January 25, 2022

Minor premiership epics: Five classic finishes to the NRL season

2 min read

On Saturday night at AAMI Park, Melbourne Storm host Cronulla-Sutherland with the winner securing the minor premiership for season 2016.

It has been a rollercoaster ride to the finish with the Storm unable to lock up the J.J Giltinan Shield last weekend at home against Brisbane while the Sharks flexed their premiership muscle against the Sydney Roosters.

There is no doubt this has been one of the most unpredictable finishes in recent history so we thought we’d go back through and check out a few other epic round 26 showdowns.



5: Eels/Dragons 2005
Parramatta and St George Illawarra were hot favourites to square off in the ’05 decider after finishing the season on 36 competition points with both teams winning their final round fixtures. The Eels claimed the minor premiership on differential. Unfortunately, both teams were knocked out in the preliminary final by North Queensland and Wests Tigers respectively.



4: Roosters/Bulldogs 2004
The Tricolours and Canterbury shared a fierce rivalry in the early 2000’s and it culminated in 2004 when they placed in the decider. It was a hot race to the minor premiership too with the Roosters smashing Parramatta 48-10 and Canterbury hammering the Warriors 54-10 in round 26. The Roosters claimed the minor premiership on for and against.



3: Roosters/Sea Eagles 2014
The Sea Eagles held a two point competition lead over the Roosters heading into round 26 before an upset loss to North Queensland. Sydney beat rivals Souths 22-18 to win the minor premiership on points differential.



2: Roosters/Rabbitohs 2013
The Rabbitohs led the Roosters by two premiership points ahead of their round 26 showdown but it was all the Roosters in the final round winning 24-12 and joining the Bunnies on 40 points. Roosters again won the J.J Giltanin Shield on differential.



1: Storm/Sea Eagles/Sharks 2008
All three sides sat on 36 points leading into round 26. If the Storm won they would claim the minor premiership on points differential even if the Eagles and Sharks got up. Both did but Melbourne put the exclamation point on the final round sprint race with a dominant 42-4 over the Rabbitohs.


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