2017 NRL Finals Series is here

As one competition ends, another begins.

The 2017 NRL Finals Series kicks off this Friday, with eight teams fighting it out to be the 2017 Premiers.
The Top Eight wasn’t settled until the second last game of the regular season, with all eyes on the St George Illawarra Dragons game against the Canterbury Bulldogs. All the Dragons needed was victory, and they would be playing Finals Footy. It wasn’t meant to be, as the Bulldogs ended the Dragons season with a 26-20 win that saw the North Queensland Cowboys grab the last finals spot.

Our top eight this year in order.
First place, and the Minor Premiership, went to the Melbourne Storm, the Sydney Roosters finished second, Brisbane Broncos third, Parramatta Eels fourth, defending premiers, Cronulla Sharks fifth, Manly Sea Eagles sixth, Penrith Panthers seventh, and the North Queensland Cowboys eighth.
NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg, spoke to NRL.com about the upcoming Finals Series.

“The competition for Finals Series positions was incredibly close this year and we saw how much the makeup of the top eight changed even over the final few days of the regular season”.
“That just highlights how close these teams in the Finals Series are” Greenberg said.

Melbourne Storm Captain, Cameron Smith, will become the most capped player of all time as well, surpassing Darren Lockyer’s record of 355. Smith is not focused on his milestone, though
“We’re in a new competition now and whoever is the best team over the next month will win the premiership. I’ve learnt from that experience-both winning and losing. There are eight teams here that, have every opportunity of winning. To have 20 wins in this competition these days is a remarkable achievement.”

On Friday, the Sydney Roosters will host a Qualifying Final against the Brisbane Broncos at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium. On Saturday, Minor Premiers, Melbourne Storm will host the Parramatta Eels at AAMI Park, Melbourne. Later on Saturday night, its do-or-die, as the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles take on the Penrith Panthers in an Elimination Final at Allianz Stadium. On Sunday, Defending Premiers, the Cronulla Sharks, take on eighth placed North Queensland Cowboys in an Elimination Final, again at Allianz Stadium, Sydney.

Finals Week One Fixtures
Qualifying and Elimination Finals
2nd Qualifying Final
2nd Sydney Roosters v 3rd Brisbane Broncos
Friday 7.55pm, Allianz Stadium, Sydney (Winner to Preliminary Final, Loser to Semi Final)

1st Qualifying Final
1st Melbourne Storm v 4th Parramatta Eels
Saturday 4.10pm, AAMI Park, Melbourne (Winner to Preliminary Final, Loser to Semi Final)

2nd Elimination Final
6th Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v 7th Penrith Panthers
Saturday 7.40pm, Allianz Stadium, Sydney (Winner to Semi Final, Loser Eliminated)

1st Elimination Final
5th Cronulla Sharks v 8th North Queensland Cowboys
Sunday 4.10pm, Allianz Stadium, Sydney (Winner to Semi Final, Loser Eliminated)

Feature image credit to NRL Rugby League.