Penrith and Parramatta have one of the fiercest rivalries in Rugby League and with a premiership on the line, this is set to be one of the biggest events in Rugby League history.
|Penrith -8.5 ($1.90)
|Same Game Multi
|Under 38.5/Stephen Crichton Try ($5.50)
|Draw/Penrith – Half Time/Full Time ($14)
|NRL Grand Final Try Scorer Tips
|Clive Churchill Medal Tips
|Ashley Klein Stats
This Grand Final is the rare beast where two genuine rivals square off with everything on the line. The history between Penrith and Parramatta is a long one. The Panthers were born out of the Eels. Penrith’s first finals campaign saw them run into the red-hot Eels side. There have been player movements and great matches and plenty of controversy, none more so than last year when the Eels were on the verge of an upset when a Penrith trainer had the match stopped with Parramatta on the verge of scoring.
Parramatta have a slight edge in recent meetings. They won both regular season matchups though the Panthers turned the tables in the opening week of the finals in a 27-8 win over the Eels led 8-7.
The number that stands out in this one though is how reliable Penrith are when heavily favoured. In their last 23 matches as a favourite of more than a converted try, the Panthers have covered 17 of those. They play well at ANZ with nine covers in their last 13 and they have covered nine of 13 off scoring 30-plus points.
Favourites have a great record in Grand Finals too, covering nine of 13.
From a matchup perspective, there are some obvious weaknesses in the Eels and no team is better at exploiting weakness than the Panthers. Whether it is Waqa Blake or Bailey Simonsson (and perhaps both), there is a genuine worry both under the high ball and defensively. Reed Mahoney gets through a lot of tackles but their effectiveness can be a worry. Parramatta’s bench rotation is the least effective in the premiership.
This game should be close early before Penrith break clear late. The minus is the bet.
Same Game Multi
The under has hit in 13 of the last 16 Panthers-Eels clashes and three of the last four Grand Finals have tallied 27 or fewer.
Stephen Crichton scored in last year’s Grand Final and has crossed in three of his last six matches.
The case for Penrith has been made above but there is a very good argument to be made for the scores being level at halftime. These two play some very close games and that has been particularly true of first halves. In the last 15 meetings, three have been level and nine more have been within one score. Both preliminary finals saw scores level at the break last week too.