NRL finals LIVE: Penrith Panthers v New Zealand Warriors; Cronulla Sharks v Sydney Roosters
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- Shaun Johnson ruled out of tonight’s match
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Webster: ‘We’ve got to be ourselves’
Papenhuyzen has surgery on broken ankle
In case you missed it, Melbourne flyer Ryan Papenhuyzen was taken from the field on a stretcher last night after suffering a broken ankle.
Papenhuyzen underwent surgery this morning in Brisbane to repair the ankle he broke during the 26-0 qualifying final loss to the Broncos on Friday night. He had six screws and a plate inserted into his leg.
Ryan Papenhuyzen clutches at his broken ankle on Friday night.Credit: NRL Photos
Storm football manager Frank Poniss confirmed on Saturday Papenhuyzen had not suffered a compound fracture, which was widely speculated.
“Scans overnight suggest that it may not be as serious as first feared, but until he comes out of surgery we won’t know,” Ponissi said.
Ryan Papenhuyzen underwent ankle surgery on Saturday morning.Credit: Instagram
Edwards: Warriors dangerous for 80 minutes
Shaun Johnson ruled out of tonight’s match
Shaun Johnson has backed his teammates to win without tonight him after the New Zealand Warriors playmaker – and arguably the best player in the NRL this year – succumbed to a calf injury.
Johnson joined his teammates on a private jet to Sydney on Thursday before putting his injured left calf to the test trying to dodge the media throng at the airport.
Warriors star Shaun Johnson has been ruled out of week one of finals with a calf injury.Credit: NRL Photos
The 32-year-old had pulled up sore after training on Wednesday and was almost embarrassed by the interest in his withdrawal from the qualifying final against premiers Penrith.
“I feel like this is a little too much,” Johnson told reporters. “We’ve come here to win a game, and we’re going to do that.
“We’ve got players who can step in, we’ve done it all year, we’ve filled a role, and that’s why we’re here.
“I just think our team has never been about one person. It’s no different now. We’ll be right.”
Panthers v Warriors head-to-head
How have the finals panned out so far?
If you missed last night’s Storm v Broncos clash, then you missed a little slice of history being made.
The Broncos dug deep to beat Melbourne 26-0 at Suncorp for the first time since 2009 and booked themselves the first spot in the preliminary finals.
In a performance few could have seen coming, given the history between the two sides, the Broncos produced their finest defensive performance of the season.
Warriors need to end their week-one curse
The Warriors and week one of the finals aren’t the best of friends.
The New Zealand team is playing finals football for the ninth time, but their biggest hurdle is winning the first game.
They’ve lost their past three games in the first week of finals, the most recent of which was against the Panthers in 2018 – the team they line up against tonight.
Of their eight previous week-one finals games, the Warriors have won just three.
Good afternoon and welcome to our Saturday finals special.
Billie Eder here to take you through all the drama of today’s matches, starting with Panthers v Warriors in Penrith at 4:05pm AEST.
The winner of that match gets to put their feet up for a week, while the loser will have to play the winner of the Knights v Raiders game tomorrow afternoon.
As for tonight, we have a Sydney showdown with the Sharks taking on the Roosters in the Shire at 7:50pm AEST.
That match is an elimination game, and the winner will have to face the Storm next week for a place in the preliminary final.
The Panthers take on the Warriors in Penrith.Credit: Stephen Kiprillis
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