THE RYDGES POST
Footy Final Fever time in the NRL – it was a strange final round in some ways with two of the top four teams looking decidedly flat – Storm were lucky to get away with a one-point win over the Gold Coast Titans (Titans should have won with a bad decision on a disallowed try) and the Penrith Panthers thumped the Manly Sea Eagles. Perhaps this was psychological in that the outcome was never going to affect their position on the ladder, but they have some major work to do this week.
The most impressive were the last two making up the final eight – The North Queensland Cowboys handed out a humiliating 50 to 22 hiding to the Wests Tigers and the Newcastle Knights slammed the poor old Parramatta Eels 54 to 6. This gives them momentum going into this weekend and there are two other reasons to fear them – Knights coach wily Wayne Bennett and Cowboy captain, Johnathan Thurston.
In the elimination games this week The Cowboys travel south to take on the Cronulla Sharks and the Newcastle Knights are up against the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium. The top four teams see the Sea Eagles take on the minor premiers, Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm play the South Sydney Rabbitohs.