We’re back for Round 4 with the Baby Broncos kicking things off against the defending premiers on Thursday night. The Roosters are morals, but this Broncos pack can’t be ruled out even with the injuries.
The Warriors completed 46 of their 48 sets in Round 3 and may need a repeat on Friday evening. Surely frustrated after giving up a gift two competition points and settling for a draw last week, the Panthers will come out firing.
A blockbuster wraps up the first two nights of the round as a smarting Storm outfit play host to the Rabbitohs. Desperate to avoid a 1-3 start to the season, expect Wayne Bennett to have a few tricks up his sleeve for this one.
Here, we take a look at who will score the first try and where the DFS value lies for all three games.
Broncos v Roosters @ Suncorp Stadium
First Try-Scorers: Daniel Tupou – $10, Corey Oates – $13, Kyle Flanagan – $29
The Broncos right-side defence has been poor to start the season and Daniel Tupou ($10 – Neds) is set to capitalise. Despite rarely being mentioned as such, Tupou is one of the best wingers in the NRL – if not the best. He’s a threat in the air and even more so under the new tackle laws. Underrated as a ball-runner and finisher, he’s going to go close if he receives the ball close to the line.
The aerial ability, ball-running and finishing used to apply to Corey Oates ($13 – Neds). Perhaps it still does? It’s just that we haven’t seen Oates score for ten games now. He’s not had a spell this long between meat pies in his 145-game career. His previous longest drought lasted six games (early 2014) and he was coming off the bench and playing in the backrow at the time. “He’s due” is no way to approach a bet, but he’s due..
With the Roosters expected to run up a score on the Broncos, Kyle Flanagan ($29 – BetEasy) becomes an option. He’s growing more comfortable in his role and is surrounded by superstars. With the likes of Joseph Manu and Brett Morris attracting attention outside him, Flanagan’s confidence could translate into a more willing running game and create try-scoring opportunities in the process.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Jamil Hopoate ($9,270), Lindsay Collins ($9,510), Boyd Cordner ($12,100)
Jamil Hopoate had a shocker last week. He couldn’t catch a cold with his three errors contributing to a disappointing 29.6 Draftstars points. However, it’s worth going back to the well on Hopoate at his $9,270 price. He’s going to be asked to make a lot of tackles at the very least.
Lindsay Collins impressed for his 42.3 points. Elevated into a starting role, Collins ran for 143 metres and made 27 tackles. He’s a value play at $9,510. However, that will need rethinking if Siosiua Taukeiaho is named when team lists are confirmed an hour before kickoff.
Up against a young Broncos pack, Boyd Cordner presents value at $12,100. Our prediction model projects the Roosters captain to score 48 points on Thursday night. He’s going to see plenty of action down the left side and is an excellent try-scoring candidate given Brisbane’s struggles defensively on the right edge.
DFS Fade: Jamayne Isaako ($9,770)
The Broncos are expected to be up against it in this one. The defending premiers looked the goods last week while the Broncos come in nursing more injuries. With that, Jamayne Isaako won’t have too many shots at goal and his kick returns will be brief. Projected to score just 32 points, look for value elsewhere.
Penrith Panthers v New Zealand Warriors @ Campbelltown Stadium
First Try-Scorer: Viliame Kikau – $15, Kurt Capewell – $29, Brian To’o – $9.50, Kodi Nikorima – $29
With so much of Penrith’s attack focused on Viliame Kikau ($15 – TopSport), he’s always going to be an option here. Blake Green, Gerard Beale and possibly Isaiah Papali’i will be tasked with manning the Warriors right side. None offer the sort of size to be confident in the trio shutting Kikau down.
Peta Hiku is out for the Warriors this week. That leaves Karl Lawton – a hooker – to defend in the centres. With Kodi Nikorima already a small defender that his teammates need to consider, Lawton adds another unconvincing wrinkle to the Warriors left edge defence. The size of Kurt Capwell ($29 – TopSport) and finishing ability of Brian To’o ($9.50 – Neds) look dangerous in this spot.
Should the Warriors get on the board, Kodi Nikorima ($29 – BetEasy) will more than likely have something to with it. He showed a willingness to engage the line last week. The little half is a good chance at sneaking through to score himself on Friday.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Viliame Kikau ($12,300), Kurt Capewell ($11,390), Adam Blair ($9,550)
Given the amount of work backrowers are asked to do within the Penrith attack and the try-scoring potential outlined above already, Viliame Kikau and Kurt Capewell are both worth considering at $12,300 and $11,390 respectively.
Don’t scoff, but Adam Blair also appeals at $9,550. His move into the middle paid dividends last week in the form of 42.2 Draftstars points and our predictive model projects the Kiwi international to back that up with another 39 points this week. His ball-playing ability opens things up for Blair as a prop. The threat of him passing the ball forces defenders the lay off and allows Blair to crawl up the field an extra few metres. Don’t be surprised to see him send a teammate through a gap at the line either.
DFS Fade: Matt Burton ($13,450)
Matt Burton burst into 2020 with 65.62 points last week, but our predictive model isn’t buying into the hype. He’s projected to score just 37 points on Friday. A whopping 31 points came through kicking metres last week. The 620 metres Burton kicked against the Knights is the most by any player this season. Expect a regression.
Melbourne Storm v South Sydney Rabbitohs @ AAMI Park
First Try-Scorers: Suliasi Vunivalu – $9.5, Jahrome Hughes $23, Felise Kaufusi – $29
The Storm are yet to score a try down their left edge leaving all of the value in their right side. Our predictive model has highlighted Suliasi Vunivalu ($9.50 – Neds), Jahrome Hughes ($23 – Sportsbet) and Felise Kaufusi ($29 – BetEasy) as value plays.
A disrupted Rabbitohs left edge defence only adds weight to the trio being involved in crossing the line. Hughes and Kaufusi, in particular, appeal with the likelihood they target an inexperienced Troy Dargan in the Bunnies halves.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Ryan Papenhuyzen ($12,260), Damien Cook ($15,800), Thomas Burgess ($9,250)
Ryan Papenhuyzen has been slow to start the 2020 season with a Draftstars average of 35.9 points, however, our predictive model projects the Storm fullback to score 49 points on Friday night. A possible beneficiary of a faster game and more quick play-the-balls, Papenhuyzen will be better for the 80-minute experiement under the new rules last week.
Meanwhile, few were surprised to see Damien Cook thrive behind a faster ruck last week. He ran for a season-high 94 metres to score an impressive 77.19 Draftstars points. While not projected to score quite that high, our predictive model has spied value in Cook’s 60 points at $15,800.
We’ve been waiting for Thomas Burgess to stand up and take charge of what is a relatively small Rabbitohs pack around him. While he’s not going to produce the numbers of his brother, Burgess has displayed some unfamiliar consistency throughout the opening three rounds. He’s cracked 100 running metres in all three games to average 130 metres per game this season (up from 122m in 2019), shown a willingness to offload, and is without an error in his last two games. Our predictive model suggests Burgess will continue with that consistency with a projection of 38 points for Friday night.
DFS Fade: Cameron Murray ($14,740)
Tipped to thrive more than most under the new rules, Cameron Murray got straight into his work with a try, try assist, line break, line break assist and 123 running metres for 73.3 Draftstars points last week. However, our predictive model projects a back-to-earth 60 points against a strong Storm side on Friday night. Likely to be a popular pick, fading him could prove a profitable move.