With finals footy comes the supposed best time of the year.

I say supposed because, much like fans of 13 other sides, I watch on this weekend purely for the love of the game without any real investment in the results.

I'm happy to fully admit though that in terms of games I enter without a "dog in the fight" these games rank right up there.

With finals footy also comes the yearly "Finals cliches". The lines trotted out each and every year due to ... well, habit I guess.

As we head into two very serious games of football over the next 48-or-so hours, I though it would be fun to sit back and look at the not to serious side for a minute.

Here are a series of finals cliches that you're likely to hear repeated ad nauseam at local pubs and across social media platforms all weekend.

We're going to look at each and either confirm them, or debunk them for the lazy rubbish they truly are:

You should support local teams come finals time

Result: False

This is, by some margin, the most ridiculous statement to be rolled out each and every finals series.

Just yesterday it was suggested that Sydney fans should "get out and support" the Penrith Panthers due to the fact they were the only Sydney team left in the final four.

Why in the world would why I, as a Sharks fan, rush out to support another team, just because they're a Sydney side?

For a start, it's not as though 75 kilometres is just down the road.

Secondly though, and far more importantly, I wish any side other than my own the absolute worst but it puts my side in a better position to actually achieve something.

Especially a side close-by (in comparison to the other three sides) and one that I'm likely to have a number of friends who support.

That is not how rivalries work. In fact the closer they are to my side, the more I actively hope they lose.

I don't think I'm out of line in suggesting that this Penrith outfit is the most unendearing, arrogant squad of footballer in recent memories.

Back to back titles will certainly portray that.

This is ridiculous and I never want to hear it again!

The best two teams make it to grand final day

Result: True

There will be blowback here but I will absolutely die on this hill.

The argument against this is that a team can finish eighth and sneak into the finals only to go on a run and knockout the minor premiers come preliminary final time.

My counter argument is that the idea of this competition is to win it, which means winning games at this end of the season.

If you're good enough to sneak into finals and you string together the wins to compete in a grand final, you're better than the teams you beat en route to said gand final.

To win a Grand Final you must play in a grand final.

Across an entire season, ok obviously the team with the most combined wins has played better across the year, but that doesn't have to mean they're the best team.

As a Sharks fan, all I heard last year was that we had a soft draw. We lost finals. We're not as good as the Eels, who finished fourth many wins behind.

Absolutely correct! You need to win finals games to win competitions.

The best teams win Finals games and the best teams contest the grand final. Every! Single! Year!

The finals are a completely new season

Result: False

Yeah a new season where four teams are handed a huge advantage by being given a second bite of the cherry should they lose in round one.

A new season where the sides finishing seventh and eighth are unable to host a game (unless it's a neutral ground they just happen to occupy).

A new season where ... it's not a new season!

"Anything can happen in the finals" is a cliche I have been guilting of spouting.

No it can't.

The Tigers can't beat, well anyone!

I get the line of thinking. The pressure is turned up, the crowds are massive, most games are do-or-die. That said, it's still exactly the same game played under the same rules.

There is a reason that the sides who finished first and second are such heavy favourites heading into this weekend.

There's also a reason that the top four finishers are the only sides left in the competition.

Suggests that this is very much the same season it was just a few weeks ago.

Defence wins Premiers:
Result: True... kind of

I largely agree that the teams with the best defence are the best suited to win tight games comes finals time, but I also put the following to you.

I don't remember too many games where a team won without scoring any points!

For the record, the Panthers conceded over 100 points less than any side in the regular season this year. That is why they're short priced favourites.

In terms of the least amount of points conceded, the last ten Premiers were:

First, first, second, second, first, first, third, fifth, first and first.

Six times out of the last ten seasons, the team who conceded the least amount of points won the competition. Twice it was the second best.

Cronulla and North Queensland were the only outliers in the past decade.

For those wondering, in terms of points scored, the premiers have placed in the following spots after the regular season.

Second, fourth, second, second, third, first, third, second, third and first.

Statistically, defence wins Premierships!

You have to be a member to buy a grand final ticket:
Result: False

I admit, I had a little fun with out this one yesterday. I suggested that Penrith fans who don't buy tickets to the preliminary final should be banned from attending the potential grand final.

Our grand final is sold very, very differently to that of the way the AFL Grand Tickets are sold.

They go on sale months prior to the teams being decided and offer up anyone, who can afford to sell a kidney, the chance to secure tickets.

AFL clubs have massive membership numbers that dwarf NRL club numbers.

Tickets are only available to club members. Even being a member doesn't guarantee a ticket due to a balloting system.

Right or wrong, if you want to attend a big final of the grand final, you have to be a member of the club.

The NRL doesn't boast those numbers. Right now you can still purchase Grand Final tickets, a week and two days out!

If you want to buy a ticket, buy one. Membership or not.

This won't change unless every club boasts membership numbers that engulf the capacity of Accor Stadium.

You could argue that you should be a member of your club to purchase Grand Final tickets, but given the price of tickets, if you can afford it, you've sure earned the right to cheer your team on.


  1. Absolutely agree with the NOT supporting teams because they are local. As a Roosters supporters I absolutely do not want any other Sydney teams to do well, it’s the same as I bet Man Utd supporters don’t want Man City to win in the Premier League or Scotland want England to win (in anything). Stupid how journalists assume that any Sydney team supporter would automatically support another Sydney team their own team was not there. I would rather a regional team (even Storm or Broncos ) other another Sydney team

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