THEY are two season-defining games across two codes at Stadium Australia – Swans v Hawthorn on Friday 30 August and Rabbitohs v Roosters on Friday 6 September.
Dual premiership Sydney Swans legend Jude Bolton will say an emotional farewell as he laces up for his final regular-season game against competition front-runners Hawthorn at Stadium Australia on Friday 30 August.
With the Swans in fourth and the Hawks in first, it could be a preview to week one of the AFL finals as the Swans look to end the regular season on a positive note.
Then it’s first versus second as the South Sydney Rabbitohs tackle bitter rivals the Sydney Roosters in arguably the biggest NRL match of the year on Friday 6 September at Stadium Australia.
The Canterbury Bulldogs will also tackle the Penrith Panthers on Saturday 31 August with the Panthers needing a win to keep their top eight aspirations alive.
Here are the games that will define the season for the Swans, Wallabies, Rabbitohs and Bulldogs:
- Sydney Swans v Collingwood Magpies, Saturday 10 August: After a nail-biting contest, the Swans’ 10.11.(71)-14.16(100) loss to the Magpies sees them slip into third place equal with Fremantle on 62 points and ten points clear of Richmond and Collingwood who sit fifth and sixth respectively. The Magpies have clinched a top eight spot but a top four finish is out of reach with the Swans and fourth-placed Fremantle out of reach.
- Bledisloe Cup, Saturday 17 August: It’s been 11 long years since George Gregan last lifted Trans-Tasman rugby’s most treasured prize and the Wallabies will now have to wait another year after New Zealand’s 47-29 victory at Stadium Australia and a 27-16 win in Wellington.
- South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bulldogs, Friday 23 August: The South Sydney Rabbitohs secured home ground bragging rights with 28-20 victory over fellow Stadium Australia home team the Canterbury Bulldogs. It was the first time the Rabbitohs have beaten the Bulldogs twice in a season since 1992.
- Sydney Swans v Hawthorn Hawks, Friday 30 August: Aside from the fact that this is a Grand Final rematch – this is the final regular season game and both teams will be keen to enter the finals on winning form.
- South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters, Friday 6 September: They are rugby league’s two oldest and fiercest rivals. The last time the Rabbitohs and Roosters were first and second on the ladder was 1968. The last time the Rabbitohs won a minor premiership was 1989. It’s the last game of the regular season and both teams know how important momentum is going into the finals.
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