Melbourne Storm outclassed Parramatta Eels to win 32-0 at AAMI Park and move within one match of a fourth straight NRL Grand Final appearance.

Josh Addo-Carr scored two of the home side's five first-half tries in a blistering start that set up a preliminary final date with Sydney Roosters, the team that beat them in last year's decider.

Cameron Smith was sent to the sin bin late in the opening 40 minutes for slapping Reed Mahoney but nothing could keep the Storm from issuing a convincing response to last weekend's surprise 12-10 loss to Canberra Raiders.

The Eels, high on confidence following an extraordinary 58-0 humbling of the Brisbane Broncos, were starved of possession against a hardened finals force as their season to came to a bitter end.

Addo-Carr needed just five minutes to set the tone, the winger racing 60 metres as he turned multiple chasers inside out to open the scoring.

Maika Sivo took out his frustration with a bone-rattling shoulder charge on Ryan Papenhuyzen but the Storm were hardly intimidated.

Suliasi Vunivalu crossed to double the margin before Cameron Munster chased down a clever Smith kick to give Craig Bellamy's men 12 points in 16 minutes.

Captain Smith's failure to convert all three tries did little to halt Melbourne's momentum as Vunivalu brilliantly knocked a kick back into play to gift Jahrome Hughes a straightforward score.

The minor premiers were running rampant and, courtesy of Addo-Carr, had gone 22-0 ahead by the time Smith was sin-binned in the 29th minute.

Parramatta were more competitive after half-time, but a string of errors and a clash of heads between team-mates Marata Niukore and Tepai Moeroa summed up their performance.

Papenhuyzen rubbed salt into the Eels' wounds by somersaulting over in the right corner and the full-back rounded out the scoring, making the conversion after Nelson Asofa-Solomona crossed in the dying moments.

Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs will each have a second opportunity to reach the NRL's preliminary finals in this week's semi-finals.

The Storm finished the regular season top of the ladder but were upset at home by Canberra Raiders in last week's qualifying finals.

The Rabbitohs likewise came up short as they were beaten by rivals Sydney Roosters, who advanced to the final four.

Melbourne must overcome Parramatta Eels, who enjoyed an outstanding 58-0 win over Brisbane Broncos in the elimination finals.

Manly Sea Eagles, having come past Cronulla Sharks, are next for the Rabbitohs.

We take a look at the key Opta facts behind the two huge fixtures in the NRL Finals this week.


Friday

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Manly Sea Eagles

- The past six NRL matches between the Rabbitohs and the Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium have seen each team pick up three wins, although the most recent three were all won by South Sydney.

- Manly have conceded 31 penalties in the NRL this season for being offside inside the opposition 10-metre zone, the joint-most of any team (also Newcastle Knights).

- The Rabbitohs' Damien Cook has gained more metres (1,862) scooting out of dummy-half than any other player this term, 320 more than the next best (Cameron Smith – 1,542).


Saturday

Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels

- The Storm have won seven of their past nine NRL matches against the Eels (L2), including the most recent three in succession. They have not won more consecutive matches against Parramatta since a four-match span across 2006 and 2007.

- The Eels have made the most offloads (343) of any team in the NRL this year, 125 more than Melbourne (218).

- Storm great Cameron Smith has kicked the most goals (102) of any player in NRL 2019. This has been the first NRL season of his 18-year career in which he has kicked 100 or more goals.

Mitch Moses sparkled as Parramatta Eels pummelled sorry Brisbane Broncos in a record-breaking 58-0 thrashing to set up an NRL finals showdown with Melbourne Storm.

The Broncos were humiliated at a raucous Bankwest Stadium on Sunday, keeping their season alive with an 11-try thumping.

Parramatta's huge margin of victory was the biggest in finals history and their most emphatic over Brisbane, sending a warning to minor premiers the Storm - their opponents in the second week of the finals at AAMI Park next Sunday.

The magnificent Moses claimed a 20-point haul - including a try in each half - as the free-flowing Eels ran riot, with Brisbane having no answer to their expansive brand of rugby.

Anthony Seibold's side were blown away, with Michael Jennings, Moses and Blake Ferguson touching down in the opening 19 minutes.

Maika Sivo claimed a double either side of half-time after a Shaun Lane four-pointer and the Eels showed no mercy, Dylan Brown also scoring twice and Tepai Moeroa claiming his first of the season.

Moses - on target with six conversions - had his brace eight minutes from time and Daniel Alvaro finished in the last minute, with Manu Ma'u adding the extras as the Eels made a big statement.

Brett Morris is set to make a landmark appearance as the NRL Finals kick-off with a heavyweight clash between Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Friday's match between the sides, who finished second and third respectively in the regular season, will be the first Finals game to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground since the 1983 Grand Final.

Parramatta Eels won on that occasion and they round off the first round of Finals fixtures against the Brisbane Broncos on Sunday.

Minor premiers Melbourne Storm are in action on Saturday, taking on Canberra Raiders, before Manly Sea Eagles host Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Here, we take a look at the best Opta facts for the first round of Finals matches.

Friday

Sydney Roosters (17-7) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (16-8)

- Defending premiers Roosters - who beat the Storm in last season's grand final - have won their past two games against the Rabbitohs, though they have not won three or more in succession against their city rivals since 1988.

- Roosters' Morris is set to play in his 250th NRL fixture. The 33-year-old has not scored a try against the Rabbitohs since 2015.

Saturday 

Melbourne Storm (20-4) v Canberra Raiders (15-9)

- After cruising to the minor premiers title, Melbourne host the Raiders, who have won four of their past eight away matches against the Storm, including a 22-18 victory in their last meeting.

- Suliasi Vunivalu could be the Storm's biggest weapon, with the winger having scored six tries in his last four NRL appearances against the Raiders.

Manly Sea Eagles (14-10) v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (12-12)

- The Sea Eagles have won 16 of their past 18 games against the Sharks, including the three most recent fixtures.

- Dylan Walker will be relishing this match, having crossed for a try in each of his previous three NRL meetings with Cronulla.

Sunday

Parramatta Eels (14-10) v Brisbane Broncos (11-12)

- Each of the past four NRL Finals matches played between the Eels and the Broncos have been won by the home side on the day.

- Matt Gillett of the Broncos is set to play his 200th NRL match, while the Eels' Reed Mahoney has made 1,150 tackles in 2019 - more than any other player.

Parramatta Eels climbed above opponents Manly Sea Eagles into fifth in the final NRL ladder as Maika Sivo scored a hat-trick in a feisty encounter on Friday.

Sivo's third try with two minutes remaining saw the Eels leapfrog Manly on points difference with a 32-16 win, while it brought up the winger's 20th score of the season.

The powerful Fijian had earlier matched and then surpassed Latrell Mitchell's tally of 18 in 2019 as he crossed three times in the second half to settle an occasionally ill-tempered affair.

Parramatta made a flying start with tries from Michael Jennings and Clinton Gutherson in the first seven minutes to secure a 14-2 half-time lead.

The second period was initially more balanced, though, even after Martin Taupau was sin-binned for an ugly high tackle on Ray Stone, who had to be carried from the field.

A pair of Manase Fainu tries sandwiched Sivo's first effort and the Sea Eagles appeared to be in the ascendancy when Kane Evans also saw yellow for a shoulder to Brad Parker's head.

But Manly simply had no answer for Sivo, who powered through for his second and then ended an excellent team move to head into the finals in style.

In Friday's late game, premiers Melbourne Storm eased past North Queensland Cowboys 24-16.

Sandor Earl and Nelson Asofa-Solomona crossed before the break, with Will Chambers following quickly after the restart to put the Storm in control, all after Murray Taulagi had put the visitors ahead.

Kyle Feldt briefly brought the Cowboys back into the contest, but Max King's 72nd-minute try sealed victory despite a last-gasp Gavin Cooper response.

The last spot in the NRL finals will be determined on Sunday when Cronulla Sharks visit Wests Tigers hoping to hang on to a top-eight berth.

Both the Tigers and the Sharks have 24 points each after 23 rounds, but the latter's greater points differential means they are in pole position to reach the finals.

The sixth-placed Parramatta Eels will look to leapfrog Manly Sea Eagles into fifth while Melbourne Storm, already confirmed as the minor premiership champions, will hope to round off the regular season in style when they host the North Queensland Cowboys.

We take a look at the Opta facts for the last round of NRL fixtures.

 

Thursday

South Sydney Rabbitohs (15-8) v Sydney Roosters (17-6)

- Souths are bidding to beat Sydney twice in the regular season for the first time in a decade following their triumph earlier in the campaign.

- Cody Walker (14 tries, 16 try assists) leads the way with the most try involvements in the NRL and Roosters team-mate Latrell Mitchell will also hope to reach the 30 mark, having crossed 18 times and provided 11 assists so far.

Friday

Parramatta Eels (13-10) v Manly Sea Eagles (14-9)

- This fixture has been a one-sided affair in recent years, with the Eels winning their past four home games in a row against the Eagles by an average margin of 19 points per contest.

- Kane Evans will bring up a landmark 100th appearance for Parramatta.

 

Melbourne Storm (19-4) v North Queensland Cowboys (9-14)

- Though Melbourne have won their past nine successive games against the Cowboys, six of those wins have come by a margin of eight points or fewer.

- The Storm have missed just 27 tackles per game in this year's NRL, fewer than any other team in the competition.

Saturday

Canberra Raiders (15-8) v New Zealand Warriors (8-1-14)

- Canberra beat the Warriors 46-12 earlier in the season and have been victorious in five of their previous seven meetings.

- The Warriors have conceded 40-plus points in three of their past five NRL games having done so only once in their previous 35 games. 

 

Canterbury Bulldogs (9-14) v Brisbane Broncos (11-1-11)

- The home team has won the past seven times the Bulldogs have met the Broncos.

- Brisbane players have made 901 tackle breaks this season, 83 more than any other team and 287 more than the Bulldogs.

Gold Coast Titans (4-19) v St George-Illawarra Dragons (7-16)

- Dragons star Gareth Widdop needs just five more points to reach 1,000 in the NRL.

- Each of the past three meetings between these two have been won by the Dragons, who have outscored the Titans 136-52 in that time.

 

Sunday

Wests Tigers (11-12) v Cronulla Sharks (11-12)

- The Sharks are on a five-match winning streak against the Tigers, their longest run of victories against them.

- Benji Marshall is one of just three players to average more than one assist per game having set up 19 tries in 18 appearances.

 

Penrith Panthers (10-13) v Newcastle Knights (10-13)

- Though they have only led in four of their past 10 NRL games against the Knights, the Panthers have won on eight occasions.

- However, Newcastle have scored 12 tries in the opening 10 minutes of NRL games this season, the second-most of any team in the competition (behind the Sydney Roosters).

South Sydney Rabbitohs remain well-placed for a top-four finish in the NRL after easing past the New Zealand Warriors 31-10 in Auckland, while Brisbane Broncos edged Parramatta Eels 17-16 in golden point to boost their finals chances.

Rabbitohs moved up to third from fifth thanks to the victory, in which Cameron Murray and Adam Reynolds played starring roles.

The hosts lost centre Patrick Herbert to injury in the warm-up and Chanel Harris-Tavita early in the second half, doing little to help their cause.

Herbert's replacement Adam Pompey went over for his first NRL try in the 34th minute, and that was followed soon after by Ken Maumalo touching down, leaving Rabbitohs with a slender 14-10 lead at the interval.

But Warriors failed to register a single point in the second period, with Reynolds taking his points total to 15, made up of four conversions, three penalty goals and a field goal in the last minute.

Murray's brace of tries came either side of Alex Johnston's solitary effort, with Dane Gagai getting in on the act 10 minutes from time.

Jamayne Isaako got the decisive score for Broncos in Brisbane, despite visitors Eels outscoring them 3-2 in the try stakes.

However, Eels were unable to count on the reliable kicking of Isaako, who converted both his attempts for Broncos, added two penalty goals and sealed victory late on.

David Fifita's powerful run opened up the play to Isaako, who, a minute after seeing a field goal effort come back off the post, made no mistake second time around.

They go seventh thanks to the victory, with one match left of the regular season.

High-flying Melbourne Storm look set for a test as they travel to Manly Sea Eagles in the latest round of NRL fixtures.

The Storm sit at the top of the ladder and have a good record at Manly, but the Sea Eagles are fourth themselves and have pushed Melbourne close in previous meetings.

We take a look at that match and more – including a Sydney Cricket Ground double-header – with these Opta facts.

 

Thursday

North Queensland Cowboys (8-14) v Canterbury Bulldogs (9-13)

- The Bulldogs have won four of their past six NRL games against the Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium, including a 27-10 victory in their most recent game there.

- Canterbury have conceded 19 penalties for stealing the ball in NRL 2019, more than any other team in the competition.

Friday

New Zealand Warriors (8-1-13) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (14-8)

- The Rabbitohs have won eight of their past nine NRL games against the Warriors, including their last two on the bounce.

- The New Zealand outfit have conceded 40 or more points in a game on four occasions in NRL 2019 – including three times in their past four games – while the last time they did so more in a single season was 2004 (seven times).

Brisbane Broncos (10-1-11) v Parramatta Eels (13-9)

- Each of the past eight NRL games between the Broncos and the Eels at Suncorp Stadium has been won by the team holding the half-time lead on the day, with each side winning four times in that span.

- Mitchell Moses has made 82 kicks in play that have been retained by a team-mate in this NRL campaign, more than any other player in the competition.

Saturday

Newcastle Knights (9-13) v Gold Coast Titans (4-18)

- The Titans have won five of their last seven NRL games against the Newcastle Knights; however, their two defeats in that span have come in their most recent two clashes at McDonald Jones Stadium.

- Gold Coast have been awarded 168 penalties in NRL 2019, more than any other team in the competition and 16 more than the Newcastle Knights.

Manly Sea Eagles (14-8) v Melbourne Storm (18-4)

- The Storm have won four of their past five NRL games against the Sea Eagles at Lottoland; two of those wins coming by a margin of just one point on the day.

- Martin Taupau (350 carries, 620 tackles) is the only player thus far in NRL 2019 to have made 350 carries and 350 tackles.

Sydney Roosters (16-6) v Penrith Panthers (10-12)

- This will be the Panthers' first NRL game at the Sydney Cricket Ground since a 2010 loss to the Wests Tigers; it is a venue where the Roosters have won their past seven NRL games in a row by an average margin of 32 points.

- The Panthers are one of only three teams (also Sea Eagles, Storm) to have had more than one forward start in every one of their 22 games so far this season (James Fisher-Harris, James Tamou).

Sunday

Cronulla Sharks (11-11) v Canberra Raiders (14-8)

- Ten of the past 12 NRL games between the Sharks and the Raiders have been won by the away team on the day.

- Josh Morris has scored seven tries in his past seven NRL games and has a season tally of 13 – his most in a season since 2012 (17).

St George Illawarra Dragons (7-15) v Wests Tigers (10-12)

- The Dragons have won three of their past four NRL games against Wests, as well as having won the only previous meeting between the two teams at the Sydney Cricket Ground (13-12 in 2013).

- St George have made 40 or more tackle breaks in each of their past two NRL games against the Tigers, a mark they have managed to hit just three times so far in NRL 2019.

Parramatta Eels failed to guarantee a spot in the NRL finals as Canterbury Bulldogs kept their late surge going with a 12-6 victory.

The Eels would have secured a top-eight finish with a win at Bankwest Stadium on Thursday but the Bulldogs came from behind to make it four victories on the bounce.

Canterbury moved onto 20 points and are now just two adrift of Cronulla Sharks, who have played one game fewer and occupy the final qualification spot with two matches remaining.

Parramatta took the lead after Manu Ma'u's dummy and offload to Waqa Blake ended with the centre grazing the whitewash with an outstretched arm.

Will Hopoate powered over in the corner as parity was restored before half-time and the temperature raised early in the second period.

Nathan Brown was sent to the sin bin for a late shoulder charge on the Bulldogs' Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Reimis Smith followed his opponent after pushing his head into Maika Sivo's.

When the teams were back to full strength, Sivo missed a chance to touch down for the Eels and the Bulldogs moved ahead for the first time when Mitchell Moses impeded Nick Meaney over the line and the video referee awarded a penalty try.

Meaney failed to ground the ball in the in-goal area but only after Moses slid in and hit the half-back's arm with his foot, and Canterbury held on to see out a huge win.

elbourne Storm can seal the minor premiership this week as the NRL season heads towards its conclusion.

The Storm are four points clear with three games to play and face bottom side Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.

A win in that game and defeat for Sydney Roosters at St George Illawarra Dragons will see Melbourne clinch top spot, while third-placed Canberra Raiders take on fourth-placed Manly Sea Eagles in a crucial clash between two teams out to ensure they cannot be eliminated in the first round of the Finals.

Here we look at the best Opta facts for this round of fixtures.

Thursday

Parramatta Eels (13-8) v Canterbury Bulldogs (8-13)

- The Bulldogs have made the most offloads (287) of any NRL team this year, 21 more than the Eels (266).

- Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels) has made the most try assists (20) of any half-back this season.

Friday

North Queensland Cowboys (7-14) v Penrith Panthers (10-11)

- The Panthers have retained the most kicks (145) of any team, 29 more than the Cowboys (116).

- Michael Morgan has had six try involvements (two tries, four assists) from his last four NRL matches against the Panthers.

Brisbane Broncos (10-1-10) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (13-8)   

- The Broncos have made the most tackle breaks (822) of any team this season, 146 more than the Rabbitohs (676).

- South Sydney are one of two teams – along with the Storm – to have more than one player inside the top 13 for try assists this season (Damien Cook on 22 and Cody Walker on 14).

Saturday

Cronulla Sharks (10-11) v New Zealand Warriors (8-1-12)   

- Six of the last seven NRL games between Cronulla and the Warriors have been decided by a margin of four points or fewer, including a 19-18 win for the New Zealanders in their last meeting.

- The Sharks have won six of their last eight NRL matches on home soil (L2), despite leading at half time only three times in that span.

Wests Tigers (9-12) v Newcastle Knights (9-12)  

- The Knights have scored 37 tries through the middle-third of the field, only the Storm (45) have got more through that corridor this term. 

- Luke Brooks (Tigers) has had eight try involvements (three tries, five try assists) from his last six NRL matches against the Knights. 

St George Illawarra Dragons (7-14) v Sydney Roosters (15-6)   

- The Dragons have made the most tackles per game (369) of any team in NRL this year, 30 more than the Roosters (339).

- The Roosters' trio of James Tedesco (11), Latrell Mitchell (8) and Victor Radley (7) have made the most supported breaks of all players this season.

Sunday

Melbourne Storm (17-4) v Gold Coast Titans (4-17)  

- The Titans have scored the joint-most tries (five, also Manly Sea Eagles) on the zero tackle in a set of any NRL team in 2019.

- Cameron Munster (Storm) has had 10 try involvements (six tries, four assists) from his six NRL matches against the Titans.


Canberra Raiders (14-7) v Manly Sea Eagles (13-8)   

- The Raiders have scored the joint-most tries (21, also the Roosters) in the first 20 minutes of matches of any team this season.

- Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly) has had 12 try involvements (five tries, seven assists) from his last eight NRL matches against Canberra.

Brisbane Broncos secured a vital win over Penrith Panthers in the battle for an NRL finals berth, while Parramatta Eels remained in the mix for the top four.

The Broncos and the Panthers lie seventh and eighth in the ladder having traded places on Friday with Brisbane's 24-12 win moving them three points clear of the ninth-placed Cronulla Sharks, who have a game in hand.

The hosts had to recover from a dismal start at Suncorp Stadium as Jake Turpin was sent to the sin bin just seven minutes in for swinging an arm at Dylan Edwards.

But Kotoni Staggs crossed on the quarter-hour mark and the Broncos remained in front at the break despite Nathan Cleary's response, with Jamayne Isaako's penalty goal the difference between the sides.

Isaako would prove the key man for Brisbane following the restart, quickly grabbing a try and then scoring again 10 minutes later before Brian To'o hit back.

An extended scoreless stretch played into the Broncos' hands and Payne Haas went over in stunning fashion to stretch the advantage and set up a comfortable finale, even with Tevita Pangai binned for a high challenge on James Maloney.

Ahead of Brisbane, the Eels are still sixth but now level on points with the teams third, fourth and fifth after hammering strugglers Gold Coast Titans.

Waqa Blake got his first tries for the club as they eased to a 36-12 win, dealing the Titans an eighth straight defeat.

Daniel Alvaro and Manu Ma'u had Parramatta in the clear, although the lead was cut to six points at the interval as Brian Kelly crossed.

However, in a ruthless spell, Shaun Lane went through and Blake followed twice in succession. Marata Niukore scored with 10 minutes remaining meaning Jesse Arthars' consolation counted for little.

The SCG has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Sydney Roosters.

The reigning champions will face a team that has caused them problems though, with New Zealand Warriors their opponents.

Melbourne Storm, six points clear of the Roosters at the top of the table, could potentially wrap up the minor premiership this weekend and they face Canberra Raiders.

We take a look at the key statistics, courtesy of Opta, ahead of round 22.

Thursday

Manly Sea Eagles (12-8) v Wests Tigers (9-11)

- Wests are on a four-game winning streak against Manly, even though they have only led once at half-time across those victories.

- Manly have missed just 27 tackles per game in this season's NRL, the fewest of any team in the competition.

Friday

Gold Coast Titans (4-16) v Parramatta Eels (12-8)

- The Titans have not lost a home game to the Eels since 2014, with each of the past half a dozen matches between the two won by the team hosting the fixture.

- No team has gained more metres per restart than the Eels, who have accrued 12.3m.

Brisbane Broncos (9-1-10) v Penrith Panthers (10-10)

- Brisbane wing Corey Oates has made five successful interceptions in 2019, two more than any other player.

- The Broncos have only suffered only two regular-time defeats to Penrith in their previous 13 meetings.

Saturday

Newcastle Knights (8-12) v North Queensland Cowboys (7-13)

- The Cowboys are on their longest winning streak against the Knights having won four in a row.

- They will need to be mindful of Shaun Kenny-Dowall, though, given he has scored five tries in his past seven NRL appearances.

Melbourne Storm (17-3) v Canberra Raiders (13-7)

- Melbourne will win the minor premiership if they beat Canberra and the Roosters lose to the Warriors on Sunday.

- The Storm have won their last five successive NRL games against the Raiders, conceding an average of just 10 points per match in that span.

South Sydney Rabbitohs (13-7) v Canterbury Bulldogs (7-13)

- Souths are on a four-game winning streak against the Bulldogs, their longest sequence since an eight-match run between 1967 and 1969.

- After scoring a hat-trick for the Rabbitohs last time out, Campbell Graham took his tally to six scores in his previous five appearances.

Sunday

Sydney Roosters (14-6) v New Zealand Warriors (8-1-11)

- The Warriors have lost only three of their past 10 NRL games against the Roosters in New South Wales, yet they have lost nine of their previous 10 contests played on a Sunday.

- Trent Robinson's Roosters have won six on the bounce at the SCG, scoring an average of 40 points per game in that span.

Cronulla Sharks (9-11) v St George-Illawarra Dragons (7-13)

- Only the Raiders (16) have scored more tries from kicks this year than the Sharks (14).

- Cronulla's Shaun Johnson needs 11 more points to reach 1,000 in NRL, a milestone that only six active players have reached.

Clint Gutherson scored twice as Parramatta Eels won a see-saw encounter against Newcastle Knights 20-14 to seal their place in the NRL finals and significantly damage their opponents' hopes.

A double from Gutherson had the Eels in an 8-2 half-time lead, and although the Knights – who have now lost six straight games – fought back through converted tries from Mitchell Barnett and Shaun Kenny-Dowall, the hosts ultimately prevailed at Bankwest Stadium.

Reed Mahoney's try in the 55th minute was swiftly followed up by another from in-form Maika Sivo to build a four-point lead, and Mitch Moses' late penalty sealed the victory.

The Eels move up to joint-fifth in the NRL ladder, while the Knights are 12th, three points adrift of the top eight with four regular season games to play. 

Elsewhere, Wests Tigers' finals hopes took a dent as they relinquished an eight-point lead at the interval in a dramatic 18-16 defeat to Canterbury Bulldogs that leaves them a point outside the top half.

Josh Jackson, Jeremy Marshall-King and Nick Meaney all crossed in an 11-minute blitz just after the restart to turn the game in the Bulldogs' favour at ANZ Stadium.

The Tigers' Paul Momirovski, who earlier scored two tries, then missed a crucial conversion in the final seconds after Luke Garner's score a minute from time appeared to have set the stage for a golden point battle.

There was more woe for the visitors with Robbie Farah leaving the field in the first half due to a suspected medial ligament injury that could bring a premature end to his final season, while captain Moses Mbye sustained a quad problem that ended his involvement.

In Saturday's other game, Gareth Widdop shone by laying on three tries and kicking six conversions as St George Illawarra Dragons won an entertaining 12-try encounter 40-28 against Gold Coast Titans.

The match – which all but sealed the wooden spoon for the Titans - was James Graham's 400th first-grade appearance and the prop was emotional after a surprise visit from members of his family who travelled to watch the occasion from England.

An exciting week of NRL action sees the top four teams face off on Sunday.

Round 21 concludes with Melbourne Storm travelling to South Sydney Rabbitohs, who sit in fourth, with their clash following on from third-placed Canberra Raiders taking on second-placed Sydney Roosters.

The Storm may face a tricky test but history weighs heavily in their favour.

We bring you all the best Opta facts from those two fixtures and the rest of the NRL games coming up.

Thursday

North Queensland Cowboys (7-12) v Brisbane Broncos (8-1-10)

- The Broncos have won their past three NRL matches against the Cowboys, their best run in this fixture since a seven-match streak from July 2007 to August 2010.

- The Cowboys have scored 12 tries in the final 10 minutes of the first half of NRL matches in 2019, the most of any team.

Friday

New Zealand Warriors (7-1-11) v Manly Sea Eagles (12-7)

- Six of the Warriors' past seven matches have been decided by four points or fewer, though they have recorded three victories in those close encounters.

- Manly have scored six tries starting from a kick-off in 2019, the most of any team. They also have the forward with the most carries in the competition, with Martin Taupau registering 299 so far.

Penrith Panthers (9-10) v Cronulla Sharks (9-10)

- The Sharks have won 12 of their past 14 NRL matches against the Penrith Panthers, including the previous seven on the bounce.

- Penrith's Nathan Cleary has scored two tries, provided an assist and not missed a single goal attempt (nine from nine) in his past three NRL matches against the Sharks.

Saturday

St George Illawarra Dragons (6-13) v Gold Coast Titans (4-15)

- The Titans have scored 16 tries in NRL 2019 after the opposition has made an error, the second most of any team in this campaign when starting a set in the same fashion.

- Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes has made the most tackles (932) of any player in 2019.

Parramatta Eels (11-8) v Newcastle Knights (8-11)

- The Knights have won 11 of their past 13 NRL matches against the Eels, including the most recent four games in that span.

- Parramatta have scored 13 tries in 2019 from their own half of the field, the second most of all teams this term from that range. Sydney Roosters top the list with 14.

Canterbury Bulldogs (6-13) v Wests Tigers (9-10)

- The Bulldogs have kept Wests scoreless in the first half of their past two meetings, winning on both occasions. Canterbury have triumphed in four of their past six clashes.

- The Tigers have scored 21 tries on the sixth tackle, the most of any team this year.

Sunday

Canberra Raiders (13-6) v Sydney Roosters (13-6)

- The Roosters have scored the most tries (84) of any team in 2019, 11 more than the Raiders (73) who have scored the third most.

- Canberra’s Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (1193) and James Tedesco of the Roosters (975) have made the most metres from kick returns of all players.

South Sydney Rabbitohs (13-6) v Melbourne Storm (16-3)

- The Storm have won 20 of their past 23 NRL matches against the Rabbitohs, including their most recent encounter last September by a single point (29-28).

- The Rabbitohs' Damien Cook has made the most try assists (22) of any player, seven more than Cameron Munster for Melbourne.

Sydney Roosters moved into second place in the NRL with a comprehensive 58-6 thrashing of bottom club Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.

With South Sydney Rabbitohs having slipped up against Cronulla Sharks on Saturday, the Roosters made light work of the Titans, who offered few positives for incoming coach Justin Holbrook.

After James Tedesco's early try, Brett Morris - now the 12th player to surpass 150 NRL career tries - helped himself to a 12-minute hat-trick before Daniel Tupou went over, with Latrell Mitchell adding the extras to make it 28-0 at half-time.

Any hopes of the Titans restoring some pride in the second half were ended when Tedesco doubled his tally, with Cooper Cronk racing over four minutes later for his 100th NRL try.

Ryley Jacks snatched a consolation for the Titans in between a pair of Mitchell scores, and the Roosters' Sam Verrills had the final say by touching down for the first time in his NRL career.

In Sunday's other match, Parramatta Eels consolidated their place in the top eight with a battling 12-4 victory away at St George Illawarra Dragons.

The visitors were 10-0 up by the 22nd minute and kept their lead intact heading into the break.

Mikaele Ravalawa's try seven minutes after the restart put the pressure on the Eels' defence, though, and they had to rely on a 70th-minute penalty from Mitchell Moses to halt the Dragons' momentum and hold on for what could prove a vital win in their bid to qualify for the Finals.

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