Sunday 5 September 2010

NRL Finals Series: Playoff Matchups for Week One 2010

Playoff Matchups - Week One

|=| Manly open door for Bunnies but Dragons slam it shut.

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NOT The Footy Show Episode 38

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St.George-Illawarra claimed their 2nd straight Minor Premiership - Dragons Kyle Stanley, Nathan Fien & Neville Costigan enjoy the spoils... the J.J. Giltinan Shield. (Photo courtesy @RealBigDell
Round 26 of the Regular Season concluded tonight at WIN Jubilee Stadium as the Minor Premiers St.George-Illawarra Dragons blew the South Sydney Rabbitohs away in the 1st half en route to a 38-24 win. Although Manly lost to Canterbury this afternoon 30-24 - the Bunnies just couldn't force their way in through the playoff door because the Dragons were just too good.

Despite St.George-Illawarra resting Jamie Soward, Dean Young, Ben Hornby, Jeremy Smith & Trent Merrin), Souths still needed to win by 5 points or more to relegate Manly to also-ran status in 2010.

It didn't happen.

St.George-Illawarra played arguably their best half of football in all of 2010 and 26-6 at halftime meant the game and the season was all over for the Bunnies.

Manly breathe easy... but now must go to Kogarah on Sunday Afternoon in order to stay alive for more than just another week.

For More of this Article click the link below...

This shouldn't have been a try because of a clear knock forward but Jamie Lyon's try didn't get Manly across the line - but the Dragons win over Souths did.
Here are the Matchups for Week One of the 2010 Finals.

On Friday Night September 10 - the 4th Seeded Gold Coast Titans will host the 5th Seeded Warriors at Skilled Park. The Titans secured a home final after beating the Wests Tigers 21-18 on Friday Night. The Warriors defeated the Eels 26-12 on Saturday to move to 5th.
The Warriors are going back to the dance...

On Saturday Night September 11 - the 3rd Seeded Wests Tigers will play the 6th Seeded Sydney Roosters... at the Sydney Football Stadium. For financial reasons the Tigers decided not to play their Home Final at Leichhardt Oval and as a result - the Sydney Roosters will play from their home venue despite finishing 6th after defeating the North Queensland Cowboys 18-8 in Townsville.
Canberra cut the Broncos season short for the first time in 19 years

The 2nd Seeded Penrith Panthers will host the Canberra Raiders in the second Saturday Night game at CUA Stadium on September 11 after crushing the Sharks 50-12 last night. The Canberra Raiders secured their playoff berth with a 18-16 win over the Broncos on Friday Night and they secured 7th spot - when the Bulldogs beat Manly 30-24 at Brookvale Oval.

And with tonight's result the St.George-Illawarra Dragons will play the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles on Sunday Afternoon September 12 at WIN Jubilee Stadium. A game that may see the Sea Eagles fielding a host of new players due to injury & suspension issues coming out of the Canterbury game. While the Dragons will recall a host of starting talent.
The 2010 NRL Minor Premiers - The St.George-Illawarra Dragons (photo courtesy @RealBigDell
In the other game today at AAMI Park, the Melbourne Storm beat the Newcastle Knights 34-4, in a game that has no bearing on the competition table, but the Storm sent their departing crew out with a victory.

Here's a summary of the Round 26 Results so far:
Raiders 18 def. Broncos 16; Titans 21 def. Tigers 18; Warriors 26 def. Eels 12; Panthers 50 def. Sharks 12; Roosters 18 def. Cowboys 8; Storm 34 def. Knights 4; Bulldogs 30 def. Sea Eagles 24; Dragons 38 def. Rabbitohs 24.

So here are the Finals Matchups for Week One.

1st Qualifying Final
8:00pm Friday Night @ Skilled Park
First Preview 5/9: The Titans will be sweating on the fitness of Scott Prince (shoulder), Preston Campbell (hamstring) and to a lesser extent Luke Bailey (thumb - not expected back yet) as they play host to the surging Warriors. With a home final at Skilled - the Titans won't be without significant support but the Warriors have been outstanding in the second half of the season and are well and truly capable of causing an upset - even if Prince, Campbell & Bailey play.
Injury Update via SMH 6/9: Prince & Campbell should play but Bailey is joined by Steve Michaels & Brad Meyers as serious doubts. The Warriors should get Micheal Luck back from a leg gash for Jesse Royal, while Ian Henderson is a chance to come in for Alehana Mara.
Early Tip 5/9: Going with the Warriors on the road right now.

2nd Qualifying Final
6:30pm Saturday Night @ Sydney Football Stadium
First Preview 5/9: Without doubt the most anticipated game of the First Week as both teams won't hold back with their attack. But this game will be decided by the team that can stand up defensively to the attacking raids launched. Injury concerns for both teams but the health of Nate Myles will have a gigantic impact on this result.
Injury Update via SMH 6/9: The Tigers will name Liam Fulton & Bryce Gibbs but neither are certainties to play. Wade McKinnon is highly unlikely to play while Geoff Daniela is considered a better chance. Chris Lawrence is out until the Preliminary Final at the earliest and neither Tim Moltzen or Taniela Tuiaki will play in 2010. For the Roosters, Nate Myles is the biggest injury concern with a slight quad strain while Daniel Conn will return from suspension. Jake Friend, Mose Masoe & Anthony Minichiello will be named but assessed later in the week.
Early Tip 5/9: If there's a team that can run with the Tigers it is the Roosters but sticking with the Tigers for now.

3rd Qualifying Final
8:30pm Saturday Night @ CUA Stadium
First Preview 5/9: Penrith and Canberra play their game up the middle and given both packs are gigantic - this will be the most physical clash of the First Week. Canberra come into this game with 8 wins from their last 9 games, while the Panthers put together a 3 match winning streak heading into the Finals. Penrith will get Luke Lewis back but will Luke Walsh or Lachlan Coote be alongside him? Because Petero Civoniceva won't be due to suspension. A golden opportunity for the Raiders to spring an upset if they hold the ball.
Injury Update via SMH 6/9: Penrith get Luke Walsh & Luke Lewis back from injury but Petero Civoniveca is suspended and Lachlan Coote is unlikely to play. Canberra get Trevor Thurling back on the bench, Travis Waddell has a jaw problem but Alan Tongue is long odds to return from a calf injury.
Early Tip 5/9: Toss a coin here... both sides will fancy their chances and right now - I can't split them.

4th Qualifying Final
3:30pm Sunday Afternoon @ WIN Jubilee Stadium
First Preview 5/9: The Dragons were far too good for South Sydney on Sunday Night - and like Manly will be this coming Sunday, the Bunnies were playing for their season. St.George-Illawarra will recall up to five regular squad members in Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby, Jeremy Smith, Dean Young & Trent Merrin from their one week rest - further strengthening a team that was irresistible in the 1st half against Souths. Manly have injury & suspension issues coming out of their loss to the Bulldogs and look like no hope of extending their 2010 season longer than the 80 minutes of football this Sunday.
Injury Update via SMH 6/9: St.George-Illawarra will name all 5 players who were rested v Souths. Beau Scott will hear today if he has been charged for his late hit on Chris Sandow. Michael Weyman & Mark Gasnier were both given early marks but no injuries were reported. Manly have Kieran Foran, Anthony Watmough & Brent Kite in doubt with injury, while Jason King, Steven Matai and Chris Bailey are facing judiciary charges for high tackles. King must beat a charge in order to avoid a week's suspension, Bailey will get off with an early plea but Matai faces up to 9 weeks on the sidelines if he challenges his charge and loses. Manly are in deep poop.
Early Tip: The Dragons look like certainties.
For fans of teams who are done in 2010... better luck next year.

For fans of teams who made it to the Big Dance in 2010... Good Luck!

Who is your pick to contest the Grand Final?

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