NRL FINALS: Classic opener

South Sydney's Greg Inglis, widely regarded as the game's top player at the moment, is primed to take on his old Melbourne club when the NRL finals start on Friday night. Photo: Photosport


Another huge crowd is expected when the South Sydney Rabbitohs kick-off the 2013 NRL play-offs with a classic contest against defending premiers the Melbourne Storm in Friday night's qualifying final at ANZ Stadium (7.45pm kick-off local time; 9.45pm NZT).


South Sydneys clash with the Sydney Roosters last Friday night drew an astonishing crowd of 59,708, the biggest crowd in the competitions history for a regular season match.


Finishing second to the Roosters in the minor premiership race, the Rabbitohs are striving to make the grand final for the first time since 1971 but face a tough assignment against Melbourne (3). The winners of this game progress to week three while the losers will have a home play-off in week two against the winners of the match between Canterbury-Bankstown (6) and Newcastle (7).


The finals continue with a doubleheader at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night when Cronulla (5) takes on North Queensland (8) followed by the Roosters (1) facing Manly (4). The winners of the Roosters-Manly contest advance to week three with the losers meeting the winners of the Cronulla-North Queensland elimination final.


Week finals action finishes with the Bulldogs against the Knights at ANZ Stadium on Sunday. The game is preceded by two NYC play-offs.


Tickets for all week one NRL finals matches went on sale to ticketed members of the competing NRL teams at 10am today. Tickets for all fans go on sale from 10am tomorrow (Tuesday, September 10).


Ticketed members of participating NRL clubs can purchase discounted tickets in all categories and have the opportunity to purchase a limited number of $A20 tickets.


Ticketed members purchasing for a family of four can witness Saturdays double-header for as little as $A60.


The draw is:


Friday, September 13, ANZ Stadium

NRL: (2) South Sydney Rabbitohs v (3) Melbourne Storm, 7.45pm

Holden Cup: (6) New Zealand Warriors v (7) South Sydney Rabbitohs, 5.15pm


Saturday, September 14, Allianz Stadium

NRL: (5) Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v (8) North Queensland Cowboys, 4.00pm

Holden Cup: (2) Penrith Panthers v (3) Sydney Roosters, 1.30pm

NRL: (1) Sydney Roosters v (4) Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, 7.00pm


Sunday, September 15, ANZ Stadium

NRL: (6) Canterbury- Bankstown Bulldogs v (7) Newcastle Knights, 4.00pm

Holden Cup: (1) Canberra Raiders v (4) Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 1.30pm

Holden Cup: (5) Wests Tigers v (8) Brisbane Broncos, 11.15am