NRL Finals: Sept 9 -11


NRL Finals begin this weekend on Nine, starting with Brisbane Broncos vs Gold Coast Titans.

As usual games will screen on GEM in Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth.

A Storm warning, Cowboys riding high, Ricky’s Raiders, circling Sharks, bucking Broncos, prowling Panthers, barking Dogs and the Hayne Plane – it all spells a spectacular start to the NRL finals this weekend, Live and Free on the Nine Network.

With the top commentary team in the game led by “the voice of rugby league,” Ray “Rabs” Warren, Nine’s coverage starts on Friday night when the Broncos (5th) host the Titans (8th) in a sudden-death elimination at a packed Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Channel Nine rugby league expert Darren Lockyer is expecting this one to go down to the wire.

“There’s no better way to get the finals started than big brother against little brother in front of a sellout crowd at Suncorp. I think this game could go either way. The Titans have proven this year that they stay in the mix throughout the wild momentum swings in any game and give themselves a chance of winning.

“We haven’t seen a great deal of the Jarryd Hayne factor since his return but it’s not easy to just come back into the NRL and pick up where you left off, especially when you’re heavily marked. However, he has a knack of performing in big games and if he rediscovers that habit it will go a long way to the Titans winning.

“The Broncos will need to bring their A-game if they want to win this one.”

On Saturday, Nine will host a blockbuster night of rugby league with the Raiders (2nd) vs Sharks (3rd) and the Storm (1st) vs Cowboys (4th) in two huge grudge matches.

Covering the Raiders vs Sharks match at GIO Stadium in Canberra will be Channel Nine’s Brad Fittler.

“There are so many interesting battles in this game, starting with the coaches. Ricky Stuart was shown the door by the Sharks in 2010 and handed his job over to the current Sharks coach, Shane Flanagan, and believe me there is no love lost there.

“Paul Gallen and Josh Papalii have a checkered past after they butted heads over a dangerous tackle in the 2012 finals, and there’s no love lost there either.

“I think the Raiders will win, they’re on a roll. Last week the Sharks had to play a lot of football when they failed to break the Storm’s rigid defence. Although Canberra doesn’t have the same defensive structure as the Storm, that game will have taken a lot of energy out of the Sharks, which will be an added bonus to the Raiders playing at home in front of their fans.”

Once the full-time whistle sounds in Canberra viewers will be taken straight to AAMI Park in Melbourne where the Storm vs Cowboys fixture will give a true indication of who the premiership frontrunner really is. Channel Nine rugby league commentator Phil Gould describes it as the “Battle of the Heavyweights”.

“The Melbourne Storm, regarded as the most professional team in the NRL and often referred to as the benchmark for all sides, are playing host to the defending premiers.

“Rugby league ‘royalty’ will be on show in this one, with Storm’s Cameron Smith andCooper Cronk matching wits with their great friend and most formidable rival, Johnathan Thurston.

“The winner of this game takes a giant leap towards winning the 2016 title and will be installed as premiership favourites when the full-time siren sounds.”

Capping off NRL Finals Week 1 will be the other sudden death clash between the Panthers (6th) and Bulldogs (7th) at Allianz Stadium.

With so many hot young stars the Panthers are touted as a team of the future, but they may run ahead of schedule in 2016. While the Bulldogs have been out of sorts, they have a proud club history of performing come finals time and will give the Panthers a mighty fight.

Channel Nine rugby league host Yvonne Sampson says: “With the potential that the Panthers have in their squad, and their recent form, it looks like they are ready to start delivering.

“Nathan Cleary has showed maturity beyond his years and been a revelation in their march to the finals. The Panthers have adopted a simple and effective playing style where their classy backs play off a mobile forward pack that causes headaches for opposition teams with their footwork.

“The Bulldogs have been up and down all season. We know they rise at finals time and love to be written off, but whether they can do that without their fullback Will Hopoate on Sunday remains to be seen. This will be a very interesting clash.”

Friday, September 9
Brisbane Broncos vs Gold Coast Titans

Sydney             7.30pm Live on Nine
Brisbane           7.30pm Live on Nine
Melbourne         7.30pm Live on 9GEM
Adelaide           7.00pm Live on 9GEM
Perth                5.30pm Live on 9GEM

Saturday, September 10
Canberra Raiders vs Cronulla Sharks

Sydney             5.00pm Live on Nine
Brisbane           5.00pm Live on Nine
Melbourne         5.00pm Live on 9GEM
Adelaide           4.30pm Live on 9GEM
Perth                3.00pm Live on 9GEM

Saturday, September 10
Melbourne Storm vs North Queensland Cowboys

Sydney             7.30pm Live on Nine
Brisbane           7.30pm Live on Nine
Melbourne         7.30pm Live on 9GEM
Adelaide           7.00pm Live on 9GEM
Perth                5.30pm Live on 9GEM

Sunday, September 11
Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Sydney             3.30pm Live on Nine
Brisbane           3.30pm Live on Nine
Melbourne         3.30pm Live on 9GEM
Adelaide           3.00pm Live on 9GEM
Perth                1.30pm Live on 9GEM


  1. According to various online guides, the Storm-Cowboys match will be shown on Nine in Melbourne on Saturday night. It will be shown on 9GEM in Adelaide and Perth as listed.

  2. Channel 9 are running ads on tv and in EPG’s that in Melbourne the match Melbourne Storm V North Queensland Cowboys will be on Channel 9 and 9HD not 9GEM on Saturday night. Smart move I think.

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