Big scores dominated Round 9 of the 2021 NRL season as the Panthers and Storm distanced themselves from the rest of the contenders. Meanwhile, Tom Trbojevic inched closer to James Tedesco in the fullback rankings.

Thursday Night Thrashing

Even with the injuries Wayne Bennett and the South Sydney Rabbitohs were forced to deal with, nobody saw the Melbourne Storm hanging 50 points on them.

Josh Addo-Carr had a field day on the left edge as he ran in six tries throughout the rout. Most notably, the Rabbitohs copped the ‘no team has won the premiership after conceding 50 points in a game that season’ treatment as the jokes flew post-game.

The Storm are still working their way into this season but looked destined to make another NRL Grand Final. They’re on the second line of betting at $4 to win it.

Panthers Punish Sharks

The Penrith Panthers are on a different level to everybody else in the NRL right now.

A routine 48-0 hammering of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks sees the Panthers remain unbeaten and the premiership odds order unchanged.

Nathan Cleary is on fire as he directs an excellent Panthers pack around the park. In good ball, Cleary and Jarome Luai pick the defence to pieces before throwing a punch. Left or right, it doesn’t matter, Penrith have weapons across the field and are using them at will at the moment.

They’re now into $3 in the Premiership Winner market.

Canberra Raiders Faders

The infamous Canberra Faders are back after Ricky Stuart’s men dropped another 16-point lead, this time to the Newcastle Knights.

Stuart couldn’t hint at blaming the officials on this occasion. Instead, his side fell asleep and failed to finish the job as the Knights scored 24 unanswered points to take the chocolates.

It’s Canberra’s fifth consecutive defeat which drops them all the way down to 11th on the NRL ladder. Those concerns about their place in the Top 8 last week have only grown after Round 9. Josh Hodgson is out and a handful of injuries have made things difficult. Still, the Raiders should be better.

Their clash against the 16th-placed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs next week all of a sudden comes with a lot of pressure…

Tom Trbojevic Is #1

We might need to start having serious conversations about the fullback position and who is at the top of the list after Tom Trbojevic tore the New Zealand Warriors to pieces on Sunday afternoon.

2 Tries
5 Line Breaks
3 Line Break Assists
4 Try Assists
8 Tackle Breaks
197 Running Metres

Everything Trbojevic touched seemed to turn into points. The Warriors left edge, in particular, had no answers for the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles attack as the Trbojevic brothers linked up to repeatedly break through the line.

The fullback position is stacked at the moment. New South Wales might have four fullbacks in their side for Game 1 of the State of Origin series at this rate. While James Tedesco is still the assumed best #1 in the NRL, Trbojevic is pushing him hard.

NRL Against The Spread Standings

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs remain at the bottom of the NRL’s ATS ladder after failing to get close to covering their +10 line on Sunday evening. Meanwhile, the Storm did it easily in their 50-0 rout of the Rabbitohs. They’ve covered the spread by almost nine points every week.

After Round 9

Top 8
Bottom 8
Storm (8-1)Broncos (4-5)
Eels (8-1)Titans (4-5)
Rabbitohs (6-3)Cowboys (4-5)
Roosters (5-4)Knights (4-5)
Panthers (5-4)Warriors (3-6)
Dragons (5-4)Tigers (3-6)
Sea Eagles (5-4)Raiders (2-7)
Sharks (5-4)Bulldogs (1-8)