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NRL finals decided

02/09/2007 05:25:01 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand will host Parramatta on Friday night to kick off the 2007 NRL finals series after the Eels trounced reigning premiers Brisbane to secure fifth place on the ladder.

The Eels victory finally cemented the top eight positions on the ladder, even before minor premiers Melbourne started their final round clash with Gold Coast later on Sunday night.

Third-placed North Queensland will host the sixth-ranked Bulldogs on Saturday night in Townsville, the Dogs sent back to Dairy Farmers Stadium after losing to the Cowboys 38-32 on Friday.

In Saturday's late game second-ranked Manly will host the seventh-placed South Sydney at Brookvale Oval, the Rabbitohs qualifying for their first finals series since 1989.

And next Sunday in a grand final re-match, eighth-placed Brisbane will travel to Melbourne to clash with minor premiers the Storm at Olympic Park.

Under the NRL's final eight system, the two highest ranked winners in week one will progress directly to the preliminary finals while the two lowest ranked losers are eliminated.

Week One Schedule

Game 1: Friday (6.30pm AEST) 4-Warriors v 5-Parramatta Eels at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Game 2: Saturday (6.30pm AEST) 3-North Queensland Cowboys v 6-Bulldogs at Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville

Game 3: Saturday (8.30pm AEST) 2-Manly Sea Eagles v 7-South Sydney Rabbitohs at Brookvale Oval, Sydney

Game 4: Sunday (4.00pm AEST) 1-Melbourne Storm v 8-Brisbane Broncos at Olympic Park, Melbourne.

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