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Week Two Playoffs! Who wins?

Week Two Playoffs! Who wins?

Week Two Playoffs! Who wins?

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VOSSY’S LAST WORD: Finals Week Two.

And now there are just six.

The defending premiers have bitten the dust, so too the Manly Sea Eagles. Meantime the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters have earned a week off and are now just one win away from the grand final.

Here are my thoughts on the two NRL semi finals that are coming your way live on SKY Sport.

GAME ONE: Broncos v Panthers

When: TONIGHT

Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Watch it: LIVE. SKY Sport 2 from 9.50pm.

There should be huge crowd support for Brisbane as we enter the sudden death stage of the NRL finals.

Benji Marshall has again been named in the starting side at halfback while Kodi Nikorima is listed as fullback, although Wayne Bennett may elect to start with Papua New Guinea international David Mead.

New Zealand international Jordan Kahu continues to play on despite a groin injury. Kahu conceded this week the injury may force him out of the World Cup if it requires surgery.

The strong Kiwi contingent in the Panthers squad will all have big roles to play including Dean Whare in the centres opposed to the hard running Tautau Moga.

The two sides clashed only once this year with the Broncos winning their round nine game at Suncorp, 32-18.

Head to head, the Broncos have won 31 of 51, however the Panthers have actually taken out four of the last six. At Suncorp, Brisbane boast a winning record of 11 from 17.

I just have a feeling Penrith might have played their grand final last week in a tenacious victory over Manly. I am certainly not dismissing their chances here, but I favour Wayne Bennett’s men to remain in the title hunt.

The winner of this one will tackle Melbourne in the first preliminary final.

Vossy’s tip: Broncos by 10.

GAME TWO: Eels v Cowboys.

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017.

Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney.

Watch it: LIVE. SKY Sport 2 from 8.45pm 

For the first time in eight years, Parramatta play a finals game in Sydney. They almost earned a week off with a gallant effort against Melbourne, and will have taken plenty of confidence from the experience.

The Cowboys proved last week in beating Cronulla that the old adage “the finals are a whole new competition” is correct. They had limped into the playoffs with just one victory from their last six matches, yet were good enough to come through in an extra time thriller.

If for no other reason you watch this game, Jason Taumalolo’s performance needs to be seen to be believed. Jason was a giant against the Sharks, and the Cowboys will be looking to him to lead the way again this week.

In clashes between the two clubs this year, oddly enough the results have been lopsided against the ‘home’ team.

In round nine in Townsville, Parramatta was a comfortable winner 26-6. But when the Eels took a home match to Darwin in round 14, the Cowboys had their measure 32-6.

I still have a question mark on the Cowboys attacking record without Johnathan Thurston. Three tries might be enough to win this one for Parramatta.

The winner will face a tussle with the Sydney Roosters for a spot in the Grand Final.

Vossy’s tip: Eels by six.

But wait … there’s more:

The Warriors hopes of a title in 2017 rest with their side in the Intrust Super Premiership.

After scoring a convincing 30- 6 victory over Newcastle last weekend, they now tackle the Wyong Roos for a spot in the grand final.

From the vault:

The giant was awoken in the finals series six years ago as the Warriors recorded a thrilling 22-20 victory over the Wests Tigers in week two of the playoffs.

Krisnan Inu snared a controversial try with two minutes remaining to edge the Warriors in front and on to a preliminary final clash with Melbourne. It was a remarkable turnaround from Ivan Cleary’s team after being thrashed 40-10 by the Broncos the previous week.

Enjoy another two nights of finals footy folks here on SKY Sport.

Twitter: @AndrewVossy


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