A strong second-half performance from the Bulldogs gave them a confidence-boosting 36-20 win over the Wests Tigers on the eve of the finals.
The Wests Tigers put in an outstanding first-half defensive performance, however it could not be replicated in the second half as Bulldogs winger Jarrod McInally bagged a hat-trick of tries.
Canterbury Bulldogs 36 (J Mcinally 3, L McGrady, J Graham, G Tsikrikas, A Elliott tries; C Stanley 4 goals) bt Wests Tigers 20 (K Rowe 2, C Peni 2 tries; J Drinkwater 2 goals)
Wyong Roos 44 (T Cornish 2, A Papalii 2, J Ford, N Stapleton, W Manu, O Slaimankhel tries; Cornish 6 goals) bt Wentworthville Magpies 12 (R Matterson, J Tuitahi tries; B Henry 2 goals)
SUMMARY: Wyong are set to finish as minor premiers after their 32-point defeat of the Wentworthvile Magpies at Pirtek Stadium. It was a low-scoring tight affair until the 60th minute, with both sides level with 12-points each, before the Roos blew the Magpies away for the 44-12 win. The result leaves Mounties needing to beat the Warriors by 25 points to claim the minor premiership.
Penrith Panthers 34 (R Leosa 3, M Eisenhuth, C Smith, T Eisenhuth tries; S Katoa 5 goals) bt Illawarra Cutters 28 (P Botiki 2, A Clune, E Nabuli, B Wallace tries; Wallace 4 goals)
SUMMARY: Ray Leosa had a debut to remember scoring three tries and setting up another to enable Penrith to record a thrilling come-from-behind 34-28 win over a gallant Illawarra side at Pepper Stadium. Illawarra, through a powerhouse performance from ex-Panther Eto Nabuli in possibly his final game of league, led 24-12 at half time and 28-22 with seven minutes remaining before two late tries gave Penrith victory to finish level on 36 points with Wyong and Mounties but third on for and against.
Newtown Jets 30 (C Smith 4, T Robinson tries; T Murphy 5 goals) bt North Sydney Bears 22 (E Murphy 2, C Walker 2 tries; D Nicholls 3 goals)
SUMMARY: Newtown Jets ended their season on a high by retaining the Frank Hyde Shield with a 30-22 victory over the North Sydney Bears. Todd Murphy controlled the game beautifully for the Jets, while Junior Roqica proved to be a powerful asset through the middle. Cody Walker played well in a losing side, scoring two tries.
Manly Sea Eagles 38 (D Williams 3, D Reardon, B Williame, T Satini, M Rudolph tries; D Kelly 4, K Aldridge goals) bt Newcastle Knights 24 (K Holland 2, C Mata'utia 2 tries; G Ndaira 4 goals)
SUMMARY: The Manly Sea Eagles solidified their place in the finals by defeating a gallant Newcastle Knights 38-24. David Williams scored a hat-trick of tries while Chanel Mata'uita and Kerrod Holland bagged themselves a double each. Newcastle and Manly meet again next week in week one of the finals.
Mounties 36 (P Mogo 2, M Nicholls, G Aiga, S Mills, M Cornish, K O'Donnell tries; Cornish 4 goals) bt Warriors 10 (S Fe'aou, S Luafalealo tries; S Havili goal)
SUMMARY: Mounties claimed the minor premiership with a 26-point victory over the Warriors. Mounties dominated the Warriors in a ruthless display of strength that saw the Kiwi side thoroughly defeated 36-10. The Warriors will be desperate to find an answer before they take on Mounties again next week in week one of the finals.
This article first appeared on NSWRL.com.au