And then there were four.
Two one-point thrillers last week saw the demise of the Panthers and Dragons, leaving the Sharks, Rabbitohs, Storm and Roosters vying for premiership glory.
In one corner we have the Sharks taking on the Storm in a battle that has taken on some serious angst over the past few years. Cronulla's first ever premiership came at the expense of the Storm in 2016 and the Sharks would like nothing better than to end another Melbourne premiership campaign. The Storm are still hoping to send off retiring superstar fullback Billy Slater with another title.
In the other corner, we have the neighbouring foundation clubs doing battle as they seek to add another trophy to their premiership collections. Cooper Cronk up against Adam Reynolds; the brilliance of James Tedesco for the Roosters and the presence of Greg Inglis for the Bunnies. It promises to be another weekend of exciting rugby league finals action.
Friday, September 21
Storm: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Suliasi Vunivalu, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Brodie Croft, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Tim Glasby, 11. Felise Kaufusi,12. Joe Stimson, 13. Dale Finucane Reserves: 14. Kenneath Bromwich, 15. Christian Welch, 16. Ryan Hoffman, 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 18. Brandon Smith, 19. Jahrome Hughes, 20. Sam Kasiano, 21. Cheyse Blair
Sharks: 1. Valentine Holmes, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Jesse Ramien, 4. Ricky Leutele, 5. Edrick Lee, 6. Matt Moylan, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Luke Lewis, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Paul Gallen Reserves: 14. Scott Sorenson, 15. James Segeyaro, 16. Aaron Woods, 17. Jayson Bukuya, 18. Osh Dugan, 19. Ava Seumanufagai, 20. Joseph Paulo, 21. Kyle Flanagan
Verdict: The Sharks have beaten the Storm four times out of their last five meetings since the 2016 grand final. Being without captain Paul Gallen - the skipper was named on Tuesday but still must prove his fitness before Friday - can often spur the rest of the pack onto bigger performances, as they receive more of the ball and feel the pressure to make up for his loss. Last week Gallen was seen going backwards in several three-man Panthers tackles, something that never used to happen. The Storm have had two weeks to ready themselves for this clash at home and will be thoroughly prepared by coach Craig Bellamy to match the Sharks for intensity in and around the ruck. This could be a dour affair with both sides defending really well and keen to dominate the play-the-ball. If Chad Townsend and Matt Moylan play as well as they did against the Panthers, I can see the Sharks beating the Storm again.
Saturday, September 22
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Mitchell Aubusson, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Isaac Liu, 13. Victor Radley Reserves: 14. Lindsay Collins, 15. Zane Tetevano, 16. Nat Butcher, 17. Ryan Matterson, 18. Matt Ikuvalu, 19. Sean O'Sullivan, 20. Paul Momirovski, 21. Sitili Tupouniua
Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston, 2. Campbell Graham, 3. Greg Inglis, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Robert Jennings, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. Thomas Burgess, 9. Damien Cook, 10. George Burgess, 11. John Sutton, 12. Angus Crichton, 13. Sam Burgess Reserves: 14. Hymel Hunt, 15. Cameron Murray, 16. Jason Clark, 17. Dean Britt, 18. Braidon Burns, 19. Mark Nicholls, 20. Tevita Tatola, 21. Connor Tracey
Verdict: It's a rivalry which goes right back to the beginning of professional rugby league in Australia and there has been plenty of bitterness between the two over the years. This season they have met twice for a win apiece, but the Roosters have been in better form towards the back end of the year. The ever-improving combination between Cooper Cronk and James Tedesco, complimented by the unpredictability of Luke Keary makes the Roosters a very dangerous team with the ball. They have lost a key weapon in Latrell Mitchell to suspension, and Rabbitohs captain and centre Greg Inglis will be looking to take advantage of any weaknesses out wide. In the forwards, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Siosiua Taukeiaho will have to perform well to overcome the Burgess brothers triple-threat. It should be another belter, with the Roosters having a little bit too much class for the Bunnies