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NRL musings – after Round 21

NRL musings – after Round 21

The cream has risen

Not at all a ‘hot take’, but it is hard to imagine that we won’t be seeing the Roosters and Storm going around again in the 2019 grand final, barring some unforeseen bad luck.

The Roosters win was impressive on a few levels.

Firstly they managed it without half of their likely starting pack, with Messrs Cordner, Friend and Taukeiaho all missing.

Secondly, the coaches made no secret of the fact that this game was important. It was very evident that it was a high-intensity match with plenty amount of desperation shown.

Thirdly, depending on which site you believe, the Roosters got it done with either only had 42% ( or 46% (Fox Sports) of the possession.

Finally, the Roosters got the win in front of a full house (more or less) on a surprisingly pleasant day (despite the doom and gloom weather forecasts) in the nation’s capital.

The Storm were impressive also, defeating a fellow top-four team away from home.

Like the Roosters, they were missing some key bench players, but they did have the good fortune to get Souths without Sam Burgess.

After going up 12-0, the Storm had to deal with an outrageous run of ten consecutive penalties, which saw the Rabbitohs get the score back to 12-12 in the 46th minute.

Related to the above point, the Storm also won with the minority share of the ball, with the NRL website recording it at 55%-45% and the Foxsports website reporting it at 54%-46%.

Roosters defy the Gold Coast curse

A few weeks back we put some info onsite about how teams struggle following a game against the Titans. At the time we wrote that only three teams had won the week after playing the team from the glitter strip.  

Following that article, the curse managed to stop the Storm, and then the Broncos, but the Roosters managed to get the win in impressive circumstances against the Raiders.

What is it with the Sharks and slow starts

Not unlike their game against the Raiders earlier in the season, the Sharks managed to let their opponent get out to a big lead before storming home and giving themselves a late shot.

For whatever reason the Sharks have done this all year.

Overall they are now 4-14-2 (lead-trailing-tied) at the end of first halves. It’s even worse against from home where they are now 1-9-1.

The only team with a worse record at halftime are the Bulldogs, who are 3-16-1.

Social media d*ckheads

As someone on the wrong side of 40, and a parent of relatively young kids, I despair when I read stories about the rubbish players have to endure on social media.

I sincerely hope that these imbeciles that get some perverse enjoyment out of this nonsense get their comeuppance (in a law and order sense of course).

Interestingly I stumbled onto a video where Zab Judah (still remember the stoush with Kostya Tszyu from years ago) confronts some mental midget that attacked him on social media – it’s worth a look. Wish it happened more often!

Ken is now King

Hat’s off to Ken Maumalo, who is now the outright leader in terms of first try scorer, having crossed the stripe first five times this season.

That achievement comes under threat this week when the Warriors face the Roosters, as Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco who have both done this four times.


Apologies for tooting our own horn but we had a pretty solid week last week. Here are the results:

Game results: 5/7 – stayed out of the Bulldogs v Tigers game. Unfortunately, we were suffering from erectile dysfunction and couldn’t pull (no pun intended) the trigger on the Bulldogs.

The Sea Eagles and Sharks were the teams that let us down.

With the start: 5/6 – we stayed out of the Panthers v Sharks and the Dragons v Titans games, but otherwise only missed the Sea Eagles (who we were pretty bullish on – still scratching our heads).

Game total: 2/4 – the weather scared us off a few games this week. We missed the Broncos v Cowboys game as well as the Panthers v Sharks game.

We are also very fortunate to get over the total in the Warriors v Sea Eagles game.  

Interest bets: We got a couple of wins here with Ben Hunt to score a try (courtesy of Luciano Leilua who could have scored himself) as well as the Knights to score first / Eels to win double. No joy on the remaining six games.



  1. Gerard

    August 13, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Excellent analysis. I recently found you on Twitter; I’ve been looking for a sophisticated NRL betting site involving stats, which also publishes its own record with tips and betting against the spread. I use a similar method but rely more so on my power ratings of each team and I’ve had a lot of joy doing so this year. Your last two weeks have been outstanding – well done and I look forward to more articles like this.

    • savvyplays

      August 15, 2019 at 12:26 am

      Thanks Gerard, really appreciate the kind words. It’s a labour of love but is something that we’re passionate about and hope to expand upon moving forward. Like you along the way I have been working with a power rating type system, which I was would use to project match lines, but I pivoted away from that and spent more time making the content more detailed and hopefully understandable.

      We certainly intend (barring anything unforeseen) to continue to offer this type of coverage for the remainder of the NRL season and then also into the NFL season. If everything goes as planned then we’ll try and expand the NRL coverage a little next season.

      Again – appreciate the feedback!



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