General Sport NRL Uncategorized

SOUTH VS WEST IN THE NORTH 

Well here’s we are. After a tumultuous season we have finally reached the last stop on the ride for 2021, the NR Grand Final. This year’s decider has surprised a lot of people including myself by seeing the South Sydney Rabbitohs going up against the Penrith Panthers< but much like the AFL Grand Final from the previous weekend both these teams are playing each other for the 3rd time this season but Penrith have one on both occasions so far this year.

QSAC (then known as ANZ Stadium) during the 1997 Super League Grand Final. Image taken from austadiums.com

This year’s big game will be played in Queensland at Suncorp Stadium marking the first time the NSWRL/NRL history that the Grand Final will be played away from Sydney. However this isn’t the first Grand Final to be played  in Brisbane as I n 1997 the Super League had their Grand Final at Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) formally called ANZ Stadium when the Brisbane Broncos took on the Cronulla Sharks. 

This game will be a rematch of the boil over from the beginning of the finals when South’s upset the Panthers in Townsville. This time around will be a completely different story as I believe that in the game the other week the Panthers underestimated what the Rabbitohs would be able to do in terms of being competitive in the encounter without Latrell Mitchell. 

Latrell Mitchell needs to rise above the criticism if he wants to become a modern-day great.CREDIT:GETTY

That decision was highly likely to be a reason that South’s where able to catch Penrith with what I would best describe as an ambush in that game as by having Blake Taaffe at fullback and restructuring their backline movements they could have the attack be much less predictable. The big question mark is, Can South’s surprise Penrith again? As much as I would love to see the Rabbits get one over the Panthers again at this stage of Grand Final week I can’t see it happening. 

Now I’m not going to be giving you my predictions for the game yet as I’m waiting to see what the teams are like when the get announced on Tuesday afternoon and if there are any unexpected changes due to any potential training injuries or any injuries that have come out of the games from the weekend just gone. Despite the teams not having any injuries to report out of the weekend they do have some from throughout the season most significantly with the Panthers and Nathan Cleary’s shoulder that had him miss over a month of action after he suffered a double dislocation. 

Nathan Cleary turns the South Sydney defence around with a deft kick Picture: Getty Images

Penrith do have some concerns coming out of the game against the Melbourne Storm in an incredibly tough knock down drag them out affair. South’s game on the other hand was almost a training run at points that could even be to their detriment as I think you can look at big games in the same way as the Melbourne Cup in that you don’t want to have an easy run in the lead up. 

Yes this isn’t as long a post that id hope it would would be but as I stated earlier in the article I will be giving my more in-depth preview of the game later in the week along with my predictions for the big game. So for any Penrith and South’s fans that are reading this enjoy the week ahead. Don’t forget to check out my article on the Dally M awards ahead of the show tonight and to keep an eye out for my predictions later on in the week.

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