A mouth-watering Cowboys vs Broncos grand final rematch and a Panther attack at the home of the Viking clap is set to headline week two of the NRL Finals LIVE and FREE on Nine.
With the leading commentary team in the game led by “the voice of rugby league,” Ray “Rabs” Warren, Nine’s semi-final coverage starts when the Cowboys host the Broncos in a sudden-death semi-final at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville.
For the second week in a row, Brisbane find themselves in an all-Queensland do-or-die clash. The Cowboys will go in as favourites, and with their last three meetings decided by a single point this one promises to be another thriller.
Channel Nine rugby league expert Wally Lewis is expecting action aplenty when these two rugby league powerhouses collide.
“I know the Broncos under Wayne Bennett will relish the underdog tag and take great pleasure in ending the Cowboys season in a revenge act for last year’s grand final."
“The Cowboys are determined to become the first team in 23 years to record back-to-back premierships, but the standard of every team that remains guarantees that this is a near impossible task. Yet any team under the direction of Johnathan Thurston can never be underestimated. The home ground advantage is the reason for me tipping the Cowboys.”
On Saturday night at the hostile home of the Raiders, GIO Stadium in Canberra, where the Panthers will lay all their attacking aces on the table in the second semi-final.
Although key playmakers Josh Hodgson and Blake Austin are under an injury cloud, the Raiders remain lethal and will be looking to take advantage of the Panthers’ inconsistent defence.
Dissecting this sudden-death clash, Channel Nine’s Andrew Johns believes there will be a distinct flavour of attack on Saturday night.
“The Panthers have come of age in recent weeks with a refreshing game plan that has abandoned the copycat style most NRL teams use in attack. The ability of Matt Moylan, Nathan Cleary, Bryce Cartwright and Tyrone Peachey to trust their instincts and play according to whatever the defensive line presents has been the key in their winning run.
“The Raiders have some slick outside backs and a brutal forward pack but they rely heavily on Josh Hodgson to steer them around the park and create opportunities. Whether he plays remains to be seen.
“If the Panthers backline get going, watch out. I’m tipping them to win in a tight one.”
Join the commentary team of Ray Warren, Yvonne Sampson, Peter Sterling, Phil Gould, Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer, Brad Fittler, Wally Lewis and Mathew Thompson for all the action this weekend LIVE and FREE across the nation on Nine and 9GEM.
Friday, September 16 - North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos
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 17 - Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers
Sydney 7.00pm LIVE on Nine
Brisbane 7.00pm LIVE on Nine
Melbourne 7.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Adelaide 6.30pm LIVE on 9GEM
Perth 5.00pm LIVE on 9GEM
Check local guides for details