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NSWRL TV Preview | Grand Final spots up for grabs

Written by Taj Soupidis

A spot in the Jersey Flegg Cup and The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Grand Final is up for grabs this weekend with all the action being streamed live on NSWRL TV from 12PM (AEST)

Jersey Flegg Cup Preliminary Final - Sydney Roosters v Parramatta Eels

The Roosters enjoyed a second consecutive season as Minor Premiers, scoring the highest point tally for the regular season with the best defence to go with it.

The Roosters and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs shared a 22-22 draw in their previous encounter; however, the second-placed Bulldogs battered the Minor Premiers 26-6 affording the Roosters a second chance against the Eels.

The Eels secured a dramatic finals place qualifying in fifth place on the final round of the regular season with the Melbourne Storm losing their place in fifth spot after conceding a last minute try the Canberra Raiders.

The Eels beat the Penrith Panthers 30-20 and the Cronulla Sharks 20-6 on their way to securing a spot in the Preliminary Final.

The Roosters +272 points difference dwarfs the Eels +24 so keys to victory for the Eels are more challenging.

Roosters second-rower Max McCathie is one to watch for the Minor Premiers. McCathie capped off a superb season winning Jersey Flegg Cup Player of the Year at the Brad Fittler Medal night recently, an award which by his own admission, exceeded his personal goals for 2023.

“At the start of the year, my goal was to make the starting team so to be up here now I feel extremely lucky,” said McCathie.

“Probably because of all my teammates, we’ve had a successful year so far.”

For the Eels, halfback Ethan Sanders will be a point of difference. Sanders represented NSW at U19s State of Origin level, scoring a try in a 32-14 victory at Kayo Stadium in Redcliffe.

Sanders has continued his stellar form in the Jersey Flegg Cup and was an influential player in the Eels win over the Sharks.

These sides faced as recently as Round 25, the Eels winning 36-20, with the Roosters winning the other game earlier in the season 30-16.

A win for either side will secure them a Grand Final appearance against the Bulldogs. The Roosters would have a chance for their first Grand Final win since 2004 with the Eels a chance for their first since 1990.

The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup - North Sydney Bears v Warriors

Meanwhile in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, Minor Premiers the North Sydney Bears will take on the Warriors for a place in the Grand Final against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The Bears amassed 16 wins in the regular season claiming the Minor Premiership, but have stumbled in lead up to the Finals losing their last two games of the regular season, losing by six points to the Rabbitohs in week two of the Finals.

The Warriors also lost to the Rabbitohs in week one of the Finals, but redeemed themselves with a 49-6 drubbing over the Raiders to qualify for the Preliminary Final. The Warriors are in decent form, winning four of their last five regular season games to finish in third position.

The keys to victory for the Bears will lie on the likes of Jake Turpin. The NRL-experienced hooker played lock against the Rabbitohs but returns to hooker this weekend.

The Bears have amassed an impressive four wins from five games with Turpin at dummy half, and with hat-trick hero Allan Fitzgibbon firing on the wing, the Bears have plenty of talent on show.

For the Warriors, they have the competition’s top point-scorer Ronald Volkman. Volkman not only leads the competition in points, but he also leads in try assists, kick metres, field goals and successful conversions. Coming off four try assists in the win over the Raiders, his kicking game could prove a key to a victory for the Warriors.

These sides have not faced since early May, the Bears winning both games this season, 20-12 and 30-12.

A win for either side will qualify them for the Grand Final against the Rabbitohs. A win for the Bears in the Grand Final would be their first since their 1993 three-peat victory. For the Warriors, it would re-write history with their first win.


Saturday September 16

Jersey Flegg Cup Preliminary Final: Sydney Roosters (1st) v Parramatta Eels (5th) at Leichhardt Oval, 12pm AEST kick-off.

The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Elimination Final: North Sydney Bears (1st) v New Zealand Warriors (3rd) at Leichhardt Oval, 2pm AEST kick-off.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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