One of the best opening weekends of finals footy in a hot minute.
Upsets, nail biters and everything in between.
Here some of our biggest takeaways.
STORM SHUT-OUT MANLY
They were the favourites heading into the game, but I don’t think anyone saw that scoreline coming.
The Storm completely took Manly out of the contest – including Tommy Turbo.
Bellamy put on a masterstroke in how to coach int he finals and his team backed it up.
If you’re a Manly fan, you probably won’t be all too mad at how the draw has panned out, now being able to potentially avoid both Melbourne and Penrith en route to the GF.
They will bounce back, but fuck, Melbourne are going to take some stopping…
WALKER TO THE RESUCE
In probably the game of the round, it was the Roosters 19-year-old star to the rescue with two huge plays off the pine.
First the go ahead FG, then the run down and tackle on Beau Fermor (yes I know he missed it initially but huge play nonetheless).
It will be interesting to see how Robbo elects to use Walker in this week’s clash. A lot will obviously depend on Sam Verrills’ availability as he faces a high tackle charge.
I’d say Lachy Lamb goes into 9 and Walker back into the 7. But either way he will have a huge say in the outcome against Manly.
COACHES GO TOE-TO-TOE
The Ivan Cleary v Bennett beef is one of the most interesting storylines in footy at the moment.
It’s kind of hilarious that at his age, Bennett still takes this shit so personally. He is in his element and Ivan looks, or at least looked, rattled by the whole back and forth.
The game itself I found incredibly even.
Souths dug that little bit deeper and Penrith couldn’t quite nail it at the end. But I don’t think the coaching beef had anything to do with that.
It’s between them and the players are sorting shit out amongst themselves.
But the coaching battle is a giggle either-way, and Bennett is throwing KO punches left right and centre.
Top individual performance on the weekend goes to Mitchy Moses.
When he’s in that energiser mood, running the footy and brining his outside men onto the footy, Eels are a different side.
Parra have opened at $4 against the Panthers and honestly…I’m going to have a lick – banking on Moses turning up like that again.
If he does, Parra can beat anyone – as evident when they dethroned the Storm three or so weeks back.