The Sydney Roosters have managed the opening night double at Allianz Stadium, downing local rivals the Rabbitohs 26-12 to secure elimination final hosting rights just hours after their women's side recorded an emphatic win.
The Tricolours and Bunnies will face off for the 229th time next week after tonight's match set up a re-match in a little over seven days in the opening finals weekend.
It took just seven minutes for the hosts to stamp their authority on their newly rebuilt home ground, Angus Crichton crossing on the left edge to score the venue's first four pointer in the NRL men's premiership.
The night had already started disastrously for the Rabbitohs - lock Cameron Murray was ushered off for a head injury assessment inside the opening 90 seconds and ultimately failed that - immediately reducing the visitors to 16 players.
For the Roosters, it meant pushing on. Sam Walker converted a penalty goal attempt on 17 minutes to extend their lead to eight before James Tedesco continued the early dominance just the other side of the 20 minute mark.
Largely against the run of play the Rabbitohs found themselves on the attack, and after a clever grubber through the line from Latrell Mitchell, fill-in hooker Peter Mamouzelos snatched a try against the odds to get his side on the board for the first time at Allianz.
It didn't take long for the home team to wrestle momentum back - Sam Walker with his own piece of individual brilliance grubbering through the line, having identified Mitchell up out of the line. He pounced on his own kick and the Roosters pushed out to a 20-6 lead, which they retained through to the break.
Egan Butcher was first on the board after the break - the Roosters extending their lead to twenty points after a superb ball found his chest close to the line. Walker's conversion had the result all but confirmed despite there being 35 minutes to play.
In the remaining time the Rabbitohs did manage two tries to keep the hosts on their toes - Taane Milne scoring both - the first a sterling effort tiptoeing inside the sideline and *just* getting it down, the other a surprising effort just a minute after teammate Latrell Mitchell was binned just over ten minutes from fulltime.
The Roosters held out their opposition for the remaining time and withstood their own player - Nat Butcher - being binned a couple of minutes prior to the end of the contest.
Both sides live to fight another week - against each other next weekend with much, much higher stakes. The NRL will confirm the scheduling of their elimination final toward the end of the weekend.