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Penrith Panthers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs: How the Mountain Men won the NRL grand final

3rd October, 2021
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Penrith Panthers

14

Match Complete

South Sydney Rabbitohs

12

80
PEN14 : 12SSR

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Roar Guru
3rd October, 2021
742
8545 Reads

Penrith Panthers

14

Match Complete

South Sydney Rabbitohs

12

74A. Johnston
N. Cleary68
S. Crichton66
44A. Reynolds
N. Cleary32
22A. Reynolds
20C. Walker
N. Cleary18
M. Burton16

2
Tries
2
2
Conversions
1
1
Penalty Goals
1
0
Field Goals
0

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It’s finally here. The 2021 NRL premiership will be decided tonight when the Penrith Panthers take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 7:30pm (AEDT).

There are so many storylines tonight. Will it be the Panthers’ redemption after last year’s grand final defeat, and Ivan Cleary’s first premiership as coach? Or will it be fitting farewells to Adam Reynolds and Wayne Bennett, plus an ideal path to retirement for Benji Marshall? We will find out shortly.

The 2020 grand Final rematch between the Panthers and the Storm took place a week earlier than most of us thought. It was a defensive masterclass from both teams, but a bit of individual brilliance from Nathan Cleary and a Penrith left edge raid was just enough to get the job done against Melbourne.

Cleary had a big game, but it was the much-improved performance of Jarome Luai which caught the eye. After being quiet for a few weeks, Luai was back to his very best. The Rabbitohs will need to closely watch his combination with Viliame Kikau and Brian To’o.

Tevita Pangai Jnr is out for the Panthers with an MCL injury, replaced by Moses Leota. Injury clouds surround Dylan Edwards, Brian To’o and James Fisher-Harris, but all are expected to play.

If the Panthers’ road to the Grand Final has been bumpy, the Rabbitohs have been travelling on a freeway. After taking down Penrith themselves in a qualifying final upset, they dismantled the Sea Eagles 36-16 in the preliminary final, with the game effectively over at half time.

The South Sydney pack was dominant, allowing Cameron and Murray to get quick the play the balls and put the defence on the back foot. From there, Cody Walker weaved his magic and the Sea Eagles, with no possession, couldn’t find a way back.

For the second game in a row, Wayne Bennett has the added bonus of being able to name an unchanged team.

Prediction:

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The Rabbitohs knocked over the Panthers in the first week of the finals, but Penrith has improved since then.

Covered by the surprise of the Rabbitohs victory was the fact that Penrith created enough chances to win but finishing let them down.

I don’t see them making the same mistakes again. It will be tight but the Panthers will win the NRL premiership.

Penrith Panthers by 4

Game information

Kick-off: 7:30pm (AEST)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
TV: Channel Nine
Online: 9Now
Betting: Panthers $1.68, Rabbitohs $2.25 (odds via PlayUp)

Teams

Penrith Panthers
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Stephen Crichton 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Matt Burton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary (c) 8. Moses Leota 9. Api Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 17. Liam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Isaah Yeo (c)

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Bench/Reserves: 14. Tyrone May 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 11. Viliame Kikau | 18. Brent Naden 19. Mitch Kenny 20. J’maine Hopgood 21. Charlie Staines

South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dane Gagai 4. Campbell Graham 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds (c) 8. Mark Nicholls 9. Damien Cook 10. Tevita Tatola 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Cameron Murray

Bench/Reserves: 14. Benji Marshall 15. Jacob Host 16. Thomas Burgess 17. Jai Arrow | 18. Taane Milne 19. Patrick Mago 20. Braidon Burns 21. Jed Cartwright

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