NRL round 7 : Preview Brisbane Broncos v Newcastle Knights Saturday April 16, 7.30pm (AEST), Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Seemingly the biggest mismatch of 2016 to date with the premiership favourites Brisbane hosting the wooden spoon popular elects Newcastle in a game that features a line approaching three converted tries.
Selection NotesThe ever-steady Broncos go in unchanged with Corey Oates overcoming a shoulder concern. Newcastle have Danny Levi, Sione Mata’utia and Jake Mamo. Mata’utia joins his brother Pat in the centres while the other two have not been named. The Brisbane side contains nine internationals while Newcastle has 10 players with fewer than 50 game experiences.
Form Brisbane have set the standard so far in 2016. They lead the premiership as the only 5-1 team. At home they are 3-0 with wins against New Zealand, North Queensland and St George Illawarra where they have conceded just 10 points a game. They have won their last three matches. They rank 2nd in defence, 4th in attack and 2nd in differential. Newcastle sit 15th on the ladder and come into this off their first win – an unimpressive home victory in front of a big crowd against the lowly Wests Tigers. They had managed just a single draw from their first five matches with a 0-4 road record that includes three loss of 24-plus. They rank last in defence, 15th in attack and 15thin differential.
Round 7 NRL Odds
Key Matchup Anthony Milford v Jarrod Mullen. Milford has been in scintillating form in 2016 and was again sensational against the Dragons, scoring a try few others could manage. He is explosive but has developed into a great game manager with an excellent kicking game. The same cannot be said for Mullen who the Knights may just need to give up on soon. He has never played smart and his kicking game is not improving. He needs to find something for this match though as the club’s chief playmaker or this could get ugly.
Stats That Matter Brisbane are 3-3 ATS this year with a 4-2 under record. Newcastle are 3-3 ATS with a 3-3 total number. Home favourites of 14.5 or more are 53-39 ATS since 2008 but in the opening eight rounds of the year it is just 6-6 ATS. Brisbane are 8-1 (7-2 ATS) when a big favourite with both big home faves this year covering. Big home favourites off a win of 20 or more are 11-6 ATS since 2008 while home faves of 10 or more are 25-17 ATS off a 20-point win. The Knights are 11-17 ATS with a 16-12 under number since 2014. At night they are 5-8 ATS with an 8-5 under number. Road teams getting more than two converted tries off a win are 17-23 ATS dating back to 2008. The under is 142-92 (60%) when a home team scored 20 the week prior in the first eight weeks of the season dating back to 2008 including a 90-64 under with a home favourite and a 88-48 under record at night. Newcastle have covered just 4 of their last 12 interstate.