The Vodafone Junior Warriors will begin their sixth consecutive NYC finals campaign against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Friday night (5.15pm kick-off local time; 7.15pm NZT). Photo: Photosport


The 2010-2011 NYC premiers the only club to make the finals all six years assured themselves of finals football a few weeks ago but missed out on the chance of finishing in the top four, which would have given them an extra life.


Entering the final regular season round in fifth spot, the Vodafone Junior Warriors slumped to a disappointing 4-48 loss to St George Illawarra on Saturday night.


The magnitude of the loss enabled Wests Tigers to climb above them after they beat North Queensland last night. The net result is the sixth-placed Vodafone Junior Warriors take on the seventh-placed Rabbitohs next weekend.


The finals formula this year splits the final eight into a top four and a bottom four. Under the old McIntyre system, first played eighth, second faced seventh, third took on sixth and fourth met fifth.


This year first meets fourth and second takes on third. The winners advance to week three of the finals. In the bottom four, fifth plays eighth and sixth faces seventh. The losers of these two matches are eliminated while the winners advance to meet the losers of the week one qualifying finals involving the top four teams.


The Holden Cup and Telstra Premiership finals draw is (pending the outcome of Cronullas NRL clash with Canberra tonight):


Friday, September 13, at ANZ Stadium


5pm: Gates open


5.15pm: Holden Cup Second Elimination Final

(6) Vodafone Junior Warriors v (7) South Sydney Rabbitohs


7.45pm: Telstra Premiership Second Qualifying Final

(2) South Sydney Rabbitohs v (3) Melbourne Storm


Saturday, September 14, at Allianz Stadium


1.15pm: Gates Open


1.30pm: Holden Cup Second Qualifying Final

(2) Penrith Panthers v (3) Sydney Roosters


4.00pm: Telstra Premiership Elimination Final

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v Knights or Cowboys


7pm: Telstra Premiership First Qualifying Final

(1) Sydney Roosters v (4) Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles


Sunday, September 15, at ANZ Stadium


11am: Gates Open


11.15am: Holden Cup First Elimination Final

(5) Wests Tigers v (8) Brisbane Broncos


1.30pm: Holden Cup First Qualifying Final

(1) Canberra Raiders v (4) Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs


4.00pm: Telstra Premiership Elimination Final

(Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Knights or Cowboys