NRL finals

History three-peats itself as Cleary masterclass guides Panthers to glory

Trailing by 16 points after an Ezra Mam hat-trick had put the Broncos on track for their first title in 17 years, Cleary took the game by the scruff of the neck to ensure the Panthers would emulate the Eels of 1981-82-83 with a three-peat.

Cleary put Moses Leota over for a try with 17 minutes to play and then came up with a 40-20 before scoring the final try in the 77th minute to leave the Broncos shellshocked and the Panthers faithful in raptures.

Walsh sublime as Broncos advance to grand final

Lining up against the side he spent the first two seasons of his NRL career with for the first time since moving back to his junior club, Walsh was immense with ball in hand and inflicted much of the damage in front of a crowd of 52,273 at Suncorp Stadium. 

The 21-year-old Queensland star's class and confidence was more evident than ever as he shook off an early intercept – which gifted Dallin Watene-Zelezniak a 60-metre runaway try – to set up three tries and lay on six line breaks for teammates, before leaving the field for an early rest with four left to play. 

Broncos v Warriors: Arthars over Oates; SJ heads up unchanged side

Every fan but a Knights supporter were screaming 'Up the Wahs' last week as Shaun Johnson's impressive return from a calf injury stole the show as he led the Warriors to their first preliminary final since 2011. 

The Broncos had their feet up and watched on as their next opponents put the Knights to the sword from the opening minutes right until the end in an early warning to Kevin Walters' side that home ground advantage will mean little on Saturday. 

Olam Eager to Return Home to PNG Before NRL Finals Reprieve

Key points:

  • Justin Olam was dropped from the Storm in round 21 after they lost to Newcastle
  • The centre says he was looking forward to heading home to PNG thinking his season was done
  • Melbourne brought him back for the semi-final against the Roosters, which they won 18-13

The Papua New Guinea star struggled to find his explosive best this year after a series of injury setbacks curtailed his pre-season.

Olam's axing after the Storm's round 21 defeat to Newcastle seemed to spell the end for him in first grade 2023.

Party like it's 2011: Warriors down Knights to reach prelim final

After finishing last season in 15th place the Warriors have produced a remarkable turnaround in 2023 and are now just 80 minutes away from a first grand final appearance since 2011.

A mistake by Knights winger Greg Marzhew in the opening set of the game opened the door for Shaun Johnson to lay on a try for Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, who left Bradman Best in his wake to make it 4-0.

Warriors v Knights: Johnson named to return; Clune in for Hastings

A win over the Warriors would see the Knights equal the club record of 11 in a row, set back in 2001-02 when an Immortal named Johns was the hottest ticket in town.

After sending the Knights faithful home happy on Sunday, Adam O'Brien's men now need to find a way to win in a hostile environment in Auckland against a Warriors outfit that showed plenty of grit in its loss to the Panthers.

Storm v Roosters: Olam recalled, Coates out; Triple backline blow

Not only are the Storm coming off a demoralising defeat but they also have the added anguish of Ryan Papenhuyzen's fractured ankle to deal with as they look to put their premiership campaign back on track.

Perhaps most alarming for coach Craig Bellamy was his side's disjointed attack, with star halves Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes throwing very little at the Broncos in a performance far removed from they dished up for most of the season.

Knights beat Raiders in extra-time thriller to stay alive in 2023

After extra time was required to separate the two sides, who were tied at 28-28 at the end of normal time, it was a Hudson Young penalty for offside which presented Ponga with the chance to kick his side to a 10th straight victory and confirm a showdown with the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday.

It was a finals game without precedent, marred by an allegation of biting made by Tyson Gamble against Jack Wighton, but which will be defined by so much more.  

Walker field goal sees Roosters advance over Sharks

Across an 80 minutes in which they had to overcome the second-half sin-binning of captain James Tedesco and the loss of backline stars Joseph Manu and Joseph-Aukuso Suaali'i to injuries, the Roosters charged down two field goals in the dying minutes which would likely have sent the game to golden point, after Walker had put them in front with a clutch drop goal. 

Making it all the more impressive, Walker was playing through an ankle injury which earlier in the game had him in visible discomfort. 

Panthers one step closer to history after powering past Warriors

With James Fisher-Harris laying the line for superstar Nathan Cleary to take control of proceedings, the Panthers had the match well in hand when they led 20-0 at half-time.

Penrith struck the first blow in the fifth minute when Cleary went to the line and found prop Moses Leota who sent a perfectly timed long pass out to Brian To'o for his 18th try of the season. Cleary converted for a 6-0 lead.