After painful defeats last week, Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs will hope to bounce back in the NRL semi-finals.

NRL Opta facts: Storm and Rabbitohs get second chances


Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs will each have a second opportunity to reach the NRL's preliminary finals in this week's semi-finals.

The Storm finished the regular season top of the ladder but were upset at home by Canberra Raiders in last week's qualifying finals.

The Rabbitohs likewise came up short as they were beaten by rivals Sydney Roosters, who advanced to the final four.

Melbourne must overcome Parramatta Eels, who enjoyed an outstanding 58-0 win over Brisbane Broncos in the elimination finals.

Manly Sea Eagles, having come past Cronulla Sharks, are next for the Rabbitohs.

We take a look at the key Opta facts behind the two huge fixtures in the NRL Finals this week.


Friday

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Manly Sea Eagles

- The past six NRL matches between the Rabbitohs and the Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium have seen each team pick up three wins, although the most recent three were all won by South Sydney.

- Manly have conceded 31 penalties in the NRL this season for being offside inside the opposition 10-metre zone, the joint-most of any team (also Newcastle Knights).

- The Rabbitohs' Damien Cook has gained more metres (1,862) scooting out of dummy-half than any other player this term, 320 more than the next best (Cameron Smith – 1,542).


Saturday

Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels

- The Storm have won seven of their past nine NRL matches against the Eels (L2), including the most recent three in succession. They have not won more consecutive matches against Parramatta since a four-match span across 2006 and 2007.

- The Eels have made the most offloads (343) of any team in the NRL this year, 125 more than Melbourne (218).

- Storm great Cameron Smith has kicked the most goals (102) of any player in NRL 2019. This has been the first NRL season of his 18-year career in which he has kicked 100 or more goals.



Super League matches called off

Snow leads to Super League postponements

Three Super League matches which were due to take place on Thursday and Friday have been called off or put back.


Smith undecided over future

Storm skipper Smith undecided over future

Cameron Smith is in no rush to decide whether he will play on in 2019 ahead of the new NRL season.


Wigan rally to beat Widnes

Wigan fight back to beat Widnes, two sent off as Hull defeat Warrington

Rampant Wigan Warriors scored six second-half tries to beat Widnes Vikings, while Warrington lost at Hull FC.


Slater ruled out of Storm's opener

Slater ruled out of Storm's NRL opener

Battling a shoulder injury, Billy Slater will miss Melbourne Storm's NRL opener against the Canterbury Bulldogs.


The 2018 NRL season in Opta numbers

Storm look to go back-to-back, Slater and Thurston set for milestones – the 2018 NRL season in Opta numbers

Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston are set to make their 300th NRL appearances this season.