Week One of 2018 NRL Finals Delivers One Major Upset

We did not see the Dragons beating the Broncos, period, let alone winning 48 – 18 at Suncorp Stadium.

We did not see the Melbourne Storm so perilously extended by South Sydney in a game that resulted in a 29 – 28 outcome in favour of Melbourne.

We did feel that despite the recent turmoil, the Panthers would handle the Warriors and that Sydney would handle Cronulla.

Penrith go by New Zealand 27 – 12 and Sydney beat Cronulla 21 – 12.

Two out of four equals 50 percent, so it is a good thing we do not rely on punting for a living.

Truly, though, we did not expect the St. George versus the Broncos match to be so lopsided.

The experts had predicted three of the four finals to be decided by eight points. Most were picking the Rabbitohs by two points over the Storm, so a one-point difference seems negligible, unless you were on the losing side.

That same group of experts predicted the Warriors to put up more of a fight. As for the Roosters versus the Sharks, that one seemed to have the Chooks winning by four, so Sydney exceeded expectations.

The Dragons seem to have been saving their best for last.

They looked powerful in the early stages of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition, but seemed to lose most of their impetus towards the end of the season. The Broncos also seemed to be floundering, compared to some years gone by, but when it comes to finals, dismissing Brisbane out-of-hand is a dangerous strategy.

The experts really botched this one. The expectation was for a 20-point Bronco win, but that expectation was turned on its head.

The next round features win-or-go-home games for the Sharks, Panthers, Rabbitohs and Dragons. The Storm and the Roosters get a week away from the pitch, waiting to learn their next opponents.