Monday's Expert - 2021 NRL Round 1

NRL2021

Monday's Expert is here for the first time in 2021 - with the full results from NRL Round 1, along with Match Review charges, LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Year leaderboard, injury news, crowd and TV ratings info.

All listed times are AEDT (NSW/VIC/ACT).


RELATED: See the full list of 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Draw and Results.


Round 1 NRL Results

Melbourne Storm 26
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18

Venue: AAMI Park
Crowd: 11812
Date: Thursday 11 March 2021 at 8:05pm

MELBOURNE STORM (26)
Tries: Cameron Munster, Ryan Papenhuyzen (2), Justin Olam
Conversions: Ryan Papenhuyzen (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Ryan Papenhuyzen (2/2)

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (18)
Tries: Alex Johnston (2), Latrell Mitchell
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (3/3)

No match review charges from this game


Newcastle Knights 32
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 16

Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Crowd: 19555
Date: Friday 12 March 2021 at 6:00pm

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (32)
Tries: Daniel Saifiti (2), Mitchell Barnett, Starford To'a, Bradman Best
Conversions: Mitchell Barnett (4/5)
Penalty Goals: Mitchell Barnett (2/2)

CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS (16)
Tries: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (2), Adam Elliott
Conversions: Kyle Flanagan (1/2), Nick Meaney (1/1)

Canterbury's Nick Cotric has been issued a fine for a Grade 1 Careless High Tackle on Starford To'a. The base penalty is $1500 however with a non-similar prior offence (+20%), that goes up to $1850 for Cotric. With an early plea he can reduce it to $1350. UPDATE: Cotric takes the early plea. $1350 fine.


Brisbane Broncos 16
Parramatta Eels 24

Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Crowd: 28313
Date: Friday 12 March 2021 at 8:05pm

BRISBANE BRONCOS (16)
Tries: David Mead, Xavier Coates (2)
Conversions: Jamayne Isaako (2/3)

PARRAMATTA EELS (24)
Tries: Reed Mahoney, Clinton Gutherson, Blake Ferguson, Junior Paulo
Conversions: Mitchell Moses (4/4)

No match review charges.


Warriors 19
Gold Coast Titans 6

Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Crowd: 3771
Date: Saturday 13 March 2021 at 3:00pm

WARRIORS (19)
Tries: Bayley Sironen, Kodi Nikorima, Leeson Ah Mau
Field Goals: Chanel Harris-Tavita (1/1)
Conversions: Kodi Nikorima (3/3)

GOLD COAST TITANS (6)
Tries: Corey Thompson
Conversions: Jamal Fogarty (1/1)

Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors) was charged with Grade 1 Tripping after a 46th minute incident with Patrick Herbert. He is looking at a $1500 fine which can be reduced to $1150 with an early plea. UPDATE: Harris-Tavita takes the early plea. $1150 fine.


Sydney Roosters 46
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4

Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Crowd: 15097
Date: Saturday 13 March 2021 at 5:30pm

SYDNEY ROOSTERS (46)
Tries: James Tedesco (3), Sitili Tupouniua, Brett Morris (3), Angus Crichton, Josh Morris
Conversions: James Tedesco (0/2), Siosiua Taukeiaho (4/5), Adam Keighran (1/2)

MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (4)
Tries: Reuben Garrick
Conversions: Reuben Garrick (0/1)

Three Roosters were charged from this contest.

Back rower Angus Crichton is facing suspension from a Grade 1 Crusher Tackle on Taniela Paseka in the 36th minute. The base penalty of 200 points goes up to 240 with a 20% increase due to Crichton's non-similar prior. There's also 5 carryover points to add. He's facing 245 points (2 matches) if guilty, or 1 match from 185 points if he enters an early plea. UPDATE: Crichton takes the early plea. Suspended 1 match, with 85 carryover points accrued.

Jake Friend has been issued a fine for a Grade 1 Contrary Conduct charge on Martin Taupau. The base penalty is $1500 but with a non-similar prior offence (+20%), that goes up to $1850. With an early plea he can reduce it to $1350. UPDATE: Friend takes the early plea as well, $1350 fine.

Last up is Jared Waerea-Hargraves, who's copped a Grade 1 Contrary Conduct charge for a 44th minute incident involving Curtis Sironen. The $1500 base penalty kicks up to $2100 for JWH given 2 non-similar prior offences. An early plea takes it down to $1600. UPDATE: JWH takes the early plea as well, $1600 fine.


Penrith Panthers 24
North Queensland Cowboys 0

Venue: Panthers Stadium
Crowd: 14077
Date: Saturday 13 March 2021 at 7:35pm

PENRITH PANTHERS (24)
Tries: Kurt Capewell, Brian To'o, Dylan Edwards, Isaah Yeo
Conversions: Nathan Cleary (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Nathan Cleary (1/1)

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (0)

No match review charges.


Canberra Raiders 30
Wests Tigers 12

Venue: GIO Stadium Canberra
Crowd: 15680
Date: Sunday 14 March 2021 at 4:05pm

CANBERRA RAIDERS (30)
Tries: Jordan Rapana (2), Ryan James, Hudson Young, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Conversions: George Williams (4/4), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (0/1)
Penalty Goals: George Williams (1/1)

WESTS TIGERS (12)
Tries: Jacob Liddle, David Nofoaluma
Conversions: Luke Brooks (2/2)

No match review charges.


St George Illawarra Dragons 18
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 32

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Crowd: 7636
Date: Sunday 14 March 2021 at 6:15pm

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (18)
Tries: Mikaele Ravalawa, Adam Clune, Matthew Dufty
Conversions: Zac Lomax (3/3)

CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (32)
Tries: Ronaldo Mulitalo, Josh Dugan, Will Kennedy (2), Aaron Woods
Field Goals: Matt Moylan (0/1)
Conversions: Chad Townsend (5/5)
Penalty Goals: Chad Townsend (1/1)

Two Sharks charged - Jesse Ramien is facing 3-4 weeks for a Grade 1 Reckless High Tackle on Matt Dufty in the 18th minute. It carries a base penalty of 400pts, which is four matches if he's found guilty at the judiciary or enters a no contest plea. An early guilty plea would reduce it to 300pts, a 3 match suspension. UPDATE: Ramien has taken the early plea. He will miss three games and be eliglble to play again in Round 5.

Aiden Tolman picked up a fine for a Grade 1 Contrary Conduct charge on Mikaele Ravalawa in the 27th. He can contest and if he loses cop $1500, or reduce it to $1150 with an early plea. UPDATE: Early plea for Tolman and the fine is $1150.


RELATED: Click here to view the current NRL Telstra Premiership ladder.


Injury report

The weekend started with Tom Burgess (Rabbitohs) having significant concerns after a shoulder or neck injury in Thursday's season opening loss to Melbourne. Newcastle pair Kurt Mann - knee - and Bradman Best - ankle - could both miss game time.

Friday night's game saw concerns for Matt Lodge who injured his hamstring, and he looks like missing 2-3 weeks. Xavier Coates and John Asiata meanwhile will be assessed for their fitness after injuries to the neck and shoulder. So far they look likely to play.

Euan Aitken (Warriors - ankle) is in some doubt for his side's home game against Newcastle on Friday.

Kieran Foran (Manly - cork) should back up next Saturday after picking up an injury against the Roosters. Jake Friend (HIA) and Adam Keighran (wrist) weren't as lucky from the Tricolours.

Cody Ramsey limped off with an ankle complaint in the Dragons' loss to Cronulla on Sunday night but coach Anthony Griffin later indicated it wasn't a serious injury.

On the way back

Players listed below could be returning as soon as Round 2, whether from injury or suspension!

Broncos - Jesse Arthars, Dale Copley
Raiders - Jarrod Croker
Sharks - Royce Hunt, Siosifa Talaki
Titans - Sam McIntyre
Storm - Brenko Lee
Eels - Marata Niukore, Ray Stone
Rabbitohs - Liam Knight
Warriors - Kane Evans, Jack Murchie, Jackson Frei
Tigers - Adam Doueihi


LeagueUnlimited Player of the Year standings

Our writers issue points every game for who they judge as the best player on the field. Below is the running tally for the season..

3 points - James Tedesco (Roosters), Nathan Cleary (Panthers), George Williams (Raiders), Will Kennedy (Sharks), Reed Mahoney (Eels), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors), Daniel Saifiti (Knights), Ryan Papenhuyzen (Storm)

2 points - Hudson Young (Raiders), Isaah Yeo (Panthers), Chad Townsend (Sharks), Tui Kamikamica (Storm), Luke Keary (Roosters), Tyson Frizell (Knights), Bayley Sironen (Warriors), Blake Ferguson (Eels)

1 point - Toby Rudolf (Sharks), Addin Fonua-Blake (Warriors), Jai Arrow (Rabbitohs), Ryan James (Raiders), Brian To'o (Panthers), Siosiua Taukeiaho (Roosters), Connor Watson (Knights), Isaiah Papali'i (Eels)


Metrics Metrics Metrics

Each week we'll also do our best to keep you across the crowd figures and TV ratings which are often the most talked-about parts of the game. 

Crowds - Round 1

Melbourne Storm (26) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (18)
Thu 11 Mar 8:05PM at AAMI Park (Crowd: 11812)

Newcastle Knights (32) v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (16)
Fri 12 Mar 6:00PM at McDonald Jones Stadium (Crowd: 19555)

Brisbane Broncos (16) v Parramatta Eels (24)
Fri 12 Mar 8:05PM at Suncorp Stadium (Crowd: 28313)

Warriors (19) v Gold Coast Titans (6)
Sat 13 Mar 3:00PM at Central Coast Stadium (Crowd: 3771)

Sydney Roosters (46) v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (4)
Sat 13 Mar 5:30PM at Sydney Cricket Ground (Crowd: 15097)

Penrith Panthers (24) v North Queensland Cowboys (0)
Sat 13 Mar 7:35PM at Panthers Stadium (Crowd: 14077)

Canberra Raiders (30) v Wests Tigers (12)
Sun 14 Mar 4:05PM at GIO Stadium Canberra (Crowd: 15680)

St George Illawarra Dragons (18) v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (32)
Sun 14 Mar 6:15PM at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium (Crowd: 7636)

Total attendance: 115,941
Round 1 average: 14,493

Ratings - Round 1

STV ratings (Foxtel)

Thu 8:05pm MEL v SOU - 487K
Fri 6:00pm NEW v CBY - 221K
Fri 8:05pm BRI v PAR - 313K
Sat 3:00pm WAR v GLD - 170K
Sat 5:30pm SYD v MAN - 233K
Sat 7:35pm PEN v NQL - 265K
Sun 4:05pm CAN v WST - 259K
Sun 6:15pm SGI v CRO - 226K

Round 1 STV total: 2.022m (up 16.27% on Round 1 last year)

FTA ratings (Nine Network)

Thu 8:05pm MEL v SOU - 748K (479K metro, 269K regional)
Fri 8:05pm BRI v PAR - 657K (408K metro, 249K regional)
Sun 4:05pm CAN v WST - 417K (243K metro, 175K regional)

Round 1 FTA total: 1.822m