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NRL: Broncos missing Reynolds for Panthers clash

Penrith Panthers and Brisbane Broncos are set to go head-to-head for the first time since last season’s grand final.

The Panthers came out on top on that occasion as Nathan Cleary stepped up to the plate in the dying minutes, and the Broncos will be keen to hit back on Thursday night.

Penrith are 4.00 to win the grand final again, while the Broncos can be backed at 4.50.

It is early days, but they could be the two strongest teams in the competition once again, and a fascinating game is in store.

They have both won one and lost one in the opening two games, and neither will want to lose a second at this early stage of the 2024 NRL season.

. What: Penrith Panthers v Brisbane Broncos
. Where: Penrith Stadium, Penrith
. When: 19:00 (AEST), Thursday 21st March 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel, Channel 9
. Odds: Penrith Panthers 1.28, Brisbane Broncos 3.60

Panthers back to winning ways

The Panthers bounced back from the round one defeat against Melbourne Storm to beat Parramatta Eels on Friday night.

They were made to work hard for the two points in a 26-18 win, and will now be out to make it back-to-back wins on home soil.

The victory over the Eels showed the Panthers are well up for the challenge of winning a fourth straight premiership, and this triumph should give them confidence.

Ivan Cleary’s men do have a good record against the Broncos, winning six of the past seven meetings, but we look sure to be in for a tight game in the latest clash.

The Panthers to win by 1-5 or 6-10 points are both available at 6.00.

Penrith star Sunia Turuva has scored six tries in his past three games, including two against the Eels in his last outing, and will pose a big threat again.

So too will fellow winger Brian To’o, who has scored 16 tries in his past 14 NRL games.

Broncos out to break hoodoo

The Broncos also picked up their first win of the season when beating South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-18 on Thursday night.

Reece Walsh and Deine Mariner both starred in that win and will need to be on top form again if they are to overcome the Panthers.

Walsh in particular has the star quality to help bring down the Panthers and there is a lot of expectation on his young shoulders.

Brisbane do not have a great record in Penrith, and have just one win at the venue in the last 15 years.

They will also be without star playmaker Adam Reynolds, who picked up a knee injury against the Rabbitohs and is set for a spell on the sidelines.

The Broncos still have enough quality in their side to get the job done, however, and can be backed at 9.00 to win by 1-5 points.

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