Finals run-in - three rounds to go
Friday 17 August 2012 2:37 PM
Tonight’s two all-top-eight clashes provide a mouth-watering start to the third to last round of the NRL’s regular season.
Competition-leading Canterbury-Bankstown faces eighth-placed Wests Tigers in an eagerly-anticipated derby at ANZ Stadium while seventh-placed Brisbane meets second-placed Melbourne. Both games are due to start just after 9.30pm New Zealand time.
Should the Tigers and the Broncos both lose, they’ll be on edge to make the cut for the finals.
In Saturday’s two matches Canberra, sitting 10th on 24 points, hosts the 14th-ranked Sydney Roosters while the Cronulla Sharks, sixth on 27 points, are at home to third-placed South Sydney.
After the Vodafone Warriors, 13th on 20 points, and Penrith (15th on 16) clash on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time), Gold Coast will be hoping to climb to 24 points with a victory at home against bottom-placed Parramatta and Manly (fourth) is at home to Newcastle (ninth).
In the final match of the round St George Illawarra meets North Queensland on Monday night.
Here’s how the run-in looks with three rounds to go. Listed below are the matches left for all 16 teams (position, current points and points differential in brackets):
Bulldogs (1, 36 points, +194) – Tigers (h), Raiders (a), Roosters (h).
Storm (2, 32 points, +195) – Broncos (a), Sharks (a), Tigers (a).
Rabbitohs (3, 32 points, +90) – Sharks (a), Eels (h), Knights (a).
Sea Eagles (4, 30 points, +54) – Knights (h), Broncos (h), Titans (a).
Cowboys (5, 28 points, +120) – Dragons (a), Knights (h), Sharks (a).
Sharks (6, 27 points, +7) – Rabbitohs (h), Storm (a), Cowboys (h).
Broncos (7, 26 points, +38) – Storm (h), Sea Eagles (a), Panthers (h).
Tigers (8, 26 points, 0) – Bulldogs (a), Roosters (a), Storm (h).
Knights (9, 24 points, +2) – Sea Eagles (a), Cowboys (a), Rabbitohs (h).
Raiders (10, 24 points, -43) – Roosters (h), Bulldogs (h), Vodafone Warriors (a).
Titans (11, 22 points, -14) – Eels (h), Panthers (a), Sea Eagles (h).
Dragons (12, 22 points, -76) – Cowboys (h), Vodafone Warriors (h), Eels (a).
Vodafone Warriors (13, 20 points, -58) – Panthers (h), Dragons (a), Raiders (h).
Roosters (14, 19 points, -152) – Raiders (a), Tigers (h), Bulldogs (a).
Panthers (15, 16 points, -175) – Vodafone Warriors (a), Titans (h), Broncos (a).
Eels (16, 16 points, -182) – Titans (a), Rabbitohs (a), Dragons (h).