Cronulla beats Canberra in 1st round of NRL playoffs

SYDNEY (AP) A 75th-minute penalty goal from James Maloney gave Cronulla a 16-14 comeback win over Canberra, advancing the Sharks to the National Rugby League semifinals and a bye in the second round.

Later Saturday, defending champion North Queensland played Melbourne in another qualifying final involving the top four teams.

On Friday, the Brisbane Broncos advanced to the second round with a 44-28 win over Gold Coast, eliminating the Titans. The Broncos will play the loser of the North Queensland-Melbourne match in the second round.

Canterbury plays Penrith in another elimination match on Sunday, with the winner to play Canberra in the second round.

The grand final in Sydney is scheduled for Oct. 2.