Andrew Bryan, NRL.com
As the 2013 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series hits fever pitch, NRL.com looks back at some of the greatest moments in the history of post-regular season playoffs.
These are some of the great action snapshots that have made the NRL Finals so memorable, with each and every one etched into Rugby League’s rich folklore.
Keep coming back as NRL.com takes a trip down memory lane to remember some of the greatest moments in NRL Finals.
Parramatta led the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 18-2 with just 10 minutes left on the clock in the 1998 Preliminary Final. A place in the Grand Final looked assured.
However, this game was about to undergo a radical transformation.
Craig Polla-Mounter scored to keep the Bulldogs’ slim chances alive at 18-6. Then, with seven minutes left on the clock, an amazing offload saw speedster Rod Silva latch onto the ball and burst through a gap to run 50 metres and score a metre in from the sideline.
The scoreboard showed 18-10 – and if Daryl Halligan could kick the difficult conversion, it would be game on!
The Bulldogs’ sharpshooter struck the ball sweetly and it sailed between the posts. Suddenly it was 18-12 and the previously unthinkable comeback victory loomed large.
With four minutes left on the clock, Canterbury-Bankstown spread the ball from the eastern touchline through the hands to the western touchline. Then it happened – Willie Talau got on the outside of his marker and scored in the north-western corner of the Sydney Football Stadium.
Suddenly it was 18-16: Halligan would have a kick from the sideline to keep his side’s hopes of a Grand Final appearance alive. The game rested on his boot.
Television caller Ray Warren wondered whether there had ever been a bigger kick for Halligan – indeed, if there had ever been a bigger kick for the Bulldogs!
Halligan approached the ball with everything resting on his shoulders. On contact, the Steeden appeared to start hooking to the left before, with a sense of occasion, it held its line and scraped inside the left goalpost.
It was an amazing kick under pressure to keep his side in the contest, and the Bulldogs went on to book their place in the Grand Final with a 32-20 win in extra time.