Monday's Expert - 2022 NRL Finals Week 2


Time for a full wrap-up of the weekend's NRL action. Monday's Expert brings you the full results wrap from the weekend, plus Match Review charges, injury news, our POTY standings, crowds, TV ratings and a look ahead to next round.

All listed times are AEST (NSW/QLD/VIC/ACT).

RELATED: See the full list of 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Draw and Results.

NRL Finals Week 2 results

Parramatta Eels 40 Canberra Raiders 4

Venue: CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Crowd: 29134
Date: Friday 16 September 2022 at 7:50pm

Tries: Viliami Penisini, Mitchell Moses, Tom Opacic, Waqa Blake, Junior Paulo, Marata Niukore (2)
Conversions: Mitchell Moses (5/7)
Penalty Goals: Mitchell Moses (1/1)

Tries: Xavier Savage
Conversions: Jamal Fogarty (0/1)

Electric Eels thrash the Green Machine to move into Preliminary Final

Sam Bourke | September 16 2022 10:26PM

Parramatta are one game away from their first Grand Final since 2009, after the Eels thrashed the Raiders by 40-4 at CommBank Stadium tonight.

The Eels were relentless in front of their home fans, racing in seven tries to one to book a date in Townsville next week where they will face the Cowboys to decide who will make the 2022 NRL Grand Final.

Parramatta half Mitch Moses was terrific for the home side, scoring a memorable try on his birthday and silencing the doubters who questioned his and coach Brad Arthur's poor finals record. Moses did give his side a late injury scare when he left the field in the Second Half with a potential concussion, but the Eels number seven passed his Head Injury Assessment to return to the field and played a pivotal role in the victory. It was a hugely disappointing performance from Canberra, who simply missed the bus as the home side raced in four early tries before the Raiders finally came to the party through a Xavier Savage solo try.

With their poor finals record the topic of conversation in the build up, Parramatta came into the game under serious pressure and it was relieved early when skipper Clint Gutherson put his centre Viliami Penisini in some space down the right-hand side. The rookie centre then muscled his way over to score the first try of the night. Moses converted and it was 6-0 after just 8 minutes.
The Eels continued to dominate possession and were rewarded when Raiders fullback Xavier Savage failed to collect a grubber from Dylan Brown, with the ball taking a wicked bounce for Eels centre Tom Opacic to score the Eels second try. Parramatta then ran riot, with two more tries through winger Waqa Blake and then through NSW prop Junior Paulo who charged through a huge hole close to the line allowing the Eels to race out to a 22-0 lead.

Canberra were shell shocked after 30 minutes and needed something special to get back into the match. Xavier Savage then got some redemption following his earlier error, when the lightning quick fullback raced 80 metres to score a superb solo try and keep the Green Machine within touching distance before the break. The Eels could have easily had two more in the first half with both Gutherson and Maika Sivo disallowed tries but in a dominant display it was the Eels leading 22-4 at halftime.

Parramatta continued their dominance early in the Second Half when Junior Paulo produced a superb offload to Moses, who used his speed to race to the corner to score an electric try for the Eels. Departing backrower Marata Niukore, then had a farewell to remember in front of his home fans when he collected a late double, the first thanks to a superb pass from Gutherson and then at the death he scored off a nice offload from winger Maika Sivo to end the route, with Parramatta running out winners by 40-4.

Parramatta now travel to Townsville next week, where they face the Cowboys for the right to play in this year's Grand Final. Players of the Match:
3 points - Mitchell Moses
2 points - Clinton Gutherson
1 points - Junior Paulo

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 12 South Sydney Rabbitohs 38

Venue: Allianz Stadium, Moore Park
Crowd: 39733
Date: Saturday 17 September 2022 at 8:00pm

Tries: Briton Nikora, Ronaldo Mulitalo
Conversions: Nicho Hynes (2/2)

Tries: Mark Nicholls, Taane Milne (2), Cameron Murray, Lachlan Ilias, Cody Walker
Conversions: Latrell Mitchell (6/6)
Penalty Goals: Latrell Mitchell (1/1)

South Sydney marches on by culling the Sharks from the finals

AJ Lucantonio | September 17 2022 9:50PM

South Sydney have shown that they will be this season's dark horse, eliminating the Cronulla Sharks in straight sets by 38-12 in front of a monster crowd at the neutral venue of Allianz Stadium.

The game had a frantic feel to it in the opening stages as both sides tried to feel each-other out. A lazy high shot from Briton Nikora gave Souths the opening chance of the evening. The Rabbitohs didn't have to wait too long when a simple crash ball from Damien Cook allowed Mark Nicholls to charge over to score the first try inside the opening 3 minutes.

From there, the Sharks had majority of the footy through Rabbitohs mistakes. But at every turn, the Rabbitohs were hanging in deep and defending for their finals lives. Up the other end of the field, Souths were showing promising signs to extend their margin. But, the Sharks hung deep and saved certain tries from happening, including holding up Latrell Mitchell in the twenty-second minute.

Eventually, the defensive workload took it's toll and with ten to go before half-time it was the quick hands from Lachlan Ilias, Keaon Koloamatangi and Mitchell who got a great cut out pass to allow to Taane Milne to cross in the right corner and Mitchell converted from the sideline to give the Rabbits an early 12-0 cushion. Right on half-time, the Rabbitohs landed a crucial blow when Cam Murray charged past two poor attempts of tackle from the Sharks and Souths led 18-0 at the break.

Cronulla got the dream start to the second half when they crossed off a Cam Murray error inside the first five minutes on the second half. A clever kick from Hynes was batted back by Ronaldo Mulitalo and Nikora crashed over in the corner to reduce the margin to 12. Off the ensuing set, Hynes kicked the footy dead and off the extra tackle set, the Rabbitohs right hand side showcased some silky skill and Lachlan Ilias crossed to give the Bunnies an 18 point lead.

Cronulla thought they answered back immediately when Jesse Ramien finished off a wonderfully worked play which saw Nikora perform a spectacular flick pass. But, the video ref spotted Ramien as being offside and the try was revoked. Fortunately, the ‘home' side didn't have to wait long when Mitchell's pass was intercepted by Mulitalo and the winger raced 100 meters to reduce the gap to two possessions.

As the Sharks worked their way back into the game, their inability to ice key situations would bring their downfall, key mistakes in the attacking third allowed the Rabbitohs to grab a critical try. Cody Walker timed his impact perfectly when he stepped back on his lethal left boot and regained a critical three converted try lead. From there, another good pass from Ilias saw Milne outmuscle the Sharks left edge to get the Rabbitohs an unassailable 24 point advantage.

The Rabbitohs have a number of injury concerns, Jai Arrow felt a twinge in his groin and failed to finish the game, Alex Johnston left with a hip flexor issue midway through the second half while Siliva Havilli failed to last 20 minutes succumbing to a cork injury. Tevita Tatola is in for a nervous wait from the MRC after being placed on report for a chicken wing. On a positive front, they'll be at their home ground in Accor Stadium next week when they take on the Panthers. For the Sharks, it's a disappointing end to a season that promised so much, but there are promising signs moving forward that will give Sharks fans a lot to look forward to. Players of the Match:
3 points - Lachlan Ilias
2 points - Damien Cook
1 points - Cameron Murray

RELATED: Click here to view the final NRL Telstra Premiership ladder.

Match Review Charges

Tevita Tatola (Rabbitohs)Grade 1 Dangerous ContactGuilty - early plea$1800
Elliott Whitehead (Raiders)Grade 1 Dangerous ContactGuilty - early plea$1800
Elliott Whitehead (Raiders)Grade 1 Dangerous ContactGuilty - early plea$1800

Check out the 2022 match review structure and penalties table here.

Who could be back?

Here's who's in line to return to the field next weekend.

Rabbitohs: Jai Arrow

Note: if South Sydney qualify for the Grand Final, Thomas Burgess will be eligbile to return from suspension

LeagueUnlimited Player of the Year standings

Our writers issue points every game for who they judge as the best player on the field.

38 points - Nicho Hynes (Sharks)
31 points - Ben Hunt (Dragons/QLD)
29 points - Cameron Munster (Storm/QLD), Mitchell Moses (Eels)
25 points - Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles), James Tedesco (Roosters/NSW)
23 points - Jahrome Hughes (Storm/NZ), Joseph Tapine (Raiders)
20 points - Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs), Joseph Manu (Roosters/NZ), Nathan Cleary (Panthers/NSW)
18 points - AJ Brimson (Titans)
17 points - Jarome Luai (Panthers/NSW), Matt Burton (Bulldogs/NSW)
16 points - Jack Wighton (Raiders/NSW)
15 points - Isaah Yeo (Panthers), Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys), Damien Cook (Rabbitohs)
14 points - Adam Reynolds (Broncos), Dylan Edwards (Panthers), Scott Drinkwater (Cowboys)
13 points - Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs)
12 points - Viliame Kikau (Panthers), Harry Grant (Storm), Jackson Hastings (Wests Tigers), Valentine Holmes (Cowboys/QLD)
11 points - Jeremiah Nanai (Cowboys), Apisai Koroisau (Panthers), Tino Fa'asuamaleaui (Titans), Reuben Cotter (Cowboys), Clinton Gutherson (Eels)
10 points - Dylan Brown (Eels), Sam Walker (Roosters), Siosifa Talakai (Sharks), Kalyn Ponga (Knights/QLD), Junior Paulo (Eels)
9 points - Reed Mahoney (Eels), Josh Papali'i (Raiders), Blayke Brailey (Sharks), Luke Keary (Roosters), Keaon Koloamatangi (Rabbitohs), Shaun Johnson (Warriors), Jeremy Marshall-King (Bulldogs), Ryan Papenhuyzen (Storm), Haumole Olakau'atu (Sea Eagles), Reece Robson (Cowboys), Payne Haas (Broncos)
8 points - Matt Moylan (Sharks), Talatau Amone (Dragons), Jake Clifford (Knights), Selwyn Cobbo (Broncos), Josh Addo-Carr (Bulldogs), Isaiah Papali'i (Eels), Addin Fonua-Blake (Warriors), Hudson Young (Raiders), Taylan May (Panthers/Samoa), Cody Walker (Rabbitohs)
7 points - Will Kennedy (Sharks), Josh Curran (Warriors), Zac Lomax (Dragons), Reece Walsh (Warriors), Ronaldo Mulitalo (Sharks), Shaun Lane (Eels), Chad Townsend (Cowboys), Tom Dearden (Cowboys), James Fisher-Harris (Panthers/NZ), Lachlan Ilias (Rabbitohs)
6 points - Kieran Foran (Sea Eagles), Dane Gagai (Knights), Kotoni Staggs (Broncos), Justin Olam (Storm/PNG), Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs)
5 points - Lachlan Miller (Sharks), Adam Elliott (Raiders), David Klemmer (Knights), Thomas Burgess (Rabbitohs), Patrick Carrigan (Broncos), Wayde Egan (Warriors), Adam Doueihi (Wests Tigers), Jock Madden (Wests Tigers), Peta Hiku (Cowboys), Liam Martin (Panthers), Josh Aloiai (Sea Eagles), Siosiua Taukeiaho (Roosters), Reuben Garrick (Sea Eagles)
4 points - Cameron McInnes (Sharks), Herbie Farnworth (Broncos), Royce Hunt (Sharks), Tex Hoy (Knights), Kurt Capewell (Broncos), Briton Nikora (Sharks), Ryan Matterson (Eels), Beau Fermor (Titans), Cody Ramsey (Dragons), Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm), Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Eels), Zac Hosking (Broncos), Corey Oates (Broncos), Tesi Niu (Broncos), Luciano Leilua (Wests Tigers/Cowboys), Nat Butcher (Roosters), Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers), David Nofoaluma (Wests Tigers, Samoa, Storm)
3 points - Dale Finucane (Sharks), Lachlan Croker (Sea Eagles), Mikaele Ravalawa (Dragons), Toby Sexton (Titans), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters), Brad Schneider (Raiders), Ezra Mam (Broncos), Braidon Burns (Bulldogs), Campbell Graham (Rabbitohs), Ryan Sutton (Raiders), Te Maire Martin (Broncos), Marion Seve (Storm), Albert Kelly (Broncos), Sean O'Sullivan (Panthers), Erin Clark (Titans), Tom Gilbert (Cowboys), Anthony Milford (Knights), Tohu Harris (Warriors), Luke Thompson (Bulldogs), Daejarn Asi (Cowboys), Tyson Frizell (Knights), Stephen Crichton (Panthers), Xavier Savage (Raiders), Jesse Ramien (Sharks), Matthew Lodge (Warriors/Roosters), Joseph Suaalii (Roosters), Kelma Tuilagi (Wests Tigers), Moses Suli (Dragons), Matt Frawley (Raiders), Angus Crichton (Roosters), Daine Laurie (Wests Tigers), Lachlan Lam (PNG/Roosters), Brian To'o (Panthers)
2 points - Corey Harawira-Naera (Raiders), Felise Kaufusi (Storm), Tanah Boyd (Titans), Morgan Harper (Sea Eagles), Edrick Lee (Knights), Jordan Rapana (Raiders), Tevita Pangai Junior (Bulldogs), Jamal Fogarty (Raiders), Mathew Feagai (Dragons), Toby Rudolf (Sharks), Jaydn Su'A (Dragons), Dylan Walker (Sea Eagles), Izack Tago (Panthers), Martin Taupau (Sea Eagles), Liam Knight (Rabbitohs), Nick Meaney (Storm), Luke Garner (Wests Tigers), Jai Arrow (Rabbitohs), Kodi Nikorima (Warriors/Rabbitohs), Ken Maumalo (Wests Tigers), Tyrell Sloan (Dragons), Phillip Sami (Titans), Greg Marzhew (Titans), Kyle Feldt (Cowboys), Teig Wilton (Sharks), Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), Hame Sele (Rabbitohs), Murray Taulagi (Cowboys), Sebastian Kris (Raiders), Sunia Turuva (Fiji/Panthers), Elliott Whitehead (Raiders)
1 point - Kade Dykes (Sharks), Corey Waddell (Bulldogs), Jack Murchie (Warriors), Braydon Trindall (Sharks), Nathan Brown (Eels), Izaac Thompson (Rabbitohs), Jaeman Salmon (Panthers), Corey Horsburgh (Raiders), Jake Averillo (Bulldogs), Jordan McLean (Cowboys), Siliva Havili (Rabbitohs), Jayden Campbell (Titans), Jack Bird (Dragons), Dominic Young (Knights), Thomas Freebairn (Wests Tigers), Tevita Tatola (Rabbitohs), Jacob Kiraz (Bulldogs), Max King (Bulldogs), Adam Pompey (Warriors), Kenny Bromwich (Storm), Matthew Timoko (Raiders), Joe Ofahengaue (Wests Tigers), Tyrone Roberts (Broncos), Matt Eisenhuth (Panthers), Josh Mcguire (Dragons), Ben Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), Brandon Smith (Storm), Lindsay Collins (Roosters), Adam Clune (Knights), Blake Taaffe (Rabbitohs), Victor Radley (Roosters), Xavier Coates (Storm), Blake Lawrie (Dragons), Matt Dufty (Bulldogs), Connor Tracey (Sharks), Mitchell Barnett (Knights), Aiden Tolman (Sharks), Marcelo Montoya (Warriors), Toafofoa Sipley (Sea Eagles), James Schiller (Raiders), Declan Casey (Bulldogs), Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), Josh Schuster (Sea Eagles/Samoa)

Metrics Metrics Metrics

Each week we'll also do our best to keep you across the crowd figures and TV ratings which are often the most talked-about parts of the game.

Crowds - Finals Week 2

Parramatta Eels (40) v Canberra Raiders (4)
Fri 16 Sep 7:50PM at CommBank Stadium, Parramatta (Crowd: 29134)

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (12) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (38)
Sat 17 Sep 8:00PM at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park (Crowd: 39733)

Ratings - Finals Week 2

STV ratings (Fox League)

Fri 7:50pm - PAR v CAN - 299K
Sat 8:00pm - CRO v SOU - 343K

FW2 STV total: 642K

FTA ratings (Nine Network)

Fri 7:50pm - PAR v CAN - 413K metro
Sat 8:00pm - CRO v SOU - 563K metro

FW2 FTA total: 976K metro

Around the grounds

Scores from state leagues and the UK

--> Check out all competition draws, results and ladders

What's ahead

NRL Finals Week 3

Second Preliminary Final
North Queensland Cowboys v Parramatta Eels

Fri 23 Sep, 7:50PM
Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

First Preliminary Final
Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Sat 24 Sep, 7:50PM
Accor Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

NRL Grand Final

Winner First Preliminary Final v Winner Second Preliminary Final
Sun 2 Oct, 7:30PM
Accor Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

Full 2022 NRL draw & results