Weekend Wash-up: Qualifying Finals
Tigers on cloud nine, more history for Lockyer, Manly's record-breaking second half and Uate finishes in style.
Wests Tigers v St George Illawarra
On the ninth day of the ninth month, Wests Tigers achieved a club record nine consecutive victories in their nine-point qualifying final win over the Dragons. The victory broke their previous record of eight achieved in their premiership-winning year of 2005. The Tigers will have to take out this year’s grand final to equal the all-time winning record of joint venture partner Balmain, who registered 12 consecutive victories in the 1965 and 1966 seasons. The best winning run of Western Suburbs was 11 straight, in 1934.
Brisbane v Warriors
There was more history for Broncos captain Darren Lockyer last weekend when he equalled the all-time record for finals appearances, held by his former Brisbane team-mate Kevin Walters. The former Test five-eighth played 34 finals matches for Canberra and Brisbane between 1987 and 2000 and Lockyer drew alongside him as the Broncos hammered the Warriors 40-10. Lockyer will take ownership of the record this Saturday night when Brisbane face St George Illawarra in the second semi-final.
Manly v North Queensland
Not only did Manly achieve the highest score in a half in any finals match with their 42-point second-half blitz against the Cowboys, they also scored the highest tally of points in a half by any team in the last seven years. Back in Round 22, 2004 Manly were the victims when Penrith inflicted a club record 72-12 defeat at Penrith Football Stadium. The Panthers led 30-12 at halftime before piling on 42 points after the break. The record score for one half at premiership level was 68 by St George in their staggering 91-6 defeat of Canterbury in 1935.
Melbourne v Newcastle
Knights flyer Akuila Uate might have played on the losing side against Melbourne on Sunday but at least he had the final say when he scored the last try of the qualifying final. It continued a remarkable late season run in which he registered 13 tries in his last eight games. Sunday’s try was his 20th for the season. He was named in the Kangaroos’ train-on squad on Monday and should be a front-line contender for Test selection against the Kiwis next month.