NRL fans are undoubtedly in heaven as the NRL Finals are officially underway. The first week has been contested and it was fantastic. The week kicked off with the Gold Coast Titans and the New Zealand Warriors. While both teams were going into this one with great momentum and confidence, it was the Titans that were too strong in the end.
It was a tight decision that came down to the last quarter before the Titans were able to secure the 28-16 win. Thanks to a big play at the 64th minute from William Zillman in which he threw his body on top of a dropped Warriors ball. The play turned out to be the turning point that the Titans needed as it allowed Kevin Gordon to blaze down the sideline to score the game winning try.
This game was followed by another nail-biter when the Wests Tigers visited the Sydney Roosters on Saturday afternoon. The match between these two evenly matched Top 8 teams went into golden goal for the first time in NRL Finals history, lasting 100 minutes before being decided by an amazing play by Sydney’s Shaun Kenny-Dowall. The centre made an interception followed by a 60-metre run that secured the win in front of the home crowd. It was the perfect finish to a game that saw the Roosters rally in the second half led by Todd Carney.
The Penrith Panthers and Canberra Raiders followed in the second NRL Finals match held on Saturday. It was an upset that had fans across the nation on the edge of their seats as the Raiders held on to take the two-point win. Thanks to a missed kick from Michael Gordon, the Raiders will remain in the competition with their record setting sixth straight victory. This also marks the first time the green machine has won a Finals game since 2000.
Finally, the St George Dragons capped the first week of the NRL Finals off with a huge shutout win over the Manly Sea Eagles. Some may criticise the dominating Dragons for taking it easy in this qualifying final, but it was a smart move. Not only were they able to secure a week 2 break while allowing no goals from the opposition, but they were also able to save their strength for later NRL Finals rounds that should prove to be more of a test. Unfortunately for the Sea Eagles, this marks the end of their 2010 NRL Finals run.
It was a big week for punters who backed the winning teams at Ladbrokes.com.au, but the following weeks should be even bigger as this Top 8 is whittled down to two deserving potential champions. Don’t forget to check out all of the best NRL Finals odds online.
NRL Finals Week 1 Results:
|10/09/10||Gold Coast Titans – 28||New Zealand Warriors – 16|
|11/09/10||Sydney Roosters – 19||Wests Tigers – 15|
|11/09/10||Penrith Panthers – 22||Canberra Raiders – 24|
|12/09/10||St George Dragons – 28||Manly Sea Eagles – 0|