they are favoured in a game, they have won 15 of 15, and covered the line on 13 occasions.
Meanwhile Penrith will be underdogs for the first time all season.
3 – Canberra Passed Its Big Test
It took 45 minutes but we finally got a breakthrough in Thursday night’s game on the Gold Coast.
When the Raiders took the lead, it also answered a big question about where this team is at and perhaps gave a few people who wrote them off earlier some cause to backtrack (not ratting myself out here at all…).
But beating the Eels, albeit in a scrappy game that we would all rather forget, removed them from “back against” status for the time being.
Realistically you would be well served backing them to get the job done this weekend against a Knights side that has laboured out of the Origin period, losing to the Storm and Roosters by a combined score of 76-12.
4 – Brisbane Matches Up With Penrith Really Well
It’s fair to say that results have not gone Brisbane’s way in 2021 but they have played two dramatic contests against the Panthers.
Back in Round 6 they pushed a red hot Penrith side that was favoured by 26 and once again provided some stern resistance against the competition’s elite.
A tryless first half had those punters that took Brisbane at the +20.5 line pregame feeling quite confident and while they did go down 18-12, there was a lot of joy to take from that performance.
Up next is a huge local derby against the Cowboys and they are every chance of recording their fifth win of the season here.
5 – Just Don’t Screw it Up
Style points are all well and good, but at this time of the year, they are worth next to nothing.
Get ready to hear a whole lot about “fundamentals” but that is what is going to win the premiership in about nine weeks’ time.
Expect the teams at the top of the ladder to start to play a little bit more conservatively, minimising mistakes and just making sure they get the result rather than putting up a big score, especially against teams they may be facing in September.