Storm to kick off NRL finals against Manly

·1-min read

Melbourne will kick off the NRL's finals with a grudge match against Manly on Friday night on the Sunshine Coast.

The NRL are expected to reveal the schedule for the opening week of the finals on Sunday, with all games to be at regional venues.

AAP understands the Storm and Sea Eagles will kick off the series, before a double-header in Townsville on Saturday night.

The Townsville matches will include the Penrith-South Sydney qualifying final, as well as the Sydney Roosters taking on either Cronulla or Gold Coast in a sudden-death clash.

Parramatta and Newcastle will then face off in Rockhampton on Sunday in the last knockout match of the opening weekend.

There is also some suggestion that matches could remain in regional venues for the second week of the finals, with Mackay one option to host matches.

The Storm and Sea Eagles have not played each other in a finals match since 2012, but Manly's win over North Queensland on Saturday night ensured the two teams would meet again.

The 2012 preliminary final marked the fourth finals clash in six years between the two teams, with Melbourne winning three of them.

Jesse Bromwich is the only Storm player remaining from that game, while Manly still have Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran.

The Sunshine Coast has become a home away from home for the Storm in the past two years, yet to lose in the city after relocating there during Victoria's two major COVID-19 outbreaks.

FINALS SCHEDULE FOR WEEK ONE

FRIDAY

Melbourne v Manly, Sunshine Coast Stadium

SATURDAY

Penrith v South Sydney, Queensland Country Bank Stadium (Townsville)

Sydney Roosters v Cronulla/Gold Coast, Queensland Country Bank Stadium (Townsville)

SUNDAY

Parramatta v Newcastle, Browne Park (Rockhampton)

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