NRL Opta facts: Smith poised to break new ground in Townsville

Cameron Smith is just two points shy of becoming the joint-highest points scorer in NRL history ahead of the Storm's clash with the Cowboys.

A trip to Townsville should see Cameron Smith make history as the Melbourne Storm look to continue their dominance of the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 5 of the NRL.

Smith is just two points shy of becoming the joint-leading points scorer in NRL history ahead of Friday's encounter between the unbeaten leaders and the second-bottom Cowboys.

The Storm are the only side with a perfect record following a defeat for South Sydney Rabbitohs at Manly Sea Eagles last weekend. 

Gold Coast Titans, on the other hand, are the solitary side without a victory and they will aim to get up and running when they do battle with Penrith Panthers on Friday.

We take a look at the next round of fixtures with the help of Opta data.

 

THURSDAY

Brisbane Broncos (1-3) v Wests Tigers (2-2)

- The Broncos have won eight of their last nine NRL games against the Wests Tigers; the outlier was a 19-18 loss in Round 12, 2016.

- Despite not crossing in Round 4, Broncos flyer Corey Oates has scored 13 tries in his last eight NRL games.

 

FRIDAY

Gold Coast Titans (0-4) v Penrith Panthers (2-2)

- The Titans have lost their last four NRL games against the Panthers, with their last two clashes at Cbus Super Stadium ending in one-point defeats for the home side.

- The Panthers' starting outside backs have made 56 per cent (35/63) of their team's errors this season, the highest percentage of any side.

North Queensland Cowboys (1-3) v Melbourne Storm (4-0)

- Smith needs three points to surpass Hazem El Masri's record tally of 2,418 in the Premiership. The skipper has tallied 28 points across his previous three games against the Cowboys.

- Melbourne have won their last seven regular-season games against North Queensland. Their last defeat to the Cowboys in the regular season came in Round 4, 2015.

 

SATURDAY

South Sydney Rabbitohs (3-1) v New Zealand Warriors (2-2)

- The Bunnies have won seven of their last eight NRL games against the Warriors, six of the victories coming by 16 points or more.

- The Warriors have made eight line breaks per game this season, one more per game than any other team in the competition.

 

Newcastle Knights (1-3) v Manly Sea Eagles (2-2)

- The Knights have made 30 quick play-the-balls per game this NRL campaign, seven per game more than any other side in the competition.

- Daly Cherry-Evans is set to play his 200th NRL game as Manly attempt to avoid a third consecutive loss at the hands of Newcastle.

 

Cronulla Sharks (2-2) v Sydney Roosters (3-1)

- Sydney's Mitchell Aubusson has made 93 tackles in NRL 2019, the most of any player who is yet to miss an attempt this campaign.

- The Roosters - on a run of three victories in a row - have won their last two NRL games at Shark Park.

 

SUNDAY

St George Illawarra Dragons (2-2) v Canterbury Bulldogs (1-3)

- Bulldogs centre Kerrod Holland has made 17 offloads this NRL campaign, four more than any other player.

- The Dragons have won their last two NRL games by a margin of just one point; only once in the NRL era has any team won three consecutive games by a singe point (Canterbury in 2014).

 

Canberra Raiders (3-1) v Parramatta Eels (3-1)

- The Raiders are on an eight-game winning streak in the NRL against Eels at GIO Stadium. Parramatta have not won in the capital since 2006.

- Parramatta's Clinton Gutherson has been directly involved in seven tries this NRL season (2 tries, 5 try assists), more than any other player.