Minor premiers out to finish the job as they take on Manly in week one.
Minor premiers Sydney Roosters will face Manly Sea Eagles in a National Rugby League qualifying final after overpowering South Sydney in this weekend’s final round.
The Roosters finished top of the regular season standings on points difference with a powerful 24-12 win over title rivals Souths on Friday.
They bounced back from consecutive losses to claim the NRL minor premiership with New Zealand dual international Sonny Bill Williams and NSW State of Origin standoff James Maloney outstanding throughout.
Manly were upset at home by Penrith 38-26 on Sunday to finish the regular rounds in fourth spot.
Cruising at 16-0 midway through the first half, the Sea Eagles and Panthers engaged in a see-sawing second half where the lead changed hands a number of times and Penrith scored two tries in the final minutes to claim victory.
South Sydney will take on defending champions Melbourne Storm in Friday’s other qualifying final.
The Storm ended the Gold Coast’s season with a 23-22 victory in golden point extra time with Test scrum-half Cooper Cronk landing the match-winning drop goal on Saturday.
In the two sudden-death playoffs on the opening weekend of the finals, the fifth-placed Cronulla Sharks take on the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday.
The Canterbury Bulldogs, who finished the regular season in sixth spot, take on Wayne Bennett’s Newcastle Knights on Sunday in the other elimination final.
This weekend Cronulla downed the Raiders 38-18 at Canberra Stadium and the Cowboys walloped Wests Tigers 50-22.
The Bulldogs lost 16-11 to the Broncos in Brisbane, while the Knights overwhelmed wooden spooners Parramatta 54-6.