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#thefinals: Nrl & Afl Blockbusters @anzstadium

James Conway

Stadium Australia is poised to host a series of NRL and AFL finals through September.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

In a fitting end to the NRL regular season, rugby league’s two oldest and fiercest rivals, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters, will battle it out for the minor premiership this Friday night (6 September) at Stadium Australia. The Rabbitohs are guaranteed a coveted Top-2 spot, and are expected to play at Stadium Australia in Week 1 of the NRL Premiership Finals Series, 13-15 September.

With 1st playing 4th and 2nd playing 3rd in the first week of the finals, where they finish and who they play depends on the outcome of Friday night’s game. The Rabbitohs currently sit in first place on 40 points ahead of the Roosters, who are in second on 38 points. A win or a draw for Souths on Friday night means they will finish in first place for the first time since 1989. A win for the Roosters will draw them level with Souths on 40 competition points but their superior points differential (87 more than Souths) means they will clinch first place.

Souths will face either Manly (3rd) or Melbourne (4th) in Week 1 of the finals series. Both teams are on 35 competition points but Melbourne – who play the Titans in Melbourne – will have to win by 20 points more than Manly – who play Penrith at Brookvale – next week if they are to overtake them into third place.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs secured a finals berth and the right to host a Week 1 Finals game with their win over the Penrith Panthers on Saturday night. The NRL is expected to confirm the Bulldogs will play their Week 1 NRL Finals match at Stadium Australia. 5th plays 8th and 6th play 7th in Week 1 of the NRL finals. The Bulldogs are currently in fifth place, equal with the Cronulla Sharks on 30 competition points but the Bulldogs have a superior points differential of 83 more than the Sharks.

The Bulldogs will play the Brisbane Broncos in Brisbane in their final round match while the Sharks play the Canberra Raiders in Canberra. If the Bulldogs win, they will all but secure fifth place but if the Bulldogs lose and the Sharks beat the Raiders, they will jump into fifth place ahead of the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs’ Week 1 Finals opponent depends on the outcome of this week’s Round 26 fixtures.

There are four teams vying for the last two spots in the top eight: Newcastle are currently in 7th on 27 competition points and face Parramatta at home next week, North Queensland are 8th (26 points & +48 points differential) and will play the Tigers at home, Gold Coast are 9th (26 points & -17 points differential) and will face Melbourne away while New Zealand are 10th (26 points & -50 points differential) and will play St George Illawarra away in their final regular season game.

Sydney Swans

The Sydney Swans will play Hawthorn (4th v 1st) in Melbourne this Friday night in Week 1 of the AFL Premiership Finals. Depending on that result, it is anticipated the Swans will return for a home final at Stadium Australia in Week 2 or Week 3 of the finals series.

If the Swans beat the Hawks on Friday night, they will go straight through and play a home Preliminary Final in Week 3. If the Swans lose against the Hawks they will play a home Semi-Final against the winner of the 5th v 8th Elimination Final between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues.

Please standby for confirmation of match dates, timings, opposing teams and for information surrounding event ticketing.

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