THE NRL is finally back and we’re excited to roll out our new partnership with RLE for the upcoming season.

With an unprecedented amount of data that you won’t find elsewhere we’re confident in creating a consistent edge for our followers to beat the market and secure long-term profit over the course of the 2019 season.

First up we’re locking in an early price in this intriguing Friday night fixture between the Knights and Sharks up at Hunter Stadium.

Both teams have plenty of new faces on board and while the Sharks offseason has been as tumultuous as the NRL as a whole there’s no denying the talent on board for 2019.

Moving Matt Moylan back to fullback will work wonders for the team and player, while the combination play of Shaun Johnson and Chad Townsend has already shown some early promise for the Shire men.

The only weakness in that Cronulla squad right now is in the second-row while Wade Graham remains out but if Briton Nikora and Kurt Capewell can step in and produce the hard work up front the talent in the backs will have this side pushing for a top 4 spot come the end of the season.

Looking at this match up, the Knights certainly have an upgrade in talent themselves but they simply don’t match up as well with the Sharks as they will with other teams this season.

While it was only a trial match, we did see Cronulla come out comfortable 30-6 winners when these sides met in Maitland a couple weeks ago and the concerns for Newcastle are that they won’t have things sorted in time for this meeting.

Moylan was sublime in the no. 1 jersey and despite the Knights wanting an improved effort on defence they were opened up far too easily and often, while their attack simply didn’t look the part with Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce failing to produce behind a forward pack that was simply outworked.

While we don’t like to put much emphasis in trial games it’s certainly worth noting that the result falls in line with the dominance that Cronulla have had over their Round 1 opponents in seasons gone.

Looking at the markets, the price available on the Sharks is far too inviting and the implied chance of winning based on their $1.99 price (50.5%) is well short of our valuation for them.

Our projections have the visitors winning 63% of the time, giving them a projected market price of $1.60; leaving us with a nice edge on the market.

RLE Stats & Facts

  • Easy Prey: Since 2015, the Sharks have outscored the Knights 277 (49 tries) – 96 (16 tries). They’ve outscored the Novocastrians 162 (28 tries) – 56 (9 tries) at Hunter Stadium.
  • Happy Hunting Ground: Since 2015, the Sharks have won the metre differential by an average of 409 metres per game at Hunter Stadium.
  • Stop the Run: Throughout their dominance, the Sharks renowned ruck control has afforded them elite line speed, meeting the Knights at just 5.68 metres from the play the ball – giving up almost a metre less than what the Knights defence has afforded the Sharks in that period.
  • What weakness? A lot has been made of the Sharks needing to replace Wade Graham and Luke Lewis but their new edge players only need to replace 16% of the teams total defensive workload and 8% of all touches.
  • 3 is better than 2: Matt Moylan at fullback truly provides an extra playmaker for Cronulla. He gets his hands on the ball 37.5% more than the league average for fullbacks and 57% more than Valentine Holmes averaged in the no. 1 jumper.

Tip: Cronulla Sharks @ $1.99 (Betfair)