As week one’s qualifying finals winners, Melbourne and Cronulla have earned the right to host the grand final qualifiers, with the Cowboys to travel to Sydney to face the Sharks and the Raiders travelling to Melbourne to take on the minor premiers.
North Queensland face a tough seven-day turnaround after their epic extra time victory over the Broncos — the latest game to be decided by the barest of margins between the two Queensland powerhouses.
The Raiders also have seven days to recover after getting their win in a more straightforward manner over the dangerous Panthers at Canberra Stadium.
PRELIMINARY FINAL SCHEDULE
Friday, September 23
Cronulla Sharks v North Queensland Cowboys, Allianz Stadium, 7.55pm
Saturday, September 24
Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders, AAMI Park, 7.40pm
The winners of those two games will play off for the ultimate prize the following Sunday, in the 2016 NRL grand final.
GRAND FINAL SCHEDULE
Sunday, October 2 at ANZ Stadium
1.35pm: Holden Cup grand final
3.40pm: State Championship grand final
6.30pm: Pre-grand final entertainment
7.15pm: NRL grand final