The 2011 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series kicked off over the weekend with four action packed qualifying finals taking place, the NRL Grand Final dreams of two teams subsequently coming to an end.
As the two lowest-ranked losers from the opening NRL Finals week matches, the New Zealand Warriors and the North Queensland Cowboys have bowed out of the premiership race for this season.
Both teams were thrashed by two of the in-form sides in the competition, the Warriors going down 40 – 10 to the Brisbane Broncos in front of a capacity crowd of Brisbanites at Suncorp Stadium followed by a 42 – 8 fight back from the Manly Sea Eagles that left the Cowboys out of contention on Saturday night.
As the two highest-ranked winners from the NRL Week 1 Finals, the Manly Sea Eagles and the Melbourne Storm, who beat a fast-finishing Newcastle Knights 18 – 8 at AAMI Park on a supercharged Sunday arvo clash, have a rest this weekend before fighting it out for a spot in the NRL Grand Final 2011 the following week.
That means this weekend for the NRL Week 2 finals the Wests Tigers, who beat the reigning premiers St George Illawarra Dragons last Friday night 21 – 12, will take on the New Zealand Warriors while the Brisbane Broncos face their former coach Bennet and his Red and White army at the official final ever Darren Lockyer NRL home game.
Only two will move through the next round to face the benchmark teams in the competition and keep their NRL Premiership dreams alive.
NRL Finals Qualifiers – Week 1 Results
NRL Finals Week 1 – Game 1 Result
Wests Tigers 21 – 12 St George Illawarra Dragons
- What It Means: Both move through to next week, Tigers to play Warriors and Dragons to face Brisbane
NRL Finals Week 1 – Game 2 Result
Brisbane Broncos 40 – 10 New Zealand Warriors
- What It Means: Both move through to next week, Brisbane have home ground advantage over Dragons while Warriors travel to Sydney to face the Tigers
NRL Finals Week 1 – Game 3 Result
Manly Sea Eagles 42 – 8 North Queensland Cowboys
- What It Means: Cowboys are out of the competition while Manly enjoy a week’s rest before playing the second highest-ranked winner from the second round of finals the following weekend
NRL Finals Week 2 – Game 3 Result
Melbourne Storm 18 – 8 Newcastle Knights
- What It Means: Newcastle are out of the premiership race, Melbourne rest this weekend before taking on the highest-ranked winner out of the two second round finals week winners at AAMI Park the next weekend
Every NRL Finals winning team from week one were the favourites in the NRL betting markets at Luxbet, meaning punters that followed the form and the NRL odds came up trumps.
Will there be upsets in the NRL Week 2 Finals? Stay tuned to NRLleague.com.au for the NRL Semi Finals match and betting previews.
In the meantime, get ready for the action by signing up with Australia’s favourite online bookmaker Luxbet.
You can bet on the NRL Finals right now at Luxbet, Tigers and Brisbane the clear favourites to win their respective matches.
For even more value NRL futures betting is also open at Luxbet on the Grand Final Winner with Melbourne the narrow $3.25 favourites to take out the premiership for 2011, followed in the NRL odds by Manly at $3.85.