Monday 27 September 2010

2010 NRL Finals: Preliminary Finals Results - Roosters 32 def. Titans 6 + Dragons 13 def. Tigers 12

|=| NRL Preliminary Finals Results 2010

1st Preliminary Final
Friday 24/9 @ Suncorp Stadium:
2nd Preliminary Final
Saturday 25/9 @ ANZ Stadium:

Roosters to face Dragons in 2010 Decider...

And then there were two... after one good and one great Preliminary Final - last year's Wooden Spooners will meet the back-to-back Minor Premiers in the 2010 NRL Grand Final at ANZ Stadium next Sunday at 5pm.

In Brisbane, the Titans have blown another opportunity in September after failing to back their talent against a Roosters side that did just that - the final scoreline of 32-6 was not so much an indication of the difference in talent between the two teams, rather the USE of the talent on offer. In the end the team that was willing to play football above percentages - the Roosters - emerged with a comprehensive 32-6 win. The Roosters have the best playmaking trio in the competition in Todd Carney, Braith Anasta & Mitchell Pearce and Coach Brian Smith is letting them play like few coaches in the NRL are willing to do.

In Sydney 71,000 fans witnessed a great semi final with the Dragons getting back into a Grand Final for the first time since 1999 with a 13-12 victory over the Wests Tigers. Sadly there was one non-call by the officials that will haunt the Tigers this off-season when St.George-Illawarra forward Jeremy Smith led with his knees attempting to 'tackle' Lote Tuqiri... this left the Tigers winger in serious pain and despite numerous replays showing conclusive evidence that Smith had made no attempt to tackle Tuqiri with anything other than his cocked knees... the officials failed to act when the importance of the game demanded that they show some backbone.

They didn't and from the next play Benji Marshall (who may have been taking a shot at penalty goal from 40m out) hoofed his clearing kick out on the full and from the next set Jamie Soward fired the Dragons into the Grand Final with a quality field goal from 35m out.

What made the call so crucial was the fact that the non-call with 8 minutes left essentially ended the Tigers chances of scoring again before the end of regulation but more importantly - offered the Dragons their first chance at a field goal - which Soward was good enough to take.

Make no mistake - this is not a suggestion that the Dragons didn't deserve to win the game or that they wouldn't have won the game anyway - but the non-call definitely denied the Tigers their chance at winning the game.
The huge crowd was treated to a brilliant semi final... again soured by a terrible display by the officials who would have been forced into an 8 point try scenario had Smith's knees been inflicted when Tuqiri was in the act of scoring a try...

Food for thought...

So next Sunday - the Roosters who have played the best pure football this year (yes better than the Tigers) will take on the Dragons - a team who deny the opposition that chance of playing football better than anyone else - in the 2010 Decider.

Who do you like for the Premiership?
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1st Preliminary Final
8:00pm Friday Night @ Suncorp Stadium
TRIES: Sam PERRETT 2 (11m & 24m), Daniel CONN (49m), Braith ANASTA (63m) & Frank-Paul NU'UAUSALA (80m)
GOALS:  Todd CARNEY 6/6 Attempts

TRIES: William ZILLMAN (19m)
GOALS: Scott PRINCE 1/1 Attempt
NRL Tweet Player of the Finals Votes:
4 - Todd CARNEY, Roosters
2 - Braith ANASTA, Roosters
1 - Sam PERRETT, Roosters
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2nd Preliminary Final
8:00pm Saturday Night @ ANZ Stadium
TRIES: Jeremy SMITH (28m) & Jason NIGHTINGALE (50m)
GOALS: Jamie SOWARD 2/2 Attempts + Jamie SOWARD 1 Field Goal (74m)
TRIES: Lote TUQIRI (17m) & Robert LUI (36m)
GOALS: Benji MARSHALL 2/2 Attempts
NRL Tweet Player of the Finals Votes:
4 - Robbie FARAH, Tigers
2 - Jason NIGHTINGALE, Dragons
1 - Lote TUQIRI, Tigers
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Qualifying Finals - Week 1
10/9 QF1 Friday Night: Gold Coast Titans 28 def. Warriors 16. (Titans will have Home Preliminary Final; Warriors eliminated.)
11/9 QF2 Saturday Night: Sydney Roosters 19 def. Wests Tigers 15 (Roosters will have Home Elimination Final; Tigers need Dragons to beat Sea Eagles to survive.)
11/9 QF3 Saturday Night: Canberra Raiders 24 def. Penrith Panthers 22 (Raiders will have Home Elimination Final; Panthers will have Away Elimination Final.)
12/9 QF4 Sunday Afternoon: St.George-Illawarra Dragons 28 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 0 (Dragons will have Home Preliminary Final, Sea Eagles eliminated.)
Elimination Finals - Week 2
17/9 EF1 Friday Night: Wests Tigers 26 def. Canberra Raiders 24 (Tigers to Preliminary Final; Raiders eliminated)
18/9 EF2 Saturday Night: Sydney Roosters 34 def. Penrith Panthers 12 (Roosters to Preliminary Final; Panthers eliminated)
Preliminary Finals - Week 3
24/9 PF1 Friday Night: Sydney Roosters 32 def. Gold Coast Titans 6. (Roosters to Grand Final; Titans eliminated.)
25/9 PF2 Saturday Night: St.George-Illawarra Dragons 13 def. Wests Tigers 12 (Dragons to Grand Final; Tigers eliminated.)

Follow the NRL Finals via The NRL Tweet.