Monday 26 September 2011

NRL Finals 2011 - Week 3 Winners and Losers + Team of the Week + Results Blog

Here on during the Semi Finals we will feature the Winners and Losers of each semi final week and the Team of the Week. Feel free to post your thoughts below.
The Sea Eagles will play the Warriors in the 2011 Grand Final!
Check out the Finals Week 3 Findings below...
Listen to the Preliminary Finals Review Podcast with Matt and Warrick.

NOT The Footy Show Episode 87
- Preliminary Finals Review Released September 26, 2011 -
Right Click Save Target As This Link if you don't have iTunes.
Manly will play the Warriors in the Grand Final on October 2nd - but how did they get there? Here is the Preliminary Finals Review Podcast recapping Manly 26 Brisbane 14 and Warriors 20 Melbourne 12.
Join Matthew Duncan and Warrick Nicolson on Episode 87 as they dissect the Preliminary Finals, discuss referees for the Grand Final, the NRL Jokediciary farce involving Williams, Matai and yes Cameron Smith, the way the Warriors and Manly keep playing footy, Shaun Johnson's emergence, Daly Cherry-Evans' brilliance, Brisbane's poor start and just how rattled were Melbourne?
Our Grand Final Show has lined up Wendell Sailor, Kevin Campion and Andy Raymond - with the cast of regulars - and that will be out Wednesday September 28.
1st Preliminary Final Result - Week 3
7:45pm (Local) Friday 23 September @ Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney. 
LINE: Broncos +8.0 GAME STATS CROWD: 31,894
Tries: Matt Ballin 4min, Will Hopoate 11min, Brett Stewart 20min, Will Hopoate 47min, Kieran Foran 58min.
Goals: Jamie Lyon 3/5 Attempts.
Tries: Jharal Yow Yeh 30min, Peter Wallace 52min, Dale Copley 72min.
Goals: Corey Parker 1/3 Attempts.
Quick Game Recap: Manly are the first team into the 2011 Grand Final with a commanding 26-14 victory over the Lockyer-less Broncos at the SFS. Daly Cherry-Evans is the star as Manly blitz the Broncos early and never relinquish their lead.
NRL Tweet Player of the Finals Points:
4pts - Daly Cherry-Evans (MAN), 2pts - Anthony Watmough (MAN), 1pt - Jamie Lyon (MAN).
Sea Eagles advance to Grand Final against Warriors next Sunday.

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Brisbane Broncos
2nd Preliminary Final Result - Week 3
7:45pm (Local) Saturday 24 September @ AAMI Park, Melbourne.
LINE: Warriors +7.5 GAME STATS CROWD: 28,580
Tries: Sika Manu 5min, Beau Champion 35min.
Goals: Cameron Smith 2/2 Attempts.
Tries: Bill Tupou 12min, James Maloney 16min, Lewis Brown 77min.
Goals: James Maloney 4/4 Attempts.
Quick Game Recap: The Warriors dominate the 2nd half to pin Melbourne down in their own end and then some Shaun Johnson magic finishes them off late, moving the Warriors into the GF with a 20-12 win.
NRL Tweet Player of the Finals Points:
4pts - Shaun Johnson (WAR), 2pts - Manu Vatuvei (WAR), 1pt - Jacob Lillyman (WAR).
Warriors advance to Grand Final against Sea Eagles next Sunday.

Melbourne Storm
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Ivan Cleary - Showed up at the Week 1 presser in disbelief... he couldn't believe his team had been so poor against the Broncos. But in the last two weeks he's seen his team hang with the Tigers and get home late, then totally outplay the Storm for the final 40 minutes. He's looking like a genius a fortnight after looking bewildered. Funny game Rugby League.
Des Hasler - From the outside looking in he made some big adjustements to the Manly attacking style over the course of the off-season and the return has been sensational. Manly are one of the best teams to watch play footy now and even typing that makes me feel dirty. But it is undeniable - Manly play a great brand of football.
Steven Matai, Tony Williams and Cameron Smith - All avoided suspension for things that would have been (sorry should have been - it's the Jokediciary after all) scruitinised much more during the regular season. Matai should've faced the panel (but also should have got off), Williams was charged to the point where he wouldn't get suspended and Smith avoided suspension for an elbow that a niff nuff would've got 3 or 4 weeks for. So they are all definitely winners for avoiding any time off.
Shaun Johnson - Yes the try he set up for Lewis Brown was a sight to behold but it was his long kicking game in the second half that won the game for the Warriors. His kicking game pinned Melbourne deep insider their own half time and time again and the defence backed him up. Then he stepped up and bamboozled the Storm to send the Warriors into the Grand Final.
Manly's Recruitment Staff - Daly Cherry-Evans vs Trent Hodkinson. It was a shock to hear that Manly had let Hodkinson walk to the Dogs midway though last year but NOT The Footy Show's spy in Brisbane - Matthew Duncan - assured us that DCE had the goods. And he's been even better than advertised. Manly backed the kid from Queensland and that belief was evident before 2011 even began.
Cherry-Evans told the Sunshine Coast Daily in June, 2010 after he signed a new three year deal that "I’d like to think that I’m next in line (for the Manly halfback spot). If they go elsewhere for anyone else I’ll be disappointed in the club."
They didn't let him down, and he certainly hasn't let them down.
Feleti Mateo, Krisnan Inu and Joe Galuvao - will play their second Grand Final in three seasons... a better record than any other players in the NRL. Mateo and Inu walked away from the Eels for greener pastures (evidently Parramatta didn't try extremely hard to keep them) at the end of 2010 and the Warriors have now taken advantage of their exceptional talent and made a Grand Final. Mateo has been one of the best players in the competition all season long, while Inu's flashes of brilliance have boosted the Warriors in September. Joe Galuvao was considered washed up before he joined Parramatta in 2008 but he's now got a chance to play in his third decider as a player. Now they all get a chance to be on the winning team two years after the heart-break of 2009 - and at least one of them will finish with a title.
Melbourne Storm - Missed a chance to make it five Grand Finals in six seasons (2006-2011). Despite their indiscretions the game hadn't seen a run like that since Canberra made four Grand Finals in five seasons from 1987-1991. The Minor Premiership is a nice accomplishment for a team that lost so much talent in the off-season but the fire in their belly to redeem themselves just a year after having two titles stripped, may have been snuffed out in dramatic fashion at the hands of the Warriors. Couldn't find the big play when they needed it - mainly because the Warriors didn't give them half a chance the entire second half. They don't like losing in Melbourne - and this chance at another title was one the club would have thought they would have taken with both hands.
NRL Jokediciary - No one is surprised that Steven Matai and Tony Williams are free to play in the Grand Final. But the decision not to charge Matai in particular makes a mockery of any minor charges the NRL dishes out during the season. People could have accepted a low charge and a subsequent beating of that charge at the judiciary on Tuesday/Wednesday but to not charge him at all was inconsistent. What he actually did wasn't all that terrible but with 12 or so previous charges and plenty of 'nothing' charges on the NRL Jokediciary's hands already in 2011 - he had to at least be seen to be punished. Even if (as he should have been) he beat the charge. Williams was never going to be charged heavily given a low grade charge would see him avoid suspension due to a good record... and Smith well - it sadly looks a lot like - see no evil, hear no evil, because he's a real star of the game. If a niff nuff does that elbow on Kevin Locke (heck if it had been Matai) - there's a serious suspension coming down.
Cooper Cronk - Apart from a couple of decent kicks, an absolute non-factor in the game. The Warriors found a way to minimise his impact and it appears starving the Storm of field position is the key. A great player who had a bad night... and unfortunately for Cronk - neither Cameron Smith or Billy Slater had big enough nights themselves to make up the difference.
Boring Rugby League - Can we take the sign that the Warriors and Manly are in the Grand Final that boring footy might finally be starting to drift away from the game at the NRL level? While both Manly and the Warriors play out their sets for the end result of a kick - they keep playing footy within those sets and this was never more evident than in the Warriors final two sets of the game when their inside-20m sets were all out attack (despite being in the lead) while Melbourne's two previous inside-20m sets were simply 'get to the kick and hope' sets. Bring back Rugby League the way it should be played - Manly probably deserve the most credit as they have truly played attacking footy in almost every game this year.

Who were your winners and losers for Week 3? Comment below.
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  1.  Kevin Locke, Warriors
    Makes the Warriors dangerous in every set. Runs the ball back, supports, chimes in to the backline, operates out of dummy half... he's playing great and not surprisingly the Warriors are now in a Grand Final because of it.
  2.  Manu Vatuvei, Warriors 
    Barnstorming night for the at times maligned winger. His performance in Week 1 is light-years from his last two weeks - his one out running against Melbourne was incredibly effective.
  3.  Jamie Lyon, Sea Eagles
    Came up with three or four key plays that influenced the final results. 'Grass' is in great form for Manly and his second half of the season has been some of his best football ever.
  4.  Beau Champion, Storm
    Finished his short Storm career with his best game of the season. Hit every half gap at pace and was rewarded with the try that drew Melbourne level nearing halftime.
  5.  Will Hopoate, Sea Eagles
    Finished two tries in the manner that made him a NSW Blue in Origin 2. And he finished with the same class in that game too. Outstanding on kick-returns as well.
  6.  Kieran Foran, Sea Eagles
    Sterlo put it best after Foran scored his try - 'if you put yourself in the right position enough times in a big game, good things will happen'. His try put the result beyond doubt.
  7.  Daly Cherry-Evans, Sea Eagles
    Even though NOT The Footy Show crowned him Rookie of the Year in early June we didn't think by the end of the season he'd be one of the best players in the game already. Wow, what a night.
  8.  Joe Galuvao, Sea Eagles
    The old head has stepped into the absence left by injured skipper Jason King and the Sea Eagles have barely missed a beat. Another Grand Final is a great reward for his perseverance.
  9.  Matt Ballin, Sea Eagles
    Scored the first try (but perhaps Galuvao's play the ball was more than just a little suspect) but once again was the glue in the middle and gave crisp service for his halves.
  10.  Jacob Lillyman, Warriors
    The tank kept the field position party rolling in the second half with some tough runs. Gets another chance at the big stage after flunking his Origin 1 test.
  11.  Anthony Watmough, Sea Eagles
    The 'Human Turnstile's' opening 20 minutes was an exhibition in hard running to get his team over the advantage line. Manly's skill might have had them up 16-0 on the scoreboard but Watmough's running was a huge factor early.
  12.  Simon Mannering, Warriors
    Was a real handful on the right edge in the second half for the Storm. Deserves credit as captain for inspiring his team to a Grand Final when they were on their knees two weeks ago.
  13.  Micheal Luck, Warriors
    Willed the Warriors to a Grand Final. Now can he produce another sensational pass to go with 40 tackles in the decider and will them to a Premiership?
  14.  Shaun Johnson, Warriors
    You could watch his step and spin and off-load all day long it was that good (and it sealed the game), but his kicking game in the second half was superb.
  15.  Kevin Proctor, Storm
    The best Melbourne forward on the field. Kept trying to spark his team but the game was played in the wrong end for too long for the Storm.
  16.  Feleti Mateo, Warriors
    Cleary's gamble to bench him at the start was just that as the Warriors fell behind early but were up 12-6 by the time he came on. Just imposes himself on the match like few others.
  17.  Ben Matulino, Warriors
    A weapon off the bench for the Warriors in every game during the Finals. Peaking at the right time.
    Honourable Mentions: Justin Hodges, Broncos; Matt Gillett, Broncos; Sam Rapira, Warriors; Lewis Brown, Warriors; Bill Tupou, Warriors; James Maloney, Warriors; Sika Manu, Storm; Tony Williams, Sea Eagles; Vic Mauro, Sea Eagles; Peter Wallace, Broncos; Ben Te'o, Broncos; Corey Parker, Broncos.
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NRL Finals Week 4 Schedule: Grand Final
GF1 Sunday October 2 @ ANZ 5:15pm.
 #2 SEA EAGLES $1.50 v $2.60 #6 WARRIORS  
Line: Warriors +6.0  Match and Ticket Information GAME STATS
Winners takes out 2011 Premiership. Storm, Broncos, Tigers, Dragons, Cowboys and Knights are all eliminated.
Toyota Cup Grand Final:
NSW Cup Grand Final:
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Our Grand Final Podcast will feature Wendell Sailor, Kevin Campion, Andy Raymond and all our regulars - predicting the 2011 Grand Final in a way never seen before.
Not even our Prelim Finals Pitch and Putt Special is as unique as our technique to find the 2011 Premiers!
It will be on iTunes and this website on Wednesday.

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1st Elimination Final: Friday @ SFS
Tries: James Maloney 26min, Feleti Mateo 49min, Lance Hohaia 66min, Krisnan Inu 78min.
Goals: James Maloney 3/4 Attempts.
Tries: Keith Galloway 14min, Benji Marshall 21min, Robbie Farah 35min.
Goals: Benji Marshall 4/4 Attempts.
CROWD: 27,109
What the result means: Warriors advance to Preliminary Final with Melbourne, Tigers eliminated.
2nd Eliminartion Final: Saturday @ Suncorp
Tries: Ben Te'o 15min, Dale Copley 67min.
Goals: Corey Parker 2/4 Attempts, Darren Lockyer 1 Field Goal.
Tries: Adam Cuthbertson 55min, Darius Boyd 78min.
Goals: Jamie Soward 2/2 Attempts.
CROWD: 48,474
What the result means: Broncos advance to Preliminary Final with Manly, Dragons eliminated.
1st Qualifying Final: Friday @ ANZ
Tries: Benji Marshall 4min, Beau Ryan 47min, Chris Heighington 66min.
Goals: Benji Marshall 4/5 Attempts. Benji Marshall 1 Field Goal.
Tries: Mitch Rein 17min, Jason Nightingale 23min.
Goals: Jamie Soward 2/4 Attempts.
CROWD: 45,631
What the result means: Tigers will have a home semi in Week 2 against the Warriors, Dragons avoided elimination when the Warriors were beaten and will play the Broncos in Week 2.
2nd Qualifying Final: Saturday @ Suncorp
Tries: Alex Glenn 15min, Jack Reed 28min, Darren Lockyer 35min, Corey Parker 51min, Andrew McCullough 70min, Justin Hodges 73min, Gerard Beale 76min.
Goals: Corey Parker 6/8 Attempts.
Tries: Feleti Mateo 59min, Manu Vatuvei 67min.
Goals: James Maloney 1/2 Attempts.
CROWD: 48,943
What the result means: Broncos will have a home semi in Week 2 against the Dragons, The Warriors will play the Tigers after avoiding elimination.
3rd Qualifying Final: Saturday @ SFS
Tries: Will Hopoate 48min, Brett Stewart 57min, Anthony Watmough 63min, Brett Stewart 70min, Jamie Buhrer 74min, Will Hopoate 76min, Matt Ballin 79min.
Goals: Jamie Lyon 6/6, Michael Robertson 1/1 Attempt.
Tries: Willie Tonga 27min.
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 2/2 Attempts.
CROWD: 13,972.
What the result means: Manly will 'host' a Preliminary Final at the SFS or ANZ in Week 3. Cowboys are eliminated as one of the two lowest seeded losers in Week 1.
4th Qualifying Final: Sunday @ AAMI
Tries: Matthew Duffie 14min, Beau Champion 28min, Sika Manu 36min.
Goals: Cameron Smith 3/4 Attempts.
Tries: Kurt Gidley 64min, Akuila Uate 67min.
Goals: Kurt Gidley 0/2 Attempts.
CROWD: 14,800.
What the result means: Melbourne advance to Week 3 with a home preliminary final, the Knights are eliminated.

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Will be announced on the Grand Final Episode 88 Podcast

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This year not only do you get The NRL Tweet's Tips each week but the whole NOT The Footy Show team will have their picks listed by Thursday so you can back a smoky or a favourite by seeing who we all picked (or didn't pick). Truthfully there is no perfect formula but here's a vital tip to help you cope with the copious amounts of NRL Tipping Comp's
TOTAL AFTER 26 ROUNDS - 115/192 @ 59.9%
The NRL Tweet finished with 125 correct tips from 192 Games in 2010 at a strike rate of 65%.

All Tipsters need to tip with the start/line in mind. So if a team is +7.5 then if they pick the other team, that side must win by 8 points or more to get the tip correct (if it is +2.0 then the other side must win by 3 points). Starts for each game are based on Thursday's Line - as listed in the matchups at the top of the preview.
Warrick Nicolson, The NRL Tweet + NTFS Host
Broncos +8.0
Storm -7.5
0/2 | FINALS 3/8
| SEASON 115/192
Nic McInerney, NTFS Co-Host
Sea Eagles -8.0
Storm -7.5
1/2 | FINALS 2/8
| SEASON 134/192
Matt Duncan, 101.5 FM's SportsFever
Broncos +8.0
Warriors +7.5
1/2 | FINALS 5/8
| SEASON 120/192
DC Chapman, NTFS Co-Host
Sea Eagles -8.0
Warriors +7.5
2/2 | FINALS 4/8
| SEASON 127/192
Maria Tsialis, Big League Magazine
Broncos +8.0
Storm -7.5
0/2 | FINALS 1/8
| SEASON 112/192
Eyes, The Kid Who Sees All
Sea Eagles -8.0
Warriors +7.5
2/2 | FINALS 5/8
| SEASON 99/192

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