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NRL Grand Final preview: Panthers and Broncos set for Sydney showdown

In the grand final that many wanted to witness, Sunday will see the reigning champions Penrith Panthers face the Brisbane Broncos at Accor Stadium in Sydney.

Both these sides finished on 42 points at the end of the regular season, with the Panthers finishing top of the pile on points difference.

Now they get to battle it out to decide who this year’s champions will be.

What  Penrith Panthers v Brisbane Broncos
Where  Accor Stadium, Sydney
When  18:30 AEST, Sunday, 1st October
How to watch  Channel 9
Odds  Penrith Panthers 1.62, Brisbane Broncos 2.30

Panthers chasing landmark win

It has been four decades since a team won three premierships in a row and Penrith have the feat within touching distance as they get set to face the Broncos this weekend.

The Panthers are the 1.62 favourites going into the clash in Sydney after what was an impressive 38-4 victory over Melbourne Storm last time out.

It was the biggest preliminary final winning margin achieved in the NRL era and a result which lets Brisbane know the size of challenge ahead of them.

Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo and Dylan Edwards all impressed in the victory over Melbourne and are likely to have big roles to play at the weekend.

Unsurprisingly, after such an emphatic win over the Storm, head coach Ivan Cleary has named the same 17-man squad to take on the Broncos.

Brisbane determined to end title wait

It has been 17 years since the Broncos were last title winners and the club have not been to a grand final since 2015.

Brisbane will head into the showpiece event with confidence of their own, following a 42-12 victory over the New Zealand Warriors.

Kevin Walters' side were impressive with ball in hand and produced 11 line breaks and 23 offloads during the win over a Warriors side that were eyeing an upset at Suncorp Stadium.

Just like the Panthers, Walters has named an unchanged squad for this highly-anticipated grand final.

Experience could be key

Due to their contrasting success in recent years, Penrith go into this clash with a wealth of grand final experience.

No less than 13 players in the Panthers squad know what it’s like to play in the showpiece event, while only two Broncos stars have previously played in a grand final.

Brisbane halfback Adam Reynolds is one of those and he needs just one point at the weekend for 200 points in finals matches.

Reynolds is available at 8.50 to be the Clive Churchill Medallist on Sunday, while Nathan Clearly is currently the 3.40 favourite to be handed the award. 

It will also be a landmark game for Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs who will make his 100th NRL appearance.

Staggs will be hoping to make it a happy one and that will only happen if the Broncos come out on top, something they are 2.30 to do in regular time.

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