Published by Mark St John, 24 September 2018 on foxsports.com.au
THE preliminary finals went to script based on recent history, with the Roosters and Storm winning through to the grand final.
The Roosters’ 12-4 victory over the Rabbitohs was their fifth win in their past six matches against the Rabbitohs.
The Sharks 22-6 defeat to the Storm continued their poor record in finals played outside of NSW, having lost six of seven, with all six losses coming by 14 points or more.
Scroll down for our full Fox Lab preliminary final review.
Storm 22 d Sharks 6
— The Storm reach their eighth grand final in the past 13 seasons. They will be aiming to become the first team in a unified competition to win back to back titles since Brisbane in 1992-93.
— The Storm have now won 91 of 93 matches when keeping their oppositions scoreless at halftime.
— The Sharks were held scoreless in the first half for the first time since Round 19 last season against the Titans.
— The Sharks made 21 offloads, their most in a match since Round 16, 2014 when they made 22 against the Broncos.
— Billy Slater scores his 48th career double which includes six hat tricks and one four-try match. It was his third double against the Sharks – first since Round 20, 2006.
— Slater also ran for 173 metres, set up a try, made two linebreaks and busted nine tackles in this match.
— Cameron Smith has scored his most points in a season (199), five more than his previous best of 194 points in 2016.
Roosters 12 d Rabbitohs 4
— The Roosters qualify for their seventh grand final since 2000, having won just two of the previous six.
— The 16 total points scored makes it the lowest scoring match between these sides since 1989 when the Roosters won 14-0.
— The 12 points is the lowest winning score in this match-up since the Rabbitohs won 8-6 in 1986 at Redfern. It is the Roosters lowest winning score against the Rabbitohs since winning 12-4 in 1980.
— The Roosters win their 227th and final match at the SFS (147 losses, 6 draws).
— South Sydney were held try-less in a finals match for the first time since 1986 when they went down 16-2 against the Bulldogs. The Roosters hold a team try-less in a final for the first time since 2013 when they defeated Manly 4-0 in Week 1.
— South Sydney went their final 169 minutes of the season with only Adam Reynolds scoring
points for them.
— The crowd of 44,380 is the biggest ever crowd at Allianz Stadium, edging the Wallabies v Ireland rugby test match in June, which had 44085.
— Blake Ferguson scores his 18th try of the season and now has eight tries in nine finals matches. It’s his fifth try against the Rabbitohs and first since 2015.