NRL Finals – Week 1

Wests Tigers booked themselves a home semi final with a triumphant 21-12 victory over reigning premiers St George at ANZ Stadium.

Benji Marshall’s unorthodox try gave the Tigers an early lead but the Dragons hit back with scores from hooker Mitch Rein and Jason Nightingale to lead 12-6 at the break.

Two penalties and a drop goal from Marshall went with a score from a breakout move finished off by Beau Ryan to seal victory for the Tigers.

Brisbane gave departing skipper Darren Lockyer several reasons to be cheerful by walloping a poor New Zealand Warriors outfit 40-10.

A powerful score from Broncos second rower Alex Glenn was added to by tries from youngster Jack Reed and Lockyer to ensure the home side held an 18-0 half time lead.

Corey Parker added to the Broncos tally before a brief comeback saw the Warriors notch back-to-back scores from Feleti Mateo and Manu Vatuvei cut the deficit.

But the home side were not to be denied a grandstand finish and put on three more scores from hooker Andrew McCullough, Justin Hodges and Gerard Beale.

A second-half rampage of points from Manly saw them overcome North Queensland 42-8.

The Sea Eagles had trailed 8-0 at the break after a try to departing Cowboys centre Willie Tonga and penalty from co-captain Jonathan Thurston.

Will Hopoate opened the floodgates with a try eight minutes into the half which was followed by scores from Brett Stewart (2), Anthony Watmough, Hopoate, Jamie Buhrer and Matt Ballin.

A late fightback from Newcastle was not enough to prevent them slipping to an 18-8 defeat at the hands of Melbourne.

Matt Duffie capitalised on Neville Costigan’s loose pass to streak away and score before Beau Champion and Sika Manu added tries to help the Storm into a commanding 16-0 half time lead.

Cameron Smith slotted a penalty before the Knights notched back-to-back tries from Kurt Gidley and Akulia Uate.

Unfortunately, Gidley was unable to convert either, leaving Melbourne to claim a home quarter finals spot.

This weekend’s semi-finals:

Wests Tigers v Warriors
Friday September 16, Sydney Football Stadium

Brisbane Broncos v St George Illawarra Dragons
Saturday September 17, Suncorp Stadium

Both matches will be screened live on Premier Sports, Sky Channel 433.

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