THE FINALS COUNTDOWN

Des Hasler

Out in front ... Des Hasler. Photo: Anthony Johnson

THE NUMBERS

513 - Metres Manly winger Jorge Taufua has made in his first two finals appearances. He's averaging 256.5 metres per game.

 

40 - The margin for both Melbourne's biggest win and biggest loss in finals football. They thrashed Brisbane 40-0 in the 2007 qualifying final but were belted 40-0 by Manly in the 2008 grand final.

 

12 - Number of players from the 2007 Melbourne-Manly grand final that will play in Friday's preliminary final.

 

ODD FACT

Don't expect a lot of line breaks on Saturday night. Canterbury and South Sydney have missed the least tackles of any team in the competition this year. They both average 27.6 missed tackles per game, while the Storm (28.1) are third and Manly (34.6) are 12th.

 

WAY BACK WHEN...

In 1975 when Manly last lost a preliminary final:

 North Melbourne defeated Hawthorn to win the VFL premiership

 Gough Whitlam was PM

 Anthony Mundine was just born

 Jaws was the top grossing film

 Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in the ''Thrilla In Manila''

 South Sydney finished last

 West Indies defeated Australia in the first cricket World Cup

 

CRANKY-O-METER

With four of the most fiery coaches in the competition remaining, the Herald has devised a Cranky-o-meter to see who will be the first to explode in the race to the grand final. Des Hasler has taken the lead after his criticism of the video refereeing system yesterday. Craig Bellamy and Michael Maguire have some injury concerns while Geoff Toovey is the most relaxed of the lot.

 

RUSSELL WATCH

''Wish i could, ANZ Sat night.Members and fans,get there,#bringthenoise We are (South Sydney) I love ( South Sydney) My Club (South Sydney).''