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Penrith Panthers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs Tips - Best bets for Sunday's NRL Final

  • NRL Final will take place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Sunday
  • Both teams are targeting their second NRL titles
  • The Panthers are aiming to win the title for the first time since 2003
  • The Rabbitohs last won the championship in 2014
  • The Panthers and Rabbitohs split their two previous meetings this season
panthers rabbitohs nrl
The Rabbitohs and Panthers clash for the ultimate prize in NRL on Sunday. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
There is no shortage of storylines heading into Sunday’s epic Grand Final between the Panthers and Rabbitohs at Suncorp.

Penrith is looking to atone for last year’s disappointment to the Storm, while the Bunnies can cap off a remarkable finals campaign by sending Wayne Bennett off with another premiership.

As the market suggests, there is very little separating the two sides after they met only three weeks ago in the first week of finals.
  • Penrith Panthers
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs
  • Betting Pick: Rabbitohs +2.5
  • Total Points: Under 37.5
  • First Try Scorer
  • Clive Churchill Medal

Penrith Panthers

The Panthers are back on the Grand Final stage for the second year in a row following last week’s defensive masterclass against the Storm.

Despite not having much of the ball, Penrith managed to drastically limit Melbourne’s completion percentage while also forcing a handful of key errors on the way to a 10-6 upset.

Meanwhile, on attack, the Panthers made the most of their limited opportunities as Stephen Crichton and Brian To’o scored right after the opening whistle in each half.
Nathan Cleary
Nathan Cleary (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Ivan Cleary will look to install a similar game plan this week, but it will take more than 10 points to down a high-flying Rabbitohs side that has no problem scoring.

Penrith know they can run in the tries against this Souths side – as witnessed in their 52-16 win back in Round 11 – but Cleary does have some injury concerns to address this week that make a similar blowout unlikely.

The most worrying situations come in the middle with both Tavita Pangai Jr and James Fisher-Harris in doubt after suffering injuries in the win over the Storm.

The Panthers still have the pieces in place to win their third premiership though, and there is no denying they are the rightful favourites in this contest after downing the reigning premiers.

Not only was Nathan Cleary’s leadership on full display last week, but he was also largely responsible for the pressure Penrith created.

The pressure of potentially losing back-to-back Grand Final’s is immense, but if the Panthers can follow that same blueprint and suffocate the Rabbitohs, they’ll go a long way to avenging last year’s disappointment.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

The Rabbitohs return to the Grand Final for the first time since 2014 following last week’s demolition job over Manly.

Like they have for most of the year, the Bunnies started fast and finished strong as Cody Walker and Alex Johnston both helped themselves to a try-scoring double in the 36-16 win.

South Sydney will take plenty of confidence into this game knowing they also held the Panthers to just 10 points three weeks earlier in the Qualifying Final.
Cody Walker
Cody Walker (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

In what was a low-scoring game, the Rabbitohs completed close to 85% of their sets and kept the penalties to a minimum – a performance they’ll hope to replicate in search of their 22nd premiership.

Nobody has been tougher to score against than the Panthers this season, but the Rabbitohs have more than enough attacking weapons to really put pressure on Penrith from the get-go.

South’s ability to win possession and basically suck the life out of their opponent was on full display last week against Manly, and if Bennett can get his men to follow the same script, the Bunnies will be tough to beat.

On the injury front, the only real area of concern is Adam Reynolds, who will play his final game with the club before departing for the Broncos next season.

In all likelihood the Rabbits are set to start the same 17 that featured last week though, meaning there are no excuses for a club that has been among the favourites all year.

Betting Pick: Rabbitohs +2.5

It’s hard to say which team has momentum on their side, but when it comes down to it, this year’s Grand Final will likely be won and lost on the wing.

Alex Johnston finished the season on top in the try-scoring department for the second year in a row, and if he can rely on some clutch kicking from Reynolds close to the line, the Bunnies might have the advantage through the air.

The fact this is Wayne Bennett’s final game as coach will also play a part.

The legendary coach is looking to win his eighth premiership, and while hardware is the ultimate goal, there’s no doubt Bennett’s players will want to send him off in style.

As the line suggests, this game should be close, but with an outstanding 5-1 record as the away underdog against South Sydney, the well-disciplined Bunnies are a good bet with some insurance.

Total Points: Under 37.5

The last two games between the Panthers and Rabbitohs have gone under the total, so it’s no surprise to find only 37.5 points on offer for the decider.

South Sydney has held its last four opponents to under 20 points, while Penrith’s efforts against Manly last week also suggests a low-scoring game could be on the cards.

Heavy rain is also forecast in Brisbane for later in the week, so all signs point towards the Under.

First Try Scorer

Backing the First Try Scorer is always a crapshoot, but Cody Walker does look a decent value bet after making his presence felt against Manly last week in the early stages.

If Souths kicking game is on-point, Alex Johnston is also a must-include to get on the end of a bomb from Reynolds.

On the Penrith side, Stephen Crichton is hard to go past as a $9.00 option.

The youngster has scored the first try in two of Penrith’s last three games, including last week’s thriller just two minutes in.

Clive Churchill Medal

Cody Walker has gone to a whole new level during the finals, and it is no surprise to find him sitting towards the top of the Churchill market.

The six-year veteran is only one try away from tying his career-high, and he looks likely to reach that mark coming off a double against Manly last week.

Walker finished third in Dally M voting, while on a more personal note, this is also his final game alongside good friend Adam Reynolds.


We are backing the Rabbitohs to cover the line as our best bet for the NRL final while Cody Walker has good value as first try scorer. 

Best Bet: Rabbitohs +3.5 Line $2.00 at Ladbrokes Australia - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Cody Walker First Try Scorer $17.00 at Ladbrokes Australia - 1 Unit
  • Bookmaker
    Bet Type
  • Bookmaker
    Bet Type
    Rabbitohs +3.5
  • Bookmaker
    Bet Type
    Cody Walker
    First Try Scorer
news image James Smith 28 Sep 2021 View more

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06 December 2021

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