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The 2018 NRL finals got underway on the weekend of September 7, ending with the NRL Grand Final on Sunday, September 30 at ANZ Stadium in Homebush.
To stay up to date with all of the latest NRL post-season information, including the format, draw and results, look no further than The Roar’s guide to the NRL finals right here.
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Second Qualifying Final: Melbourne Storm 29 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 28
7:50pm AEST Friday 7 September, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm went through to a home preliminary final after a stunning victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs, scraping through by a single point thanks to a Cameron Munster field goal just three minutes from fulltime.
In one of the greatest games in recent memory, neither team was able to take control of the contest, with the lead changing hands all game long.
The Storm got away with it in the end, but they were far from perfect throughout the contest, making some defensive errors at times which let the Rabbitohs back into the game.
First Elimination Final: Penrith Panthers 27 def New Zealand Warriors 12
5:30pm AEST Saturday 8 September, ANZ Stadium
Penrith recovered from an early 12-2 deficit to end the Warriors’ season in the elimination final at ANZ Stadium.
The Warriors scored the first two tries of the match. The first was scored by hooker Issac Luke after he burrowed his way over from dummy half to score beside the posts in the 9th minute.
They were in again six minutes later when they ran the ball on the short side and some quick offloads put prolific winger David Fusitu’a over in the corner.
However, the Panthers scored 25 unanswered points to run out deserving 27-12 winners.
First Qualifying Final: Sydney Roosters 21 def Cronulla Sharks 12
7:40pm AEST Saturday 8 September, Allianz Stadium
Cooper Cronk delivered in his first NRL Finals appearance as a Rooster, playing an instrumental role as Sydney defeated the Cronulla Sharks 21-12 to move into a home preliminary final.
The Roosters came out of the blocks strongly at the start of the game, and while there wasn’t much in it, the Roosters found themselves with a six-point lead into the final ten minutes.
Cronk then stepped up, putting a field goal through to confirm the Roosters spot in the preliminary finals.
Second Elimination Final: Brisbane Broncos 18 def. by St George Illawarra Dragons 48
4:00pm AEST Sunday 9 September, Suncorp Stadium
The St George Illawarra Dragons stunned the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, racing away 30-point winners and overcoming a host of injuries to key players including five-eighth Gareth Widdop.
It was supposed to be the most straight-forward result of the weekend as the in-form Broncos took on the struggling Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.
However a hat-trick of first-half tries from Tariq Sims saw them rush out to a huge advantage at halftime, which they held onto despite the impact of mid-game injuries.
The Red V left the best until the last minute, rewarding their loyal fans as Zac Lomax raced away and kicked ahead for Matt Dufty who scored a scintillating try on the buzzer.
First Semi-final: Cronulla Sharks 21 def Penrith Panthers 20
7:40pm AEST Friday 14 September, Allianz Stadium
The Cronulla Sharks survived a serious scare from the Penrith Panthers to make their way into a preliminary final against the Melbourne Storm.
Heading into halftime at 18-0 up, the Sharks looked as if they were going to skip away with the victory, but a late resurgence from the Panthers brought them back level with just minutes on the clock.
A Chad Townsend field goal would end up saving the day for Cronulla though, putting them back in front by a point with just five minutes to go.
Second Semi-final: South Sydney Rabbitohs 13 def St George Illawarra Dragons 12
7:40pm AEST Saturday 15 September, ANZ Stadium
Three Adam Reynolds field goals have seen the Rabbitohs sink the Dragons 13-12 in an absolute classic at ANZ Stadium in front of over 49,000 fans.
Despite a brave effort, the Dragons fell short in the end after a bizarre last-tackle play saw them run it and hand over possession inside their own half.
Reynolds proceeded to kick his third field goal of the night with this one being the difference between the two teams.
Second Preliminary final: Melbourne Storm 22 def Cronulla Sharks 6
7:40pm AEST Friday 21 September, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm were dominant in their grand final qualifier as they booted the Cronulla Sharks from the competition.
Defensively outstanding, the Storm made them pay as Billy Slater ran on two tries against a fatigued-looking Sharks outfit, who simply didn’t stand a chance away from home in the Victorian capital.
The only blight on an otherwise perfect night for the Storm was a Grade 1 shoulder charge on Billy Slater, who will need to beat it at the judiciary if he is to play in the grand final.
First Preliminary final: Sydney Roosters 12 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 4
7:40pm AEST Saturday 22 September, Allianz Stadium
The Roosters became the second team into the NRL grand final with a defensively bruising effort against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in their cross-town rivalry.
The game failed to live up to its expectations in front of a sell-out crowd at Allianz Stadium, but the Roosters held their line all night, letting in just two penalty goals as they booked their spot in the decider.
Cooper Cronk will struggle to play the decider though after injuring his shoulder in the clash.
Grand Final: Sydney Roosters 21 def Melbourne Storm 6
7:20pm AEST Sunday 30 September, ANZ Stadium
The grand final saw the Sydney Roosters claim the premiership, defeating the Melbourne Storm in comprehensive circumstances.
They dominated the game from start to finish, despite playing with an injured Cooper Cronk.
The game was effectively over by halftime, with the tri-colours leading 18-0. A low-scoring second half saw them stay in front and hold the lead, only letting in a long-range intercept try.