WHAT THE RESULT OF EACH OF THE NRL’S LAST-ROUND GAMES WILL MEAN FOR THE FINALS
Brisbane v Sydney Roosters, Suncorp Stadium, Thursday, 7.50pm (AEST)
The Roosters’ season ended long ago, but Brisbane (fifth, 32 points, +110) need to win to ensure they host a knockout final in week one of the playoffs. If Brisbane lose, the Bulldogs win and Penrith win and improve their for-and-against by 41 in comparison, the Broncos will play away in two weeks time. If Brisbane win and the Cowboys lose, Brisbane make the top four.
Canterbury v South Sydney, ANZ Stadium, Friday, 7.50pm
Souths are also gone for 2016, but if the Bulldogs (sixth, 32 points, +76) win and North Queensland and Brisbane lose, Canterbury will finish in the top four. If the Dogs lose and Penrith win and improve their comparable for-and-against by seven, the Panthers will usurp Canterbury in hosting the elimination final between the two sides.
St George Illawarra v Newcastle, Kogarah Jubilee Oval, Saturday, 3pm
Just pride to play for in what might be Benji Marshall’s final NRL game.
North Queensland v Gold Coast, 1300SMILES Stadium, Saturday, 5.30pm
If the Cowboys (fourth, 32 points, +213) win they will finish top four and travel to Melbourne, or Sydney to face Cronulla, or Canberra in week one of the finals. If they lose and either of the Dogs or Broncos win, they will miss out on the top four and host an elimination final. The Titans (eighth, 27 points, +27) can hold eighth spot with a win. If the Titans lose and Wests Tigers win, the joint venture will leapfrog Gold Coast into the final playoff spot.
Melbourne v Cronulla, AAMI Park, Saturday, 7.30pm
The winner will claim the minor premiership. Melbourne (first, 40 points, +241) have already earned a home qualifying final in week one of the playoffs. Cronulla (second, 39 points, +196) need to win to do that. If the Sharks lose and Canberra beat Wests Tigers, the Sharks will travel to the nation’s capital the week after next.
Wests Tigers v Canberra, Leichhardt Oval, Sunday, 2pm
If the Sharks lose and Canberra (third, 37 points, +190) win, the Raiders will host Cronulla in week one of the finals. If the Raiders lose, they will travel to Sydney to face the Sharks or Melbourne. If the Titans lose and the Tigers (ninth, 26 points, -66) win, they leapfrog the Gold Coast into eighth spot.
Warriors v Parramatta, Mt Smart Stadium, Sunday, 4pm
The Eels’ salary cap dramas sank their season, while the Warriors’ below-par efforts are to blame as they go five seasons and counting without a finals berth.
Penrith v Manly, Pepper Stadium, Sunday, 6.30pm
If the Bulldogs lose, a Penrith (seventh, 30 points, +70) win will give them a home final in week one. If the Dogs and Broncos lose and the Panthers improve their points differential by 41 against Brisbane, they could finish as high as fifth and host the eighth-placed team. If the Bulldogs and Broncos win, Penrith will finish seventh and travel in week one of the playoffs.