Wed, Sep 6, 10:22am by Staff Writer
It is that time of year again, Finals footy as ever promises to bring all the action and intensity of the NRL, with an added knockout rugby league bonus. The top four have the added security of a second chance should they lose this week but no one will want to play an extra game of such physical combat. Positions in the top eight went right down to the wire on the final weekend with the Dragons just missing out after their loss to Canterbury.
Sydney Roosters v Brisbane Broncos, Allianz Stadium, Friday September 8, 7:55pm AEST
The second placed Sydney Roosters will take on the Broncos in the opening clash of the Finals on Friday night. These two sides have met twice in 2017 already producing two memorable clashes, although one was for all the wrong reasons for the Roosters.
They were comprehensively beaten by the Broncos 32-8 all the way back in Round 6. Sydney did get some revenge beating them on home soil by two points in a close contest. So, it is one win a piece between these two heading into the Finals with little to separate them on form.
Bet of the Match: Sydney to Win by 1-12 points at $3
Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels, AAMI Park, Saturday September 9, 4:10pm AEST
Of all the places to go Parramatta would not have wanted to make the trip south to take on the Storm. Despite beating Melbourne on home soil already this year, the Eels will know that it will be a completely different task this time.
The last clash came in the midst of the Representative season meaning the Storm were severely undermanned, missing many of their stars. A brief look over Melbourne’s last three matches will highlight the potency of the Storms attack. Scoring 44, 64 and 32 points to close out the season.
They are a side in incredible form and are duly priced at $1.22 with William Hill in contrast to the Eels at $4.30. Any hope for Parramatta will come from their own form especially their stunning 52-34 victory against Brisbane at Suncorp.
Bet of the Match: Melbourne to Win by 1-12 points at $3
Manly Sea Eagles v Penrith Panthers, Allianz Stadium, Saturday September 9, 7:40pm AEST
Manly and Penrith meet again just one week after their last Round clash. A game in which the Sea Eagles exerted their dominance crushing the Panthers, 28-12. Both sides had been looking over their shoulder with the Dragons closing in on the top eight with plenty of math to be done ahead of the game to figure out who would make it.
In the end, this result suited both sides despite the big loss for Penrith. The action will now move to Allianz Stadium with the Panthers looking to bounce back. These two sides will have no second chance and must make it all count on Saturday. Manly are favourites with William Hill at $1.65 and Penrith are priced at $2.25.
Bet of the Match: Manly to Win by 1-12 points at $3
Finals Week 1 Odds: (William Hill)
Sydney Roosters $1.60 v Brisbane Broncos $2.35 Line: 4.5
Melbourne Storm $1.22 v Parramatta Eels $4.35 Line: 12
Manly Sea Eagles $1.60 v Penrith Panthers $2.35 Line: 4.5
Cronulla Sharks $1.35 v North Queensland $3.20 Line: 8
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