NRL finals preview – fixtures, schedule, and predictions

After 29 long weeks, the NRL has reached its final weekend. Eight teams have been whittled down to two over the last three weeks of the NRL playoffs, leaving just the Penrith Panthers and Brisbane Broncos to fight it out in the Grand Final on October 1st. Read on for our full NRL finals preview, including:

  • NRL finals schedule
  • NRL finals fixtures
  • NRL finals predictions

What is the NRL finals schedule?

The NRL finals began on Friday the 8th of September, and run through until the Grand Final on Sunday the 1st of October. Here’s a look at how the NRL finals schedule will unfold:

  • Week one (8-10 September) – two qualifying finals, and two elimination finals
  • Week two (15-16 September) – two semi-finals
  • Week three (22-23 September) – two preliminary finals
  • Week four (1 October) – Grand Final

With a total of nine postseason matches to being played, there’s plenty of fantastic NRL action for fans and punters alike. Read on for an exact breakdown of how these NRL finals fixtures are determined, and how we say they’ll pan out over the coming month. 

How are the NRL finals fixtures structured?

The NRL finals uses a fascinating approach to determine an overall winner, with those qualifying higher in the NRL ladder gaining an advantage. Here’s how each of the NRL finals fixtures is decided:

  • Qualifying final one – first vs fourth
  • Qualifying final two – second vs third
  • Elimination final one – fifth vs eighth
  • Elimination final two – sixth vs seventh
  • Semi-final one – loser of qualifying final one vs winner of elimination final one
  • Semi-final two – loser of qualifying final two vs winner of elimination final two
  • Preliminary final one – winner of qualifying final one vs winner of semi-final two
  • Preliminary final two – winner of qualifying final two vs winner of semi-final one
  • Grand Final – winner of qualifying final one vs winner of qualifying final two

With teams placed in the top four getting two shots at victory in the postseason, while those in the bottom half of the eight facing sudden death all the way through, the NRL finals are perfectly poised to deliver a worthy victor.

NRL finals preview
Photo by Icon Sport

NRL finals predictions for week three

Here at Pundit Feed, we love our rugby league predictions. Here’s how we say the NRL finals fixtures this weekend will unfold.

Penrith Panther vs Brisbane Broncos

While these two teams have undeniably been the best sides in the competition this year, it’s also hard to argue against the fact that the Penrith Panthers have been the top team in the NRL the last three years. With Nathan Cleary at the helm, and a home crowd behind them, it’s more than likely that Penrith will make it three from three this Sunday and go down in NRL history.

Whether they do it in emphatic style, as they have in their first two finals matches, or win an old fashioned tight Grand Final, is another question. Take the safe bet here and simply back the Panthers to win, one way or another.

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