Tigers, Cowboys to kick off NRL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers, Cowboys to kick off NRL finals

By Todd Baylm 04/09/2005 05:53:45 PM Comments (0)

Two of the NRL's most entertaining teams, Wests Tigers and North Queensland, will kick off the NRL finals series at Telstra Stadium on Friday night.

The fourth-placed Tigers, who let slip a golden opportunity to move into third when they were defeated 38-22 by Penrith, have lost their last two games after an eight-match winning streak.

It is the merged club's first finals appearance and many are backing the Tigers to follow the Cowboys example of last year by becoming the bolter of the finals series.

The fifth-placed Cowboys have won their last three matches going into the finals, but their last loss was the 28-16 defeat at the hands of the Tigers in round 23.

Struggling Brisbane finished third on the ladder and will be on a five game losing streak when it hosts sixth-placed Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday evening. The Broncos are expected to regain skipper Darren Lockyer after he rested injuries for three weeks.

Premiership favourite St George Illawarra (second) hosts Cronulla (seventh) immediately at WIN Stadium on Saturday night after the Broncos game, the Dragons riding an impressive seven game winning streak and the Sharks coming off a demoralising loss to South Sydney.

Minor premier Parramatta rounds out the first week of finals footy when eighth-placed Manly visit Parramatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Eels sealed the minor premiership with victory over Brisbane on Friday night while the Sea Eagles limped into the top eight with a brave win at Canberra.

The two highest ranking winners in the first week of finals will enjoy a week off to be just one win away from the grand final at Telstra Stadium on October 2.

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