Fri, Aug 15, 10:43am by Rob Sheeley
THE St. George Illawarra Dragons will have history against them when they travel to the nation’s capital on Saturday afternoon to tackle the Canberra Raiders.
It has been 14 long years since the men in the red V have been able to register a win in Canberra and it has become the NRL’s longest hoodoo.
The Raiders are traveling poorly in 2014, but that has not stopped them from causing upsets in the corresponding match in years gone by.
Two men who will be integral to the outcome of the match are the goal kickers, Jarrod Croker and Gareth Widdop.
AustralianGambling will look at the “most points scored” between those two for this match.
Jarrod Croker (Raiders) – $1.72
Gareth Widdop (Dragons) – $2.10
Jarrod Croker has had a sensational season in 2014 for the Canberra Raiders. The lanky, free-running centre sits second on the point-scoring ladder for the entire NRL despite his team being in 15th place.
Croker has appeared in 20 matches and scored an incredible 16 tries as well as kicking 49 goals. That means the 23-year-old has a total of 162 points at 8.1 per match.
He has proven to almost be a lone beacon for the Green Machine this year and they will rely heavily on his contributions again this week.
Gareth Widdop has also shown himself to be a worthy acquisition for the St. George Illawarra Dragons this season. The English international has only scored three tries but has equalled Croker in the goal kicking department with 49.
In total, the 25-year-old five-eighth has scored 113 points at 5.65 per match.
There are two key factors that point towards Jarrod Croker in this market. His ability to score tries and his far superior goal-kicking strike rate.
While both players have landed 49 goals in 2014, Croker has taken just 59 attempts to do so at a success rate of 83.05%. Gareth Widdop’s 49 have come from 73 attempts at a mere 67.12%.
The fact that Croker has scored 13 more tries than Widdop means the pendulum swings heavily in his favour. There is a good chance that he could still out-score Widdop in a losing team based on those stats.
In a nutshell, Widdop is more a creator of tries than a scorer of them. When it comes to try assists in 2014, the two players try scoring statistics are reversed. Widdop has set up 16 four-pointers to Croker’s three, but that counts for little in this market. What it does tell us is that Croker is the obvious choice.
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