It is the most wonderful time of the year - the business end of the NRL season.

This weekend we will witness two mouth-watering preliminary finals.

On Friday night you have arguably the best team of the modern era in the Panthers. Standing in their way are the Storm, who have three of the biggest "big game" players in the comp.

Then on Saturday night you have the red-hot Broncos hosting the super popular Warriors.

We have two huge occasions awaiting us this weekend, however history has shown that perhaps we may not have two close games.

At this end of the season, the truly elite sides are hitting peak form and sometimes brush aside their competition at the final hurdle.

Sometimes though, we are treated to magnificent games of footy despite the nerves that come along with such a huge stage.

Below are the top four, plus one honourable mention, of those very best games from the past decade:

Honourable Mention: Sharks 30 defeat Cowboys 20 - 2016
I simply could not produce a best Prelims list without including my favourite preliminary final of all time. My favourite game of all time.

This is absolutely personal, as in terms of a contest, this wasn't much of one. A late Cowboys flurry padded a very lopsided score-line.

On the night, 35,500 Sharks fans, and around 800 Cowboys fans, packed the old Allianz Stadium to send the Sharks through to a grand final.

James Maloney played as close to a perfect game as you'll ever see. The Sharks played as close to a perfect game as you'll ever see.

I challenge anyone to find party scenes in the stands like those seen when James Maloney took that late intercept and ran away to book the grand final spot for his side!


4. Bulldogs 18 defeat Panthers 12 - 2014

I honestly couldn't tell you exactly what it is about this game that was so amazing. I just remember it as being super enjoyable and tense.

The Dogs boasted one of the best modern day forward packs. Three of said pack crossed for tries on the night in James Graham, Josh Jackson and Dale Finucane.

Maybe it was the fact that the Dogs were rank outsiders? They finished seventh in the regular season and were at long odds to make it this far, let alone advance.

Perhaps it was the try saving tackle of all try saving tackles from Travis Burns and Matt Moylan to deny Josh Reynolds a certain try?

Or the fact the game was still live after the siren, with Penrith having one last play to force extra time!?

This was just a cracking night, a brilliant game and set up a dream grand final ... albeit it one that didn't live up to the hype.



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