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!

3. Storm 14 defeat Raiders 12 - 2016

Although I maintain the other 2016 Prelim was far more entertaining, this was a far closer game of footy and will be remembered more fondly as such.

This game had multiple twists and turns, a frantic ending and a massive crowd. The perfect ingredients for a memorable game.

For a long time, Melbourne looked home. A late try to Elliott Whitehead set up a heart stopping finish, and if not for a pass being called forward (correctly) Edrick Lee was very much away with the game to be won.

Most of all though, I remember the Storm masterclass at the end to ice the game.

Cameron Smith rolling the ball into the in goal for force a drop out. The Cooper Cronk doing the same.

Those were massive plays but two stars of the game, on one of the game's biggest stages.

It wasn't the most exciting ending to the game but it was as clinical a finish as you'll see.

I remember thinking Canberra had all the momentum and looks like they'd break Storm fans hearts, only for a future immortal and superstar halfback to finish them off.

Brilliant, brilliant Rugby League!!!


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