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Around the Grounds: Round 25

The 2021 NRL season came to an end for Wests Tigers on Sunday afternoon following the side’s 38-0 loss to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Redcliffe.

Although Michael Maguire’s men were missing a number of key troops, it wasn’t an ideal way to close their campaign as they finished in 13th position on the ladder with eight wins and 16 losses.  

Gold Coast advanced to the finals for time since 2016 after they thrashed the Warriors 44-0 on Sunday afternoon — which also eliminated Cronulla from the competition.

Melbourne secured the minor premiership with a 12-point triumph over the Sharks, while Penrith finished with as many wins following their big result against Parramatta.

Manly Warringah’s 46-18 win over North Queensland ensured a top four position — and they’ll now face the Storm in Week One of the finals.

South Sydney, Sydney Roosters and Brisbane also scored wins in the final round of the regular season.

2021 Match Highlights: Rd.25, Wests Tigers vs. Bulldogs

ROUND 25 RESULTS

  • Sydney Roosters 40 def. Canberra Raiders 16
  • Melbourne Storm 28 def. Cronulla Sharks 16
  • Penrith Panthers 40 def. Parramatta Eels 6
  • Brisbane Broncos 35 def. Newcastle Knights 22
  • Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 46 def. North Queensland Cowboys 18
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 def.  St George Illawarra Dragons 16
  • Gold Coast Titans 44 def. New Zealand Warriors 0
  • Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 38 def. Wests Tigers 0
Maguire reflects on final round loss to the Bulldogs

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JUDICIARY CHARGES

Wests Tigers forward Shawn Blore is facing a fine of $1,150 for dangerous contact in the loss to Canterbury on Sunday.

Blore was cited for a late hit on Bulldogs hooker Sione Katoa in the 69th minute, which saw him sent to the sin bit, however the young forward has avoided a suspension. 

Meanwhile, St George Illawarra's Josh McGuire is set to miss the start of the 2022 season after he was hit with two high tackle charges following his side's mach against South Sydney.

The representative forward is looking at missing as many as six matches after being charged with grade 1 and 2 careless offences. 

Keegan Hipgrave is likely to miss Parramatta's elimination final against Newcastle after he was charged for a high tackle on Penrith enforcer James Fisher-Harris. 

Warriors prop Kane Evans is facing a combined seven matches on the sidelines after being charged with two offences in Sunday's loss to the Titans.

Evans was handed a grade-one dangerous contact head/neck charge for an incident in the 53rd minute on Beau Fermor as well as a grade-two contrary conduct offence for his part in the melee which broke out in the 65th minute.

Warriors teammate Matthew Lodge was also charged with dangerous contact for the incident which sparked the melee and if facing a one-match ban irrespective of whether he submits an early guilty plea, evading a two-game suspension by three demerit points.

Click here for a full NRL judiciary report.

LATEST INJURY NEWS

Wests Tigers centre Tommy Talau suffered a suspected ACL injury on Sunday afternoon, but is awaiting scans to determine the extent of the injury.

It was also an unhappy afternoon for young hooker Jake Simpkin, who left the field early in the second half with a painful shoulder complaint. 

Melbourne's Cameron Munster rates himself as a "50-50" prospect of lining up for the Storm as he and Josh Addo-Carr race the clock to be fit for Friday's finals opener against Manly.

Parramatta expect Reagan Campbell-Gillard (groin) and Clint Gutherson (knee) to be fit for the Knights clash as a host of their rested stars return.

Click here for a full injury report.

Stefano refuses to give up with superb cover tackle

FINALS SERIES — WEEK 1

Friday, 10 September

Qualifying Final: Melbourne Storm v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, 7.50pm at Sunshine Coast Stadium

Saturday, 11 September

Elimination Final: Sydney Roosters v Gold Coast Titans, 5.40pm at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Qualifying Final: Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs, 7.50pm at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Sunday, 12 September

Elimination Final: Parramatta Eels v Newcastle Knights, 4.05pm at Browne Park, Rockhampton