There have been superb games this year, so RealSport has selected its own top five games for the 2017 NRL season.
5 Round 8 - Sydney Roosters 13 def. St George Illawarra Dragons 12
The Anzac Day Test that continually finishes with a frenetic pace, with both sides having experienced victory being snatched from their grasp at the last minute. This year was no different and when Dally M leader, Gareth Widdop went down late in the first half the Dragons hold at the top of the table was being put under serious threat from the Bondi Boys.
A brutal and bruising encounter both sides were relentless with the attack being kept at bay through rock solid defence. It was some opportunistic moments of individual brilliance as Thompson, Pearce and then McDonald somehow found the line with the ball in hand. McDonald's effort setting the crowd alight as the commentators sung the praises the young man that out-muscled five Roosters on his way to the line.
Dugan absolutely nailed the sideline conversion in the wet and darkened stadium and the Red V had set up another nail-biter as the game went to extra time. Players were left sprawling on the ground as some new found zen within Pearce led to him piloting a field goal over from 31 metres out sending the team into delirium.
4 Round 13 - Sea Eagles 21 def. Canberra Raiders 20
Daly Cherry-Evans was on song once more and 'Leipana' ran amok in tandem terrorising Manly's left edge.
Manly ran out to a 20-6 lead courtesy of some skillful and willing tries with Daly Cherry-Evans either orchestrating or finishing off Manly's attacking forays.
Then began the Raiders come back led by Rapana who ducked out of dummy half reeling the Raiders back within 2 points. Either side then had tries disallowed that would have sealed the game and it then fell to Jarrod Croker to bend one from the sideline with Cherry-Evans balking is his ear he nailed it.
Cherry-Evans would have the last laugh though nailing a field goal from 20 meters out and further putting the Raiders season into disarray with so much expected of them.
3 Round 7 - Brisbane Broncos 24 def. Gold Coast Titans 22
The local derby as Gold Coast traveled up the M1 to Suncorp Stadium and traveled from one end of the field to the other early on as Tyrone Roberts filling in for the million dollar man Hayne, split the defense and flick passed to an unmarked Anthony Don to streak down the sideline and open the score.
With the Titans threatening to break away after a Ryan James try, James Roberts, poached by Wayne Bennett after a contract debacle split the defense with ease twice only for the Titans to hit back once more. Little brother was giving the Broncos a real run for their money as Anthony Don once again in the thick of it, kicked a Taylor grubber that landed flush on the chest of Grevsmuhl to score.
This game was everything a fan could wish for in terms of attack as Milford broke the line and linked with Roberts the two speedsters conjuring up a Suncorp special. Not to be outdone the Titans halves brought up what looked to be the deciding try combining for a 22-20 lead. Then with the game in the balance yet the wind at the back of Titans sails, Gillett came up with a charge down, regather and pass for the flying Roberts to complete his hat-trick and seal the win in front a packed Suncorp crowd, an absolute thriller right down to the wire.
2 Round 2 - Brisbane Broncos 20 lost North Queensland Cowboys 21
The previous four matches between these sides had either been decided by a solitary point, golden point or extra time as they carved a rivalry bigger and better than any other in the modern NRL era.
The sides traded blows with tries to Roberts off the back of a Hunt grubber, and then quick thinking from Morgan out of dummy half saw Hess steamroll four would be defenders.
The Broncos would add two penalty goals as the Cowboys attempted to slow down the frantic pace of the game and then lay on further points through another Hunt grubber. Not to be outdone Morgan burst through a gaping hole and then Granville in the second half pounced on a loose ball for the lead.
Early days still and Roberts blinding speed once more he got on the outside of Linnett and sent Kahu dashing and stepping for the line after a suspect pass. Then penalty goals were traded once more due to either sides ill-discipline and with the Cowboys down on troops losing Winterstein, Scott and Coote to injury things seemed to favour the Broncos. However, the Cowboys dogged determination kept them in the fight and seven minutes into golden point of an absolute epic, end to end game saw the Thurston stamp his mark on the game once more
1 Round 10 - Melbourne Storm 36 lost Gold Coast Titans 38
Some of the season's most extraordinary tries were born here during this the first of a doubleheader epic at Suncorp Stadium.
The Storm had their big three back on deck and firing for the first time in two years and Munster was fitting in seamlessly at five-eighth setting up Harris for a break down the middle clinically finished by the ever supporting Slater. Then Smith, Slater and Cronk served up a classic try with Smith throwing a dummy and showing a little shimmy out of the ruck to set up Slater bursting through a hole in the defense, who drew the Titans fullback in and passed for a supporting Cronk to finish off a superb piece of magic straight from the training ground.
A third Storm try from inside their own half and they well and truly stormed ahead pardon the pun. Then the Titans gaining the ascendency laid on two quick tries through some flashy hands. Hurrell would regain the lead for the Titans once more from a clever Peats grubber and the enterprising play only continued as the Storm marched home to what seemed an unassailable lead heading into the last six minutes ahead by eight.
Then after the lead had been swapped four times and the Titans within four of this almighty Storm team boasting some of the games finest and future immortals, they did the unthinkable. Elgey switching the play from the left to the right found the rising Anthony Don who plucked the ball from outside the field back to Hurrell who barrelled his way over the line and gifted the Titans one of their finest ever victories in the clubs history.
The final score 38-36 and worthy of being the best match of the 2017 season by some margin.
Which were your favourite games of the 2017 NRL season? Let us know in the comments and poll below.
Poll: Which were your favourite games of the 2017 NRL season?
- Round 10 - Melbourne Storm 36 lost Gold Coast Titans 38
- Round 2 - Brisbane Broncos 20 lost North Queensland Cowboys 21
- Round 7 - Brisbane Broncos 24 def. Gold Coast Titans 22
- Round 13 - Sea Eagles 21 def. Canberra Raiders 20
- Round 8 - Sydney Roosters 13 def. St George Illawarra Dragons 12
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