There's a reason why Latrell Mitchell is the last man into the Roosters sheds after every game. It's the same reason he's the last Roosters player signing autographs and taking photos with fans on his way out of the ground. That reason is Johnathan Thurston.
Michael Chammas is a sports reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald
Twelve months ago the Canterbury board were presented with two proposals. The first was a contract extension for the coach. The second was his termination and a blueprint to life after Hasler.
Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has described Cowboys enforcer Jason Taumalolo as the best forward in the NRL, but the tricolours share a belief he has some off-the-ball deficiencies they can exploit on Saturday night.
The referees are back in the headlines after another contentious decision denied Penrith the opportunity to score a certain try in Friday night's 13-6 semi final loss to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
Parramatta will take the field on Saturday night with three players on the NRL's minimum wage and another three players earning less than $180,000 a year.
The NRL has reminded the NSW government that their recent 20-year commitment to play grand finals in Sydney hinges around the major redevelopment of ANZ Stadium.
Brad Arthur tells a story about Semi Radradra. It sums up just how far he's come since joining the club. "I remember our first session with Semi ... bloody hell, he didn't even know what the sideline was," he said.
Bryce Cartwright's decision to take personal leave mid-season to deal with a range of mental and physical issues has been described as the catalyst for his resurgence in the opening week of the finals.
Penrith won't play Matt Moylan in Friday's do-or-die semi final against Brisbane unless the skipper is given the all clear following his counselling appointment later in the week.
Parramatta halfback Mitchell Moses says he's spent very little time perfecting the highlight reel no-look inside pass that has led to two Eels tries over the past fortnight.