Finals Week 1

Big Pete

Big Pete

International Captain
Mar 12, 2008
Melbourne Storm vs. Manly Sea Eagles
Sunshine Coast Stadium, Friday 10 September 2021
Kick Off: 7:50pm


1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. George Jennings 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Isaac Lumelume 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane

14. Harry Grant 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 17. Nicholas Hynes

18. Aaron Pene 19. Tom Eisenhuth 20. Chris Lewis 21. Marion Seve


1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Aloiai 15. Karl Lawton 10. Martin Taupau 11. Haumole Olakau'atu 12. Josh Schuster 13. Jake Trbojevic

14. Dylan Walker 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 20. Curtis Sironen

9. Lachlan Croker 18. Toafofoa Sipley 19. Moses Suli 21. Tevita Funa

Sydney Roosters vs. Gold Coast Titans
Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Saturday 11 September 2021
Kick Off: 5:40pm


1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Adam Keighran 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Drew Hutchison 7. Lachlan Lam 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 15. Isaac Liu 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley

10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 14. Sam Walker 16. Egan Butcher 17. Fletcher Baker

18. Dale Copley 19. Ben Thomas
20. Ben Marschke 21. Naufahu Whyte


1. Jayden Campbell 2. Phillip Sami 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Corey Thompson 6. Tyrone Peachey 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui

14. Erin Clark 15. Sam Lisone 16. David Fifita 17. Jaimin Jolliffe

18. Sam McIntyre 19. Toby Sexton 20. Greg Marzhew 21. Anthony Don

Penrith Panthers vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs
Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Saturday 11 September 2021
Kick Off: 7:50pm


2. Stephen Crichton 20. Charlie Staines 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Matt Burton 5. Brian To'o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 18. Matthew Eisenhuth 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 17. Liam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Isaah Yeo

11. Viliame Kikau 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Tevita Pangai Junior

1. Dylan Edwards 8. Moses Leota 19. Izack Tago 21. Brent Naden


1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dane Gagai 4. Campbell Graham 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Mark Nicholls 9. Damien Cook 10. Tevita Tatola 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jaydn Su'A 13. Cameron Murray

14. Benji Marshall 15. Jacob Host 16. Thomas Burgess 17. Jai Arrow

18. Jed Cartwright 19. Braidon Burns 20. Lachlan Ilias 21. Patrick Mago

Parramatta Eels vs. Newcastle Knights
Browne Park, Sunday 12 September 2021
Kick Off: 4:05pm


1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Haze Dunster 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Ray Stone 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Marata Niukore 13. Nathan Brown

14. Will Smith 15. Bryce Cartwright 16. Isaiah Papali'i 17. Makahesi Makatoa

18. Ryan Matterson 19. Oregon Kaufusi 20. Tom Opacic 21. Jakob Arthur


1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Enari Tuala 3. Kurt Mann 4. Bradman Best 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Jake Clifford 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Mitchell Barnett 14. Sauaso Sue

13. Connor Watson 15. David Klemmer 16. Josh King 17. Brodie Jones

18. Phoenix Crossland 19. Jirah Momoisea 20. Simi Sasagi 21. Jack Johns


International Captain
Senior Staff
Apr 26, 2008
@The Don your favourite player is back.
Big Pete

Big Pete

International Captain
Mar 12, 2008
It's time to see if Melbourne can back up what they did last year and essentially book their way into the Grand Final. They've been the model of consistensy this season and they just seem to beat teams into opposition with Brandon Smith in particular doing an excellent job of providing space through the middle of the ruck. He's the best exponent of never playing the ball on the mark, an extra 2m everytime and the markers are never in play, a true marvel in the modern game.

The big test for Melbourne will be trying to limit Tom Trbojevic. Tom is going to have a say in the game, but they're going to have to physically bash him out of the game and try their best to put him off. I'd be interested to see if Bellamy takes a page out of the career of Paul Hauff and just tries to target Tom with lower trajectory kicks to turn him around. He can struggle in that department but whether Munster or Hughes can exploit it remains to be seen.

I think Melbourne will cause too much havoc around the ruck and on the edges. The opening twenty minutes is going to be crucial, if Manly can muscle up and take the lead Melbourne will second guess themselves and they won't have the composure to get back into it.

I thought after the Newcastle game, the Titans season was over and they had to look forward to Season 2022 and getting the next generation ready. However they got a second chance and took it with both hands to book their place. It's a credit to them but now they've got to make it count. They can't afford a Broncos 2019 style appearance, they actually have a fair shot of winning this game IF their young forwards like Fa'asuamalueai and Fifita fire. I'm really curious to see how they play because for both teams I get the sense that making the finals was the goal.

Around the time Bennett arrived, Souths Sydney were a ticking time bomb. They were a good team, but they had three senior players who needed to be moved on and they needed to land suitable replacements. To Bennett's credit he did land those signings and Souths were able to remain a good side but they never quite got to that next level. This was a team that on paper many thought would be the premiers but they just have such a soft underbelly and they find themselves in the finals without the one player who could potentially swing it their way in Latrell Mitchell.

I would go as far to say that Latrell at South Sydney has been a disappointment. In 2020 he really struggled at fullback to the point where they had to have a reserve fill in for him and he's been far too selfish in 2021. He's spent nearly half the season on the sidelines through his own ill discipline and even when he has returned he doesn't do enough of the hard work.

The form of Mitchell to me is a microcosm of Souths in 2021. He's clearly a great talent and one of the best players to watch but he's not performing to potential. I think they're a clear step behind Penrith who are my picks to win this entire competition.

I think Newcastle have less business being in the finals than the Titans honestly. A few arsey wins, a pretty lenient draw covered up a pretty disappointing year that never got going. With the Eels it just seems like the same ol song where they start the season white hot only to get exposed later on. I think they would still take that kind of season considering 2018 wasn't that long ago but they need to start bringing up more players from their own system. I just get the sense that they have too many 'value' mercenary types in their team when they really need a few star players.

Regardless I'm looking forward to it and all the inevitable controversy.


Just a Game
Aug 28, 2010
If Manly are ever going to beat Melbourne it will be now. They’ve been a bit shaky since Paps returned and although they still managed wins in most cases, they were far below their usual high standards. I am sure that will change now it’s finals time and they’ll tear through the finals without competition. Tonights game will be an exciting one though.


NRL Captain
Jun 3, 2013
I hate the Storm so much I'll be backing Manly....................euuugghhhhh I feel so dirty.


International Captain
Forum Staff
Sep 6, 2013
I won't be watching of course but it would be cool if there ended up being a retro style all in brawl.


International Rep
Jul 28, 2016
Newcastle look the worst team in the finals this year and I expect Parra to account for them pretty easily.

I give the titans a decent chance of winning, because roosters just look like they should be out of troops... the issue for the titans will be having to travel. They have been playing out of GC bar the last game since we went into a bubble... I'm not sure how everything is working at the moment but if it's a FIFO arrangement I could see them struggling.

Roosters weakness is in defence... that have obvious targets in Sam Walker/Lam and Verrils.... I think hooker is their biggest issue, but I cannot see why they are going Lam over Walker. I think Lam has been pretty poor the last few weeks that he's been starting and Walker coming on against the dragons was a catalyst for them winning.

Real danger game for roosters, but I think their mentality will be stronger than the titans. There's a real chance GC get overawed by the occasion trying to treat it as a normal game and get run over by the roosters... or they come out hard and heavy only to be repelled by the rooster and then eventually concede.

Panthers should deal with rabbits fairly easily, who will then win week 2 and go out against Manly or Storm in the prelim... so I'd say rabbits season is pretty well done.

I think storm will win tonight... it happens a few times where they come into a finals series somewhat out of form only to blitz the opposition and look like nothing ever happened. The conditions tonight could be a telling factor, I've noticed Sunny Coast ground to be quite dewy for the 8.00pm games... so could be a grind it out style, which wont suit Turbo... I suspect Melb will pressure DCE... he looks vulnerable at rushing defence based on his origin form so if Melb can cut down his time it could be hard to get it to Turbo, dewy conditions would assist Melbourne in that regard as well.

It all just seems a drawn out inevitability that leads to Melb vs Manly/Penrith in the GF
Harry Sack

Harry Sack

State of Origin Captain
Forum Staff
Jun 12, 2013
john travolta GIF

Am I alone in watching this game?
Harry Sack

Harry Sack

State of Origin Captain
Forum Staff
Jun 12, 2013
That was a line double movement for mine. Considering it was sent up as no try...

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