The NRL (National Rugby League) Grand Final is all set to go at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia this Sunday, Oct. 3rd as the Penrith Panthers will battle it out with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
This is the second straight Grand Final appearance for the Panthers after falling short to the Melbourne Storm 26-20 in last year’s epic match and they’ll be going after their third Premiership title this weekend. This will be the first meeting between the clubs in a an NRL Grand Final.
Penrith beat the Canberra Raiders for their first title in 1991 and the Sydney Roosters a dozen years later for their second triumph. This is also the third Grand Final for Penrith head coach Ivan Cleary. He lost to the Manly Sea Eagles when he was coaching the New Zealand Warriors in 2011 and took it on the chin last year as well when the Panthers fell to the Melbourne Storm.
The Rabbitohs are looking for their 22nd Premiership title with their last one coming in 2014 when they took care of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. For head coach Wayne Bennett, it will be his eighth Grand Final appearance. He won the crown six times with the Brisbane Broncos in 2006, 2000, 1998, 1997, 1993 and 1992 and lost with the Broncos in 2015 to the North Queensland Cowboys. He also won one as coach of the St. George Illawarra Dragons when they beat the Sydney Roosters in 2010.
The Panthers finished in second place in the 2021 regular season with 21 wins and 3 defeats while the Rabbitohs were right behind them at 20-4. The teams faced each other twice during the campaign with the Panthers winning 56-12 in Round 11 at at Apex Oval and 25-12 in Round 23 at Suncorp Stadium.
However, the Rabbitohs were 16-10 winners in the Qualifying Final at Queensland Country Bank Stadium and then advanced to the Preliminary Finals by downing the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Suncorp Stadium by a score of 36-16.
Penrith rebounded from their Qualifying loss to the Rabbitohs with an 8-6 win over the Parramatta Eels in the semifinals at BB Print Stadium and then took care of the Melbourne Storm 10-6 at Suncorp Stadium in the Preliminary Finals.
The Panthers have some injury concerns as James Fisher-Harris and Tavita Pangai Jr could miss the big game. South Sydney heads into the game with a relatively healthy squad but Adam Reynolds could miss it due to injury. If he does happen to play it’ll be his last match with the club as he’ll be playing with the Brisbane Broncos next season. This will also be the last game for Wayne Bennett as the Rabbitohs’ head coach.
The bookmakers at bet365 have the Penrith Panthers listed as thew favorites to win the Grand Final at -148 with the South Sydney Rabbitohs at +125.
As for total points wagering, the last two contests between the teams have been under the total. Bet365 also has several other NRL Grand Finals bets available such as the first try scorer, the winner of the Clive Churchill Medal as the game’s MVP, the final series top try scorer and the final series top points scorer, the winning margin, and the highest-scoring half etc.