NRL Round 4 Value Plays (Sunday & Monday)

NRL Round 4 Value Plays (Sunday & Monday)

We’ve got an intriguing Sunday of footy ahead as the Raiders and Knights prepare for what should be a beauty. The Raiders are the form team of the competition and the Knights will be out to use them as a measuring stick on their quest for the Top 8. The Tigers, meanwhile, are in a precarious position. Two competition points are there for the taking against the Titans, but that’s exactly what the Tigers faithful are worried about.

On Monday, the Dragons and Bulldogs wrap up the long weekend with a match that has the potential to be anything. We take a look at who will score the first try and where the DFS value lies for all three games.

Canberra Raiders v Newcastle Knights @ Campbelltown Stadium

First Try-Scorers: Nick Cotric – $9.5, Edrick Lee – $13, Kurt Mann – $34

Well, the Raiders right side attack is good. Really good. George Williams is better than almost any footy fan down under thought and Nick Cotric ($9.50 – BetEasy) is set to benefit again this week. If the defence sags off Williams, he can break through the line. If they come in too early, he can fire a beautiful long ball for Cotric in the corner. 

Kalyn Ponga’s return for the Knights reads well for Edrick Lee ($13 – PointsBet) crossing the line on Sunday. Ponga is an excellent triple-threat on sweep plays, and if Lee is open, Ponga will find him. 

While plenty will argue Kurt Mann ($34 BetEasy) is playing out of position at five-eighth, he’s an intriguing option as a try-scorer. He’s scored one try and broken the line twice already this season while also averaging 12.3 runs for 91.4 running metres per game. With Ponga floating around and attracting attention, opportunities should open up for Mann to run the ball more in Round 4.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Andrew McCullough ($11,000), Bailey Simonsson ($7,700)

Andrew McCullough has a point to prove in his Knights debut and our predictive model projects him to make one through 46 Draftstars points. Expected to do a lot of defensive work and without a recognised hooker on the bench, the opportunity is there for McCullough to make a mark early in Newcastle. Chris Randall showed last week that he’s putting pressure on McCullough’s job before he even arrived.

Similarly, Bailey Simonsson will be out to justify his selection ahead of Jordan Rapana on the wing. Ricky Stuart has options on the wing and the slightest misstep can be enough for a player to lose their spot. With that in mind along with the fact Simonsson is on the end of a very good left-edge attack, he’s worth considering at $7,700. Our predictive model projects Simonsson to score 33 points on Sunday afternoon.

DFS Fade: George Williams ($14,270)

George Williams is the talk of the town at the moment. That will quite likely translate into DFS popularity. He scored 56.61 points last week, but our predictive model projects him to score just 38 points on Sunday. Fading Williams could prove to be a pivotal point of difference.

Gold Coast Titans v Wests Tigers @ Suncorp Stadium

First Try-Scorers: David Nofoaluma – $10, Luciano Leilua – $23, Phillip Sami – $13

The Tigers come into this one as heavy favourites which brings David Nofoaluma ($10 – Neds) into the try-scorer conversation from the start. Breaking through the line with ease last week, Nofa will be licking his lips at the prospect of 80 minutes against the worst side in the NRL.

So too will Luciano Leilua ($23 – Bet Easy).

He switched over to the left side last week. This week, he runs at a horrible right-edge Titans defence that has leaked eight tries already this season. With Luke Brooks getting his legs under him after making his return last week, it’s not difficult to picture him putting Leilua over the line with a short ball at Tyrone Peachey’s inside shoulder.

The Titans are out to avoid one year without a win on Sunday. If they’re to cause an upset and end the losing streak, Brian Kelly ($17 – BetEasy) needs to be heavily involved. He knows try scoring opportunities won’t come his way very often. He was quick to make the smallest chance count with a cracker in Round 3.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Moeaki Fotuaika ($12,500), Erin Clark ($9,400), Jamal Fogarty ($8,300)

Our predictive model is projecting big things for the Titans on the DFS front.

Bumped up from $10,210 last week to $12,500 this week, Moeaki Fotuaika is still worth every penny. He ran for 153 metres and made 47 tackles off the bench in Round 3 while the rest of his side crumbled around him. What more can we say about this kid? He’s one of the best young talents running around in the NRL at the moment and is projected to score 50 points on Sunday.

Erin Clark is a new face to many footy fans. Don’t be surprised to see him look right at home at dummy half for the Titans, though. The former Warrior and Junior Kiwi fell out of love with rugby league in 2017 before joining the Titans over the summer. Eager to make the most of his second crack, Clark has been turning heads at Titans training. With a calm head on his shoulders and the sort of running game that can thrive should the Titans pack produce, Clark is an excellent low-cost option despite being a relative unknown.

Give Jamal Fogarty the ball this week, Titans. He looked dangerous enough in Round 3 despite only running the ball three times. Assuming that Justin Holbrook and the Titans address his lack of opportunties during the week, Fogarty is worth considering at $8,300. Our predictive model projects him to bump his 25.9 points from Round 3 up to 37 points in Round 4.

DFS Fade: Keegan Hipgrave ($9,500)

Benji Marshall can cause Keegan Hipgrave some serious headaches on Sunday evening. The wily veteran will know when Hipgrave is going to shoot out of the line even before he does. With so much talent stacked on the Tigers right side, Hipgrave is in for a long 80 minutes. He’s projected to score just 29 points in this one.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v St George-Illawarra Dragons @ Bankwest Stadium

First Try-Scorers: Ben Hunt – $26, Reimis Smith – $16

Despite the recent negative press and overzealous nature at which his poor performances are covered, Ben Hunt ($26 – Neds) is a quality footballer. If he can play behind a half-decent pack and lean into his running game, we will soon see the best of him. He has a great chance to get Red V fans onside this week. The Bulldogs edge defence has been less than impressive this season and their middle is one the Dragons should dominate. If Hunt can get down hill and play at the line, he’s a great chance at dotting down himself.

Opportunities to score are always limited in this Bulldogs attack, but if there is one player that can sniff out the try line, it’s Reimis Smith ($16 – Neds). Grossly underrated given the club he plays for and the sparsity points they produce, Smith has all the skills to be recognised as one of the best finishers in the NRL if he can get himself on the end of a better attack. He scored 12 tries in 23 games for a side that managed just 13.5 points per game in 2019.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak ($7,000), Josh Jackson ($12,300), Dean Britt ($9,800)

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak finished with only 12 kick return metres last week. He averaged closer to 50 metres per game in 2019. However, with the Bulldogs being dominated each week to allow the opposition to run for 1,784 metres per game while only averaging 24:47 minutes in possession per game (14th in the NRL) themselves, Watene-Zelezniak hasn’t had the opportunity to wind up. He should see more of the ball this week.

On opposition running metres, no team allows more than the Dragons. That opens things up for Josh Jackson and Dean Britt to add a few more metres to their regular output. Our predictive model is projecting both to offer up some value in this slate to score 50 and 47 points respectively.

DFS Fade: Kieran Foran ($11,140)

Kieran Foran showed glimpses of his old self before succumbing to yet another injury last year. His running game and ball-playing at the line played a big part in Canterbury’s late-season revival. However, our predictive model suggests it’s best to give Foran the week to get his legs under him before expecting too much DFS production. He’s projected to score 38 points.

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