NRL Finals On Nine

Roosters crowing for the Broncos, Electric Eels swimming into a severe Storm, Panthers looking to claw their way back from a Sea Eagle attack, and the Cowboys sounding the Shark alarm: it all makes for a spectacular NRL finals series starting this Friday night, LIVE and FREE on Nine. 

With the best commentary team in the game, led by “the voice of rugby league,” Ray “Rabs” Warren, Nine’s coverage will kick off on Friday night when two powerhouses, the Roosters (2nd) and Broncos (3rd), battle it out at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

Channel Nine rugby league expert Darren Lockyer suggests the Broncos may struggle: “Darius Boyd not being there is a big loss especially in a hostile away environment. Josh McGuire and Alex Glenn are the ones to lead the way and Benji Marshall’s experience will be invaluable. Their defence is strong but the key will be getting into good enough field position to score points. 

“The Roosters were complacent last week and coach Trent Robinson will have reminded them of that, so playing another big club such as the Broncos will bring a much higher intensity out in them.”

Lockyer’s player to watch: “Adam Blair – battling Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will be a tough task, but if he can lift and win the yardage battle the Broncos can lay on the points.”

On Saturday, Nine presents a blockbuster night of rugby league with the Storm (1st) vs Eels (4th) before it’s the Sea Eagles (6th) vs Panthers (7th) in back-to-back blockbusters. 

Casting his expert eye over the Storm vs Eels clash is premiership-winning coach, Nine’s Phil Gould.

“The Storm finished a long way above the rest in the regular season and rightly so. They can hurt you from anywhere on the park and with Cameron Smith providing the added incentive of celebrating a milestone, which is another thing they do better than any other team, they will certainly be ready for the fight.

“The Eels have really stepped it up a gear and coach Brad Arthur looks to have them finals-ready. They have the talent at their disposal, with Corey Norman, Mitchell Moses, Michael Jennings and Semi Radradra playing behind a brutal forward pack, but talent alone is never enough. They will need to outsmart the Storm and the way to do that is to adopt an unpredictable style of play.” 

Gould’s player to watch: “Cameron Smith. Playing in his record-breaking 356th NRL game, expect him to shine like the superstar he is and celebrate this milestone with a win.” 

Once the full-time whistle sounds viewers will be taken to Allianz Stadium where the Sea Eagles vs Panthers clash is primed to boil over, with tensions still high after they met just one week ago. Nine’s rugby league sideline eye, Brad Fittler, believes the Panthers are poised to hit back. 

“The Panthers were dismantled 28-12 last week but a week is a long time in rugby league and this is win or go home, so the Panthers will be hellbent on having the last laugh. Their forwards in particular were outclassed and they will have been reminded of that a lot. It will be a huge battle up front.

“Daly Cherry-Evans, Jake and Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker provide the Sea Eagles with enough attacking prowess to strike fear into any team in the comp. After such a good win last week it will prove tough doing it again against the same opposition, but I believe they have the class to do it.”

Fittler’s player to watch: “Tom Trbojevic. He was sensational last week. The Panthers will do their homework and plan to contain him, but he has what there really is no substitute for speed.”

Topping off  Finals Week 1 will be the sudden-death clash between the Sharks (5th) and Cowboys (8th). Both teams have formed a solid finals rivalry in recent years. The Sharks are out to continue their premiership defence against a tough Cowboys side that have fought hard for their spot in the finals.

Darren Lockyer said: “I’ve been watching the Cowboys closely and they’ve rallied without their big names, but they’re now running out of petrol. Jason Taumalolo and Michael Morgan have been great in a tough period.

“Jake Granville needs to run a lot from dummy half, and second phase and ad-lib footy is the only way they can break the Sharks. If they try to play structured the Sharks will prevail. As for the Sharks, my jury is still out.  It’s not as easy to just turn the tap on and play with 80 minutes of intensity.” 
 
Lockyer’s player to watch: “James Maloney. The little Sharks playmaker loves the big games, and in the games he has missed through injury this year his absence has been very apparent. He will come up with big plays at the right time.”


Broadcast Times

Friday, September 8
Roosters vs Broncos 


Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 5.30pm LIVE on 9GEM


Saturday, September 9
Storm vs Eels 


Sydney 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Adelaide 3.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 1.30pm LIVE on 9GEM


Saturday, September 9
Sea Eagles vs Panthers 


Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 5.30pm LIVE on 9GEM


Sunday, September 10
Sharks vs Cowboys


Sydney 3.30pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 3.30pm LIVE on Nine 
Melbourne 3.30pm LIVE on 9GEM 
Adelaide 3.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 1.30pm LIVE on 9GEM




RUGBY LEAGUE ACTION THIS WEEK ON NINE

SIX TACKLES WITH GUS – Nine’s James Bracey discusses the biggest rugby league issues of the week with NRL legend and expert commentator Phil Gould on Six Tackles with Gus. This week: Matt Moylan; The fate of coaches Michael Maguire, Des Hasler and Garth Brennan

Download here: Finals Week 1 – Six Tackles with Gus 

THE NRL FOOTY SHOW – Thursday, September 6, at 8.30pm. Fatty Vautin, Erin Molan, Darryl Brohman and Beau Ryan are joined by Doctor Doctor heartthrob Rodger Corser, along with Tariq and Korbin Sims. 

SPORTS SUNDAY – Sunday, September 6, at 10.00am. Frank and open debate on all the big issues in sport. Hosted by Emma Freedman who along with Peter FitzSimons addresses all the biggest issues in the week of sport with special guests.

SUNDAY NRL FOOTY SHOW – Sunday, September 6, at 11.00am. Hosted by James Bracey alongside Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer, Brad Fittler and Allana Ferguson, with Olympic Sevens gold medallist Charlotte Caslick joining the show for Freddy’s Pass Off.

**Check local guides for details. Times will differ.

 

For further information please contact Nine Publicity:
Ryley McKay 
Publicist – Wide World of Sports  
T: 02 9965 2727 M: 0413 378 052  
E: rmckay@nine.com.au


Wednesday, September 6, 2017