NSW Cup Grand Final: Wyong Roos vs Penrith Panthers live scores, blog

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    Wyong Roos vs Penrith Panthers

    2017 New South Wales Cup final, 24 September, 2017

    Leichhardt Oval, Lillyfield, Sydney, NSW
    Wyong Roos Penrith Panthers
    12 SCORE 20
    2 Tries 4
    1 Conversions 2
    1 Penalty Goals 0
    0 Field Goals 0

    Match result:

    Penrith put a full stop of the Sydney Roosters’ rugby league weekend from hell when they defeated Wyong 20-12 to claim the NSW Cup premiership on Sunday.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    Wyong Roos 12
    Penrith Panthers 20

    Match preview:

    Minor premiers the Wyong Roos have made their second NSW Cup grand final in three years, but standing in their way will be forwards heavy, but possibly unsettled Penrith Panthers. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6:45pm (AEST).

    The Roos had a fantastic season, finishing four points clear of any other team on the ladder. Despite that, the unpredictability of the NSW Cup means they only won 16 of their 22 games, with three byes and a couple of draws to go with it.

    At their best, with a settled halves combination of Jayden Nikorima and Mitchell Cornish, they were brilliant. The couple of draws probably distort their ladder position and they have been strong during the finals, if not brilliant.

    Wyong needed extra time to get past the Canterbury Bulldogs in a qualifying final during the first week, but then used the week off to come good at the end of their contest with the New Zealand Warriors last week, advancing to the grand final with a hard-fought 16-12 win.

    The Panthers have had a disrupted season, which is hardly a surprise. Their first-grade side have been chopping and changing all year, and early it looked like Penrith were going to have Dylan Edwards in the mix. He has made it in the NRL though, but it didn’t stop the Panthers from having a strong year.

    They marched up the ladder, finishing in third position. On the back of halves Jerome Luai and Darren Nicholls, combining with former Dragons hooker Mitch Rein, they have played an exciting style and finished with the most points in the competition.

    What sets them apart is their defence though. Rein is one of the best defensive hookers in the game and working with bruising forwards Villiame Kikau and Sitaleki Akauola, they have conceded just 318 points – less than any other side by 50.

    The Panthers finished third, winning two less games than the Roos throughout the regular season but smashed the Warriors in the first week of the finals before going past the Bulldogs 16-12 last week.

    Wyong’s pack will need to be on fire to match it with Penrith – but they have some incredible talent coming through, with the Roosters feeder club having Eloni Vunakece, Lindsay Collins and Nat Butcher at their disposal.

    Prediction
    Wyong might have a settled side and go into this as favourites, but Mitch Rein tilts the balance in the favour of Penrith. Mitch Williams, his opposite number is a good player, but containing Rein will be a key here for the Roos, and they mightn’t be able to do it well enough.

    Panthers by 8.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2017 NSW Cup final from 6:45pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment below.

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.