Panthers Ready to Make History in Sydney

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The top two in the NRL standings go head to head in Saturday's Grand Final with Penrith Panthers taking on Melbourne Storm.

Penrith Panthers coach and captain Ivan Cleary and James Tamou

The 2020 NRL campaign reaches its conclusion this weekend as the Penrith Panthers do battle with the Melbourne Storm in the NRL Grand Final at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Sunday’s clash promises to be an absolute classic with the top two teams in the division fighting it out for the trophy.

Penrith Hoping History Repeats Itself

The Panthers finished top of the pile this season, winning the Minor Premiership in fine style.

The historians will also note that Penrith’s only two Grand Final successes came after they had won the Minor Premiership, with those victories coming in 1991 and 2003.

Penrith’s issue this weekend could be nerves, with the club playing their first Grand Final in 17 years.

Ivan Cleary’s men arrive at the ANZ Stadium in fine form, having not lost in their last 17 matches.

That run began with a 21-14 success over Melbourne in June, and the formbook suggests they are worth a bet at odds of 11/10.

Storm Desperate to Deliver for Superstar Smith

The Storm head into Sunday’s final with the vital experience they need as the majority of the current squad has walked the walk before.

Melbourne are on the lookout for their second Premiership in four years, and there is speculation that it will be hooker Cameron Smith’s final game before retirement.

With years of experience, Smith has every chance of crossing the try line this weekend, and at 6/1 it is hard to put punters off backing him for a try at any time.

However, Penrith know what it takes to beat Melbourne, and they will take confidence from their meeting in June.

Second-row forward Viliame Kikau has made a huge impact this season, and his role on the left-hand side of attack could be crucial.

The Storm tend to concede most of their tries down the right edge, and 49 of Penrith’s tries have come down the left touchline.

Penrith’s kicking game is also superior to that of Melbourne’s, and even though Cleary’s side are lacking in experience, they have the flair and ability to get over the line and beat Craig Bellamy’s troops.

Even though a thrilling game is on the cards, do not expect a boatload of points at the ANZ Stadium. Penrith and Melbourne have the top-two defences in the competition and under 36.5 points at 10/13 should be considered.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Tom offers a strong insight into football and rugby league, whilst also having a good knowledge of several other sports including boxing, horse racing and American Football.

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