NRL Opta facts: Roosters' impressive SCG record, Croker nearing milestone

By Sports Desk September 26, 2019

Sydney Roosters will be aiming to extend an impressive run at the Sydney Cricket Ground when they face Melbourne Storm in the NRL preliminary finals on Saturday.

However, the minor premiers have been difficult to beat away from AAMI Park and will be out to avenge their Grand Final defeat to the Roosters last year and reach the showpiece for the fourth straight year.

The victors will take on either Canberra Raiders or South Sydney Rabbitohs, who meet at GIO Stadium on Friday.

The Raiders have not won in Canberra since a 20-12 win over the Wests Tigers in July, and the Bunnies have been impressive on the road.

Ahead of the penultimate weekend of the NRL season, we look at the best Opta facts.

 

Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs

- This will be the fourth time the Raiders and the Rabbitohs have met in the NRL finals – and the first time in the nation's capital – with Ricky Stuart's men having won two of their previous three such encounters.
- Canberra will be vying to reach their first NRL Grand Final since 1994 – the longest drought of any active team to have made at least one appearance in the title decider.
- Souths have won all six of their matches outside New South Wales this year, their most in a single season in the NRL era.
- Cody Walker has been directly involved in seven tries in his last four NRL games against the Raiders (four tries, three assists); he has also crossed for the opening score of the match in each of their last two meetings.
- Jarrod Croker is just 16 shy of becoming the seventh player in premiership history to score 2,000 points.

Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm

- Five of the past six NRL games between the Roosters and the Storm have been decided by a margin of three points or fewer, with each team picking up three wins in that span.
- The Roosters have won their last nine NRL outings at the SCG and by an average margin of 29 points per game, not once conceding more than 12 points in that run.
- Melbourne have won eight straight away matches in the NRL; the last time they enjoyed a longer winning streak on the road within a single season was a nine-game stretch in 2011.
- The Storm have won nine of their past 11 preliminary finals, including their last three on the bounce across which they have conceded a total of just 18 points.
- Melbourne have averaged 6.5 line breaks per game this season, more than any other team in the NRL.

Related items

  • NRL cancels registrations of Bulldogs duo for 'inexcusable' behaviour NRL cancels registrations of Bulldogs duo for 'inexcusable' behaviour

    The NRL has cancelled the registrations of Canterbury Bulldogs duo Jayden Okunbor and Corey Harawira-Naera for "a very serious breach of the code of conduct".

    The move comes after the governing body's show-cause process established significant misconduct by both players ahead of a trial match in Port Macquarie on February 29.

    According to a statement from the Bulldogs, who consequently cancelled Okunbor and Harawira-Naera's contracts, the victims of the pair's misconduct were young women.

    NRL CEO Todd Greenberg confirmed the sanction in a strongly worded statement on Wednesday. 

    "The behaviour of both players was inexcusable and a very serious breach of the code of conduct," he said. 

    "The game will not tolerate such conduct and as such both players have had their registrations cancelled. 

    "This decision should send a very clear message to all players of our stance on such behaviour."

    A Bulldogs statement added: "An important part of the role of being a professional rugby league player is to promote the game and act as an ambassador for your club and the code.

    "There can be no tolerance for any abuse of the privileged status the game affords its leading players.

    "The consequences of this matter have been serious and far-reaching and protecting the welfare of the young women involved has been a priority for us since we were first alerted to this issue."

     

  • Coronavirus: Masoe 'gutted' to be leaving hospital before he is ready Coronavirus: Masoe 'gutted' to be leaving hospital before he is ready

    Hull KR co-captain Mose Masoe is "gutted" to have been told he must return home from hospital prematurely to make room for patients suffering from the coronavirus.

    Masoe suffered a career-ending spinal injury in a pre-season friendly in January.

    The Samoa international has made great progress with his recovery, but was informed on Monday that he must leave Pinderfields Hospital this week amid the COVID-19 crisis.

    Masoe says he is not ready to be discharged and warned people who are not obeying government lockdown rules that they should understand the consequences of their actions.

    He told the club's official website: "They've got to clear out a lot of wards to get in the people who have coronavirus so a lot of us have to go home.

    "I'm not really ready to go home at all. It will be nice to get home so I can spend some time with my kids but there's a lot of things I can't do myself, like going to the toilet and things like that. I don't want to put a burden on my missus.

    "We just got the news this morning so we're still in the dark. When you get a spinal injury we're at a high risk. A lot of people forget our immune systems drop.

    "One: they're worried about us catching it while we're in here because the hospital is getting fuller and two: they're trying to clear out the wards for people with coronavirus.

    "We need people to stay home so we can get back into the hospital to do rehab. People need to stop being selfish because we've felt the effects already.

    "It's the first time in the world you can save lives by just staying home watching TV or playing PlayStation. That’s my frustration with people who aren't listening.

    "My wife is pregnant so they've all been staying home and she's only going out to get food. They've been doing the right thing and staying away. I haven't seen them for two weeks.

    "We knew we had to do that because it's safer for everyone. We both thought it was the best thing to do.

    "I'm gutted to be going home because I wanted to keep my progression going. The next step was to go from parallel bars to a walking frame to crutches and then you can pretty much walk by yourself."

  • Coronavirus: NRL to pay clubs 40 million AUD amid COVID-19 crisis Coronavirus: NRL to pay clubs 40 million AUD amid COVID-19 crisis

    The NRL will deliver a 40 million Australian dollars rescue package to all 16 clubs to help with operating costs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The league was postponed through just two rounds on March 23 due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has brought sport to a standstill across the world.

    Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chair Peter V'landys and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg announced the revised financial plan – which provides clubs with the capacity to survive the financial year with either a remodelled 20-week competition or no games – on Monday, with monthly grant payments to teams between April and October.

    The NRL will also reduce its operating costs by 53 per cent, including a 95 per cent reduction in staffing levels during the shutdown period and a 25 per cent cut in executive salaries.

    Meanwhile, the NRL has proposed a funding model for player payments to the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA).

    "We have a consolidated plan and working with the clubs and the players, are united in our efforts to do all we can to protect rugby league," V'landys said. 

    "We had no option but to stop the competition in the wake of advice from our Biosecurity and Pandemic expert but remain optimistic that the season will restart as quickly as possible, ideally by July 1.

    "If that isn't possible, then we need to be prepared for that option as well and are making the tough financial decisions now to reduce costs to ensure we get through this crisis."

    Greenberg added: "We are working together to achieve the best outcome in the short, and long term. We must use this opportunity to reset the game's costs and overall structure.

    "These measures will put the game in the best position to rebound strongly from the pandemic."

    Globally, there have been more than 33,980 deaths and over 723,000 confirmed cases.

    In Australia, at least 17 people have died from coronavirus, with more than 4,100 cases.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.