The Roosters were shock 19-18 losers and line up against the Cowboys on Friday night in Sydney before Manly, having been smashed by South Sydney in the qualifying final, meet the Bulldogs on Saturday night.
MANLY 24 – SOUTH SYDNEY 40
The Rabbitohs were rabid against Manly in the semi-final opener and have the week off as the NRL finals going into all-round knockout mode.
The 40-24 scoreline was flattering for the Sea Eagles after the Rabbitohs took their foot off the pedal with 20 minutes to go and the game well and truly over.
The Bunnies went to the break 22-0 up and kept the roll going in the second 40 to go to 40-0. The Sea Eagles were on the board after 64 minutes and ran in three more but the damage was done.
The Sea Eagles have another all-Sydney stoush ahead of them as they face the Bulldogs They now take on
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 18 – PENRITH 19
The Panthers, who shocked many by finishing the regular season in fourth, continued to punch above their weight with a thrilling win over the Roosters.
Jamie Soward was the hero in a much tighter affair that took 24 minutes for the first try to come to the Panthers, before the Roosters came to life through Michael Jennings and took a half-time lead of 6-4.
A piece of Shaun Kenny-Dowell brilliance stretched the margin but the Panthers hit back as their opponents had.
Mitchell Pearce’s gave the Roosters confidence they’d done enough, but the Panthers weren’t going anywhere and after a freakish try in the corner Soward slotted the conversion from the sideline.
The same maligned half-back knocked over the field goal from long range to snatch the win 19-18 and get a break this week.
NORTH QUEENSLAND 32 – BRISBANE BRONCOS 20
It was less dramatic in the all-Queensland elimination semi with the Cowboys comfortable 32-20 winners over Brisbane.
North Queensland scored fives to the Broncos’ four with Gavin Cooper bagging a double.
Johnathan Thurston was dead-eye as ever with the boot kicking six from six, while his Broncs counterpart Corey Parker could knock over just two from four attempts. .
MELBOURNE 4 – BULLDOGS 28
Canterbury were the last side to have their say on finals weekend one, dominating Melbourne on their own turf.
The Storm were uncharacteristically scrappy as the Bulldogs cashed in to take an 18-0 lead after 18 minutes and went to the break at 24-0.
The Storm’s only score came through Sisa Waqa six minutes into the second half, as Tim Lafai was loving finals footy, crossing for his third with five minutes on the clock and the game well won.
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