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The 2020 NRL finals were played over four weeks, concluding with the grand final on Sunday, October 25 at ANZ Stadium.
Melbourne won the premiership after defeating Penrith in the decider 26-20.
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.
First qualifying final: Penrith Panthers 29 def. Sydney Roosters 28
Penrith moved to the third week of the finals with a thrilling 29-28 win over the Sydney Roosters at Panthers Stadium. After conceding the first two tries of the game, the Panthers piled on 28 unanswered points to go well ahead, before the Roosters mounted a charge of their own. In the end, a late field goal from Nathan Cleary, who’d already scored three tries, sealed the deal – but not before a last-gasp try by Angus Crichton to make things interesting.
First elimination final: Canberra Raiders 32 def. Cronulla Sharks 20
Canberra progressed to the semi-finals after seeing off the Sharks at home. Despite a slow start to the match that saw them fall behind early and only get kept in it by Cronulla errors, the Raiders got a huge lift close to half time courtesy of a stunning George Williams try, before cruising in the second half to claim the 32-20 victory.
Second qualifying final: Melbourne Storm 36 def. Parramatta Eels 24
The Melbourne Storm locked in yet another preliminary final – their fifth in a row – by beating the Parramatta Eels by two converted tries. The Eels had raced out to a 12-0 lead only for the Storm to tie things up by halftime then streak clear in the second half.
Second elimination final: South Sydney Rabbitohs 46 def. Newcastle Knights 20
South Sydney overcame a lethargic start in their elimination final to end up cruising past the Newcastle Knights. Newcastle raced out to an early 14-0 lead, only for the Rabbitohs to pile on 46 unanswered as the Knights struggled to control the ball and make their tackles. With Souths’ win, it made 2020 the first season in eight years that the four higher-ranked teams all progressed to the second week of the finals.
First semi-final: Sydney Roosters 18 def. by Canberra Raiders 22
The Roosters’ dreams of a three-peat came to an end in thrilling fashion, with the Raiders racing out to a 16-0 lead and holding on late to produce a famous win and get revenge for their defeat in last year’s grand final. Josh Papalii, George Williams, Joseph Tapine and Jack Wighton all scored tries for the Green Machine.
Second semi-final: Parramatta Eels 24 def. by South Sydney Rabbitohs 38
The Rabbitohs doomed the Eels to a straight-sets exit in a wild and see-sawing semi-final. The Eels came into the match dogged by injury, and were rocked when Michael Jennings was stood down hours before kick-off following a positive doping sample. Parramatta got out to an 18-8 lead in the first half, but were helpless as the Bunnies piled it on in the second with four straight tries to seal it.
Second preliminary final: Melbourne Storm 30 def. Canberra Raiders 10
The Storm got off to a flying start against Canberra in their preliminary final and simply never looked back. Early tries to Jesse Bromwich, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Suliasi Vunivalu had Melbourne up 16-0 inside the first ten minutes, before a Cameron Smith penalty goal and another try to Justin Olam made it 24-0 before the half-hour mark. Nick Cotric crossed before half time to give Canberra a pulse, but Dale Finucane’s 62nd-minute try sealed the deal, making Cotric’s second mere consolation for the Raiders.
First preliminary final: Penrith Panthers 20 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 16
Penrith made it 17 wins in a row and got through to the grand final after seeing off South Sydney in a tense preliminary final. It was the Rabbitohs who’d take the early lead through and Alex Johnston try, but the Panthers hit back through Brian To’o and Tyrone May, before a Nathan Cleary penalty goal before half time made it 14-6 the minor premiers’ way. Dane Gagai struck first for Souths in the second half, but Dylan Edwards got Penrith back out by two scores. A late Corey Allan try made it interesting, but the Panthers held on.
Penrith Panthers 20 def. by Melbourne Storm 26
7:30pm (AEDT), Sunday, October 25, ANZ Stadium
Melbourne claimed their third premiership under Craig Bellamy, after dominating the first half before surviving a late fightback to lift the Provan-Summons trophy. Justin Olam got the scoring underway with a penalty try, before Cameron Smith added two penalty goals to make it 10-0. A great intercept try by Suliasi Vunivalu had Penrith on the ropes, before Smith made it 22-0 on the stroke of half time. Ryan Papenhuyzen, the Clive Churchill medallist, added another try early in the second half, but the Panthers mounted a late rally thanks to tries from Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton and Nathan Cleary. Cleary’s try came with just three seconds left, however, and the Panthers weren’t able to finish the miracle off the kick-off.