The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. Is it just me or does this year have a large déjà vu feeling to it? The Rabbitohs are finishing with a flurry and making a last ditch effort towards the finals, Manly and Melbourne are battling out the minor premiership and the Dragons are being dubbed chokers once more.
The Wests Tigers are finally living up to their potential and charging towards the finals after a largely inconsistent and disappointing season, while the Warriors and Cowboys are just going about their business, as Des Hasler would say “flying under the radar”.
The Broncos are again there or thereabouts, and you would be brave to bet against them being at ANZ Stadium on October 2.
It just seems that we have been through this before, not that it is a bad thing.
While it seems eerily familiar, we are still set for an enthralling last few weeks and another unpredictable finals series.
Can the Dragons turn it around, will Melbourne’s juggernaut roll on without injured halfback Cooper Cronk, can the Knights hold onto their top eight spot or will the Rabbitohs or Bulldogs sneak in at the last minute?
So many questions need to be answered and I look forward to all the excitement as we draw near finals football.
Bring on September!
DID YOU KNOW?
- 44 players have played in every game for their team this season (21 games).
- Knights winger Akuila Uate has made 127 tackle-breaks this season, the most in the NRL. The next best is Storm fullback Billy Slater with 114.
Make your vote Count!
- Greg Inglis v Johnathan Thurston / Who has the best highlights reel – Benji Marshall or Jarryd Hayne / Cheerleader battle – Roosters v Sharks. Vote now!
- Each year, the Provan Summons Medal is awarded to the standout player of the NRL season - as voted by the fans. VOTE, SHARE AND WIN 10 NRL MATCH TICKETS!
MATCH CENTRE – ROUND 24
Get all the team lists, head-to-head stats and our match previews in the match centre. Plus live stats and scores, match highlights and much much more!
Updated Team Lists – All the latest team news.
Ins and Outs – We look at who has returned for Round 24 and who is out injured.
Casualty Ward – When players were injured and when they are due back.
Rabbitohs Cowboys Video: Last time they played
Storm Dragons Video: Last time they played
Titans Raiders Video: Last time they played
Roosters Sharks Video: Last time they played
Panthers Warriors Video: Last time they played
Eagles Bulldogs Video: Last time they played
Tigers Eels Video: Last time they played
Knights Broncos Video: Last time they played
THIS WEEK ON NRL.com
Official View: Referees co-coach Bill Harrigan says the sin-binning of Anthony Minichiello was an outstanding decision.
NRL Mailbox: We look at what the game does to celebrate milestones and retiring players.
Warriors charging towards top four finish: How a loss to the Broncos has the Warriors ultimately charged towards a successful finals campaign.
Sterling Gold: NRL.com expert Peter Sterling writes about the four commandments for finals football.
Inside Word: The knives are out, but the Dragons will rebound writes Trent Barrett.
Next Gen: Toyota Cup commentator Matt Russell asks if the Warriors can be stopped from going back-to-back.
On the Road: Rugby league continues to surprise – even after 25 years of covering the game. Steve Mascord accidentally stumbled into one of the game’s most significant moments.
Coach's Box: Graham Murray asks whether master coach Wayne Bennett really has run out of ideas.
In Touch: Leila McKinnon says there is no easy solution to Todd Carney's problems.
VIDEO ON NRL.COM
Bunnies on fire: Can the Rabbitohs keep their finals chances alive?
Dragons toughest test: They have lost four games in a row and now face the game's toughest road-trip, can St George get their season back on track?
Hodkinson back at Brookvale: Manly are unbeaten at home this year and are determined to keep the streak going.
FROM THE CLUBS
There is heaps of great content being produced by your favourite club each and every week. Both in print and video, the NRL club network is keeping you up to date with your favourite players. Here is a snapshot of what is making news at some of the clubs. Make sure you check out your club's website by clicking on their logo in the toolbar above.
Broncos: Darren Lockyer’s farewell game against Manly at Suncorp Stadium on September 4 is sold out.
Bulldogs: Bobcat to go out with a bang: leave your tribute
Sea Eagles: Manly v Bulldogs match preview
Storm: Quality matchups across the park as Melbourne clash with Dragons
Knights: On tour – the art of planning the road trip
Panthers: Petero Civoniceva reflects on his time at Penrith
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