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There’s a shocking anomaly for the opening week of this season’s finals with all the greater ranked groups being unbeaten by their opponents in not less than the previous two seasons. That is the primary time this has occurred in a prime eight finals sequence.
Storm has received 4 straight in opposition to Manly with the Sea Eagles’ final win coming in 2019. Melbourne’s 4 wins have all been by double figures together with a 28-18 win in spherical 21 this season.
Manly has shot up the ladder on the again of some thumping wins in opposition to the decrease ranked groups on the desk, however they’re but to defeat any of the opposite prime 5 groups this season and have the third worst file of all the highest eight groups in opposition to one another this season.
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The Roosters’ final loss in opposition to the Titans got here in 2016. They’ve received seven straight since 2017.
This season Sydney has a terrific file in opposition to groups seventh via sixteenth, profitable 14 of 15 video games — seven of the Roosters’ eight losses got here in opposition to the opposite prime six groups.
The Titans have the worst file of the highest eight groups in opposition to one another with only one win from 11 video games, however they’ll fancy their possibilities of an upset on this match. In spherical 14 they nearly pulled off a outstanding comeback in opposition to the Roosters, trailing 30-4 after 55 minutes, and finally shedding 35-34.
Penrith have received 5 straight in opposition to the Rabbitohs, their finest profitable streak in opposition to them because the early 90s.
Of their two wins this season the Panthers have outscored the Rabbitohs 81-24 together with a 56-12 win in Spherical 11 — their largest ever win in opposition to them.
Souths have received 20 video games this season — their most ever however the elephant within the room is their file in opposition to the highest two groups. To go along with their 5 straight losses in opposition to the Panthers the Rabbitohs have misplaced six straight in opposition to the Storm.
Penrith has one of the best file of any of the highest eight groups in opposition to their finals opponents this season, profitable 11 of 12 — their solely loss coming underneath energy in opposition to Storm in Spherical 20.
Isaah Yeo, Nathan Cleary and Brian To’o all missed that match. All three are nonetheless undefeated in NRL video games this season.
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THE MATTY JOHNS PODCAST: A sit up for finals, and Penrith, with Cooper Cronk
It’s one other sit down with one of many nice 7s of all time. If Cooper needed to choose a full again to avoid wasting his life, who wouldn’t it be? Matty and Cooper have a look at Penrith and Souths and the newest with Nathan Cleary.
Parramatta’s three straight wins in opposition to the Knights return to early in 2019. The Eels received the one assembly this season 40-4. The Eels have by no means received 4 straight video games in opposition to the Knights however will fancy their likelihood this time round.
Newcastle had the “best” draw of any group this season, enjoying the opposite prime eight sides simply 9 occasions and profitable simply two of these.
The anomaly would have nearly held true underneath the previous prime eight system as effectively, with Storm being good in 4 seasons in opposition to the Titans, Penrith undefeated in opposition to Newcastle (one win and one draw) and the Rabbitohs profitable 4 straight in opposition to the Eels. Solely Manly (one win and one loss) in opposition to the Roosters wreck the double.
Current finals historical past suggests all 4 groups have an excellent likelihood of constant their profitable streaks this week, with 9 of the ten groups with an ideal file since 2005 profitable their finals matchup.
The one group to lose was the Roosters in opposition to the Panthers in 2014.
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STAT OF THE WEEK
You may suppose Tom Turbo is essentially the most harmful participant anyplace on the sector this season, however teammate Reuben Garrick has busted the road inside his personal half greater than every other participant in 2021, together with his unbelievable run final week to arrange arguably the attempt of the season.
Jail Breakers (Most Linebreaks from inside personal half)
Reuben Garrick: 12 linebreaks
Corey Thompson: 10 linebreaks
Jahrome Hughes: 8 linebreaks
Tom Trbojevic: 7 linebreaks
William Kennedy: 7 linebreaks
Jason Saab: 7 linebreaks
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow: 7
Reece Walsh: 7