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Time for one last hurrah

Date

Departing Eels' duo Nathan Hindmarsh and Luke Burt had a light-hearted chat with Adrian Proszenko about their careers on the eve of today's farewell.

Hindy-sight ... Eels stalwart Nathan Hindmarsh on the burst as a fresh-faced Eel soon after making his first-grade debut.

Hindy-sight ... Eels stalwart Nathan Hindmarsh on the burst as a fresh-faced Eel soon after making his first-grade debut. Photo: Getty Images

What were your first impressions of each other?

NH: He was pretty quiet. And he'll claim that we never hung out too much and that's probably true. Burty spent every second day back in Newcastle, so it was hard to hang out. But my first impressions of him: very polite, pretty quiet but very quick.

LB: First impressions were how athletic and fit he was for such a big guy. And the other thing - he didn't talk to me for the first couple of years. Brushed.

Surfy kid made good ... Parramatta winger Luke Burt takes a stroll on the beach in the lead-up to his NRL debut in 1999.

Surfy kid made good ... Parramatta winger Luke Burt takes a stroll on the beach in the lead-up to his NRL debut in 1999. Photo: Stefan Moore

What do you remember about each other's NRL debut?

NH: That his jersey was probably 10 times too big for him. But he held his own. A debut in front of 110,000 fans - he had a solid game, from what I can remember. Debuts can make or break footy players.

LB: It was the year before me. I know it was in Parkes because he's told me a lot about it. I didn't watch it.

Did you think he'd last in the NRL?

NH: Of course I did. The reason why? He was never one to shrug training, he'd always work hard at what he had to do, whether it be goal-kicking, tackling. He was always working hard to try to improve his game. Those type of players tend to last a lot longer. He's had to change the way he's played. When you think of wingers you think of speed, that type of stuff. Obviously as Burty has gotten older the speed hasn't been there but he's gotten smarter, he's a good thinker of the game. What he lacked in speed towards the end of his career he made up for in smarts.

LB: Definitely. When I first came into first grade I always knew he was going to make it. He may have even been playing for Australia at the end of my first year, but it was definitely the next year.

What's the most embarrassing moment of his career?

NH: Burty is pretty cruisy, nothing really rattles him. Probably getting up on The Footy Show in a fashion parade. [Laughing] I was embarrassed for him then! … We looked at some photos the other day and he had the old shark-tooth necklace, the blond hair and all that type of stuff.

LB: He enjoys his arse being shown. He's one of those blokes who doesn't miss any tackles, so when he does miss that odd one, that's probably when he gets most embarrassed, Hindy.

What's an embarrassing anecdote that has never been told about him?

NH: There's nothing. He's done nothing.

AP: Not even in 14 Mad Mondays?

NH: It's quite tame. We just hold our own. We're pretty much the last ones there on Mad Monday. Nothing really. There was a Mad Monday he couldn't come to because he had a baby. That's not an excuse, I think, no. I was pretty disappointed that just because he'd had a kid, he couldn't come to Mad Monday. Make sure you put sarcasm in my voice when you print that!

LB: I think he's given away most of his secrets in his book.

Who was more popular with the ladies when you both burst onto the NRL scene?

NH: Burty! Most popular with the ladies. Definitely! Well, the ladies of the right age group. See, as a younger guy I got the mothers and the grandparents but Burty got the 18- and 19-year-olds as well as a mix of the mums.

LB: Of course I'm going to say me. Although he'd say the opposite.

Who would make a better coach?

NH: I think Burty probably would, he's got a bit more patience than what I do. I think we'd both go all right but Burty has the patience for it … I think we could both be good assistants. I wouldn't mind assisting Burty. If he wanted to take the top job, I could easily assist him.

LB: In time he would. He'd be a great assistant coach to any club. He'd be excellent at that straight away, right now. I think in time he'd make a great NRL coach.

Who is the most annoying teammate?

NH: Michael Vella. Just a pest.

LB: Michael Vella. Hands down.

Who handles their drink better?

NH: [Laughing] Definitely Burty.

LB: I'd probably get pissier first but I can drink longer than him.

What has been your highlight?

NH: Fifteen years is going to be my highlight. There's all those other things, too - making Origin, winning the World Cup. But my highlight has just been playing 15 years at this club.

LB: Probably the mates I've played with. I've made some great mates, obviously with Hindy and Nathan Cayless and Vella, those type of guys. All the blokes I've met have been a great bunch of blokes, I haven't met any idiots. There's been a couple of little rep games I got to play in which is also another highlight.

What's your lowlight?

NH: The obvious ones, losing grand finals. There's never been a lowlight, just the ups and downs of playing rugby league.

LB: It's a bit of a highlight and lowlight, the two grand finals. They were a highlight but losing them was a bit tough. Probably one of the lowlights and it has been well documented, was the goal I missed against the Tigers to send it into extra time. I think it was 20-18 and I missed one from 30 metres out, practically in front. That was another ordinary day.

Who's smarter?

NH: Definitely me. Burty is thick as two short planks. He might have some street smarts but just no commonsense.

AP: Isn't he doing uni?

NH: Anyone can do uni these days. You can get on a computer and look up your answers.

LB: Me. Easy.

Who has been the best player you have played with or against?

NH: It's hard to go past Andrew Johns. I've played with and against him. Shane Webcke, Petero Civoniceva, Danny Buderus, Nath Cayless, Johnathan Thurston, Burty … the list goes on. I think of someone who doesn't give up. You can be beaten but if you keep trying, that's good enough for me. And their game doesn't change, they're out there giving 100 per cent all the time.

LB: The best player is probably Jason Smith. Skilful, competitive, he had everything, he was probably the best. Closely followed by the likes of Hindy and all of them, but Jason Smith was the best I played with. Against? Definitely Andrew Johns.

Any strange pre-game rituals?

NH: He likes to shave his body. He likes to ''manscape'' himself before every game. Since the beginning. Because Burty is quite a hairy gentleman. He says [manscaping] makes him feel faster.

LB: I know he doesn't wash the swimmers he wears week to week. They just sit in his bag. That's what he does. And he always has Subway for lunch.

Who is the grumpier captain - Cayless or Hindmarsh?

NH: Cayless. Definitely. He got nicknamed Captain Grumpy. Don't worry about that, that speaks for itself.

LB: While Cayless was captain he was much grumpier than Hindy. But since Cayless has retired Hindy has taken over that mantle. He's just as grumpy as Cayless, he's exactly the same. They're both grumpy bastards.

Who's been the best coach you've had?

NH: Brian Smith. Just because of what he instilled in us as young guys and because of what he has taught me.

LB: That's a tough one. I'd have to say Brian Smith. With the start, he did a lot for me. He taught me a lot, the ropes in NRL and also he taught me a lot outside of footy. I've enjoyed all my coaches a lot. One of my better years was under Michael Hagan, I really enjoyed my time under Hages. He was another wonderful coach I really enjoyed playing under.

If he was down to his last $10, how would he spend it?

NH: His family, definitely. He'd do something with his kids.

LB: [Laughing] Poker machines! Nah, I'd like to think he'd spend it doing something with the kids.

Who'll cope better in life post-football?

NH: Burty, hands down.

LB: He will definitely have more tears than me in life post-football. When we go away together in the off-season he'll be crying a lot more than what I will be.

You've holidayed together. Is he active or is it more a lazy holiday?

NH: We're on par there. We both like to spend time with the kids, but as we start to wear them down and they get tired, we bring out the Esky and we start getting into cruise mode. But we'll spend a lot of the day wearing the kids out so we can sit down with a beer and have a relax ourselves and a chin wag.

LB: We holiday together, along with Cayless. He's very active, he struggles to relax, Hindy. Sometimes it's a bit annoying how active he is. When you're on holidays you're meant to relax. But when the kids are in bed, he does relax then.

Who is quicker over 150 metres?

NH: Me, probably. Burty has got me over 50 but then I just start winding up and I'd get him over 150. He's got the starts but I'd click into gear, definitely.

LB: He'd be coming at me but I'd hold on. The long distance stuff, he'd get me, but under 200 metres, I'd kill him.

Who will get the last kick at goal if the Eels score at the end?

NH: I'd like to have a kick at goal, but I don't want to take the last kick. That's something that should be left up to Burty, I think. It would be nice if the full-time siren has gone, we're in the lead and he gets to kick the goal.

LB: Without fail, he'll get a kick in the last game. We'll make sure he gets a kick.

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BUL 12 vs BRI 18 Stats
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PEN 30 vs NEW 8 Report Stats
MAN 22 vs MEL 23 Report Stats
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STG 44 vs WES 24 Report Stats
PAR 36 vs NZW 16 Report Stats
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Round 2
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MEL 18 vs PEN 17 Report Stats
SYD 56 vs PAR 4 Report Stats
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GCT 12 vs WES 42 Report Stats
NEW 20 vs CAN 26 Report Stats
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Round 3
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WES 25 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
BRI 26 vs SYD 30 Report Stats
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PEN 18 vs BUL 16 Report Stats
CRO 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
NQL 16 vs NZW 20 Report Stats
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MAN 22 vs PAR 18 Report Stats
CAN 12 vs GCT 24 Stats
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MEL 28 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 4
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SYD vs MAN 8 Report Stats
STG 20 vs BRI 36 Report Stats
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NZW 42 vs WES 18 Report Stats
PAR 32 vs PEN 16 Report Stats
BUL 40 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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SOU 18 vs CAN 30 Report Stats
NEW 30 vs CRO Report Stats
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GCT 13 vs NQL 12 Report Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD 8 vs BUL 9 Report Stats
BRI 18 vs PAR 25 Report Stats
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CRO 37 vs NZW 6 Report Stats
PEN 12 vs CAN 6 Report Stats
STG 6 vs SOU 26 Report Stats
Sun, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL 26 vs GCT 28 Report Stats
WES 34 vs MAN 18 Report Stats
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NQL 28 vs NEW 2 Report Stats
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Round 6
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GCT 12 vs BRI 8 Report Stats
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CAN 12 vs NEW 26 Report Stats
PAR 14 vs SYD 12 Report Stats
WES 16 vs NQL 4 Report Stats
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NZW 20 vs BUL 21 Report Stats
MAN 24 vs CRO 4 Report Stats
Mon, 14 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL 28 vs STG 24 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 14 vs BUL 15 Report Stats
NEW 6 vs BRI 32 Report Stats
MAN 26 vs NQL 21 Report Stats
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STG 20 vs NZW 10 Report Stats
CRO 18 vs SYD 24 Report Stats
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CAN 24 vs MEL 22 Report Stats
Mon, 21 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 18 vs WES 21 Report Stats
PEN 14 vs GCT 12 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STG 14 vs SYD 34 Report Stats
MEL 10 vs NZW 16 Report Stats
BRI 26 vs SOU 28 Report Stats
Sat, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 24 vs PEN 20 Report Stats
NQL 42 vs PAR 14 Report Stats
BUL 16 vs NEW 12 Report Stats
Sun, 27 AprTimes shown AEST
MAN 54 vs CAN 18 Report Report Stats
WES 6 vs GCT 22 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 30 vs WES 6 Report Stats
NQL 27 vs BRI 14 Report Stats
Sat, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW 54 vs CAN 12 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs SOU 40 Report Stats
MEL 22 vs MAN 19 Report Stats
Sun, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW 10 vs PEN 32 Report Stats
STG 6 vs BUL 38 Report Stats
Mon, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR 42 vs CRO 24 Report Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14 vs MEL 27 Report Stats
BRI 22 vs GCT 8 Report Stats
Sat, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR 36 vs STG Report Stats
CRO 20 vs WES 22 Report Stats
NQL 42 vs SYD 10 Report Stats
Sun, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
CAN 20 vs PEN 26 Report Stats
BUL 16 vs NZW 12 Report Stats
Mon, 19 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 15 vs NEW 14 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BUL 12 vs SYD 32 Report Stats
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GCT 16 vs NZW 24 Report Stats
WES 14 vs BRI 16 Report Stats
Sun, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
CAN 42 vs NQL 12 Report Stats
Mon, 26 MayTimes shown AEST
CRO vs SOU 18 Report Stats
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Round 12
Fri, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN 38 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
Sat, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 26 vs CAN 12 Report Stats
NQL 22 vs MEL Report Stats
Sun, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 38 vs NEW 18 Report Stats
BRI 36 vs MAN 10 Report Stats
Mon, 02 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU 29 vs STG 10 Report Stats
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Round 13
Fri, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN 32 vs BUL 10 Report Stats
PAR 18 vs NQL 16 Report Stats
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT 14 vs PEN 36 Report Stats
STG 30 vs CRO Report Stats
SOU 34 vs NZW 18 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 20 vs WES 23 Report Stats
MEL 12 vs SYD 32 Report Stats
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CAN 4 vs BRI 28 Stats
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Round 14
Fri, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU 32 vs WES 10 Report Stats
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PEN 18 vs STG 14 Report Stats
SYD 29 vs NEW 12 Report Stats
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BUL 12 vs PAR 22 Report Stats
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GCT 20 vs MEL 24 Report Stats
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Round 15
Fri, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAN 14 vs BUL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 19 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
CRO vs MAN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 46 vs PAR 20 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs STG 19 Report Stats
Mon, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 36 vs NQL 28 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN 24 vs SYD 16 Report Stats
BRI 22 vs CRO 24 Report Stats
Sat, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
WES 19 vs CAN 18 Report Report Stats
NQL 20 vs SOU 18 Report Stats
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 30 vs PEN 20 Report Stats
PAR 10 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Mon, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
STG 24 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
BUL 23 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
Sat, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
STG 27 vs NQL 24 Report Stats
SYD 28 vs CRO 30 Report Stats
Sun, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WES 10 vs PEN 26 Report Stats
Mon, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU 10 vs GCT 14 Report Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 40 vs WES 8 Report Stats
Sat, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 48 vs PAR Report Stats
MEL 4 vs BUL 6 Report Stats
Sun, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT 20 vs CAN 36 Report Stats
CRO 18 vs NEW 31 Report Stats
Mon, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 35 vs BRI 34 Report Stats
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Round 19
Fri, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CRO 18 vs NQL 36 Report Stats
PAR 12 vs SOU 32 Report Stats
Sat, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 32 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
MEL 28 vs CAN 14 Report Stats
BRI 28 vs NZW 22 Report Stats
Sun, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
NEW 8 vs GCT 22 Report Stats
WES 46 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
Mon, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
STG 12 vs MAN 21 Report Stats
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Round 20
Fri, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NEW 16 vs SYD 12 Report Stats
BRI 8 vs MEL 30 Stats
Sat, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 16 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs PAR 24 Stats
BUL 12 vs NQL 20 Report Stats
Sun, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 12 vs MAN 22 Report Stats
WES 12 vs STG 28 Stats
Mon, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
CAN 18 vs SOU 34 Stats
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Round 21
Fri, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
MAN 16 vs BRI 4 Report Stats
BUL 16 vs PEN 22 Stats
Sat, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 12 vs PAR 32 Report Stats
NQL 28 vs GCT 8 Stats
SYD 30 vs STG 22 Stats
Sun, 03 AugTimes shown AEST
CAN 18 vs NZW 54 Stats
SOU 50 vs NEW 10 Stats
Mon, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
WES 6 vs MEL 28 Stats
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Round 22
Fri, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 23 vs MAN 4 Report Stats
BRI 41 vs BUL 10 Report Stats
Sat, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
NEW 32 vs MEL 30 Report Stats
NQL 64 vs WES 6 Report Stats
PAR 18 vs CAN 10 Report Stats
Sun, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW 16 vs CRO 12 Report Stats
STG 4 vs PEN 16 Stats
Mon, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 26 vs GCT 18 Report Stats
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Round 23
Thu, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 42 vs BRI 16 Report Stats
Fri, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR 16 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
Sat, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
CAN 16 vs STG 34 Report Stats
MEL 48 vs CRO 6 Report Stats
WES 4 vs SYD 48 Report Stats
Sun, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
NEW 28 vs NZW 22 Report Stats
GCT 12 vs MAN 15 Report Stats
Mon, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
PEN 23 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
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Round 24
Thu, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
BUL 30 vs WES 10 Stats
Fri, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR 22 vs MAN 12 Report Stats
Sat, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 48 vs NEW 6 Report Stats
SOU 10 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sun, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW 12 vs SYD 46 Report Stats
CRO 12 vs CAN 22 Stats
STG 34 vs GCT 6 Stats
Mon, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
PEN 10 vs MEL 24 Stats
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Round 25
Thu, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
BUL 14 vs SOU 21 Stats
Fri, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 30 vs STG 22 Stats
Sat, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
NEW 42 vs PAR 12 Stats
CAN 27 vs WES 12 Stats
SYD 24 vs MEL 12 Stats
Sun, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW 42 vs GCT Stats
MAN 26 vs PEN 25 Stats
Mon, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
NQL 20 vs CRO 19 Stats
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Round 26
Thu, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 22 vs SOU 18 Stats
Fri, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL 22 vs BRI 12 Stats
Sat, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
WES 26 vs CRO 10 Report Stats
CAN 33 vs PAR 20 Stats
NQL 30 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
Sun, 07 SepTimes shown AEST
NEW 40 vs STG 10 Report Stats
GCT 19 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
PEN 22 vs NZW 6 Stats
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Finals Week 1
Fri, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
MAN 24 vs SOU 40 Report Stats
Sat, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 18 vs PEN 19 Report Stats
NQL 32 vs BRI 20 Report Stats
Sun, 14 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL 4 vs BUL 28 Report Stats
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Finals Week 2
Fri, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 31 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
Sat, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
MAN 17 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
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Preliminary Finals
Fri, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
SOU 32 vs SYD 22 Report Stats
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PEN 12 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
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Grand Final
Sun, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
SOU 30 vs BUL 6 Report Stats
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