The following are previews with betting tips for the Grand Final of the 2021 NRL season.
Panthers v Rabbitohs
Sunday, October 3, 7:30pm AEDT
The Panthers earned the ultimate redemption for their grand-final loss last season with an impressive preliminary-final victory that ended Melbourne’s premiership campaign. They will face a South Sydney squad who were written-off by many when superstar fullback Latrell Mitchell was suspended on the eve of the finals series, but Wayne Bennett’s troops have produced some wonderful performances to get to this stage with rookie sensation Blake Taaffe proving he is a long-term first-grade footballer.
For the Panthers, mid-season recruit Tevita Pangai Junior will be missing with a knee injury in a blow to their middle-rotation. Moses Leota will return to the starting side after overcoming a calf injury, while Dylan Edwards and Brian To’o are also carrying injury clouds into the match but look set to take the field.
Penrith capitalised on a disjointed Melbourne attack last week in a superb defensive display that limited their opposition to just one try. Ivan Cleary’s troops will face a much sterner test against the playmaking brains-trust of South Sydney as both Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds have stepped-up enormously in the absence of Latrell Mitchell to have their squad’s attack humming. Penrith looked unaffected by fatigue against the Storm last week, impressive given they did not earn the rest their opposition did with a loss in week one of the finals. Souths managed to limit the Panthers’ attacking opportunities and win the field-position contest in their last meeting but with Dylan Edwards and Moses Leota coming back into the squad, Penrith should have an easier time getting off their own try-line. Both of these teams have shown enormous discipline and physicality to get themselves into the grand-final but expect the grand-final loss of last year to prove a powerful motivator for Penrith. Panthers to get the win and their first premiership since 2003.
Betting Tip: Panthers -3.5 @ $1.94 (Playup)