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Manly and South Sydney will brush off late-season disappointment when they meet in the NRL finals opener at Allianz Stadium on Friday.

The Sea Eagles blew their chance to finish the season on top of the ladder when they were convincingly beaten by North Queensland, handing the regular season honours to Sydney Roosters on points difference.  

The Rabbitohs final-round loss to the Roosters ended their hopes of an elusive honour. 

In the other qualifying final, the Roosters meet Penrith at Allianz Stadium on Saturday after locking up fourth and ending the Warriors season with a 22-6 in the last round. 

The losers of each game will get a second bite at the cherry against the winners of the elimination finals, which have thrown up two enticing match-ups. 

In a dream derby for the NRL, the Cowboys host the Broncos at 1300Smiles Stadium in Townsville on Saturday.

On Sunday, Melbourne have the home advantage against the Bulldogs, who ended their regular season with a golden point extra-time loss to the lowly Titans. 

FINAL 2014 NRL LADDER

Sydney Roosters 36

Manly Sea Eagles 36

South Sydney Rabbitohs 34

Penrith Panthers 34

North Queensland Cowboys 32

Melbourne Storm 32

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30

Brisbane Broncos 28

----

New Zealand Warriors 28

Parramatta Eels 28

St George-Illawarra Dragons 26

Newcastle Knights 24

Wests Tigers 24

Gold Coast Titans 22

Canberra Raiders 20

Cronulla Sharks 14

Image via Getty


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NRL finals: Sea Eagles host Rabbitohs and Rooster face Panthers in week one
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