The following is a preview with a betting tip for the Grand Final of the 2023 NRL season.
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The 2023 NRL Grand Final shapes as one of the most anticipated deciders in recent history, with Penrith pushing for the first triple-premiership dynasty since Parramatta in the 80s. Brisbane have emerged as a juggernaut this year, guided by the experience of talismanic halfback Adam Reynolds, who has unlocked the playmaking ability of their rookie spine-members. Both teams were very dominant in their respective preliminary finals victories over Melbourne and the Warriors, both winning by over 30 points.
Both teams have had good fortune with injuries and will name unchanged squads heading into this match. Jarome Luai made an encouraging return from a shoulder injury against Melbourne in the preliminary finals, alongside Izack Tago. Brisbane endured an injury scare after star centre Herbie Farnworth failed to finish training with a hamstring complaint but he has been cleared to take the field after training strongly on Thursday.
Both teams’ success hinges on a fast-paced style of play that physically overwhelms their opponent. It will be an all-star clash through the middle of the field, with Brisbane boasting three Origin middles between Haas, Flegler and Carrigan and Penrith also boasting an all representative middle in Fisher-Harris, Leota and Yeo. Penrith will need to be cautious of Brisbane’s unconventional attack spearheaded by enigmatic speeder Reece Walsh. The Broncos produced a massive 23 offloads against the Warriors and will be looking to utilise every advantage against a Panthers pack with no weaknesses. The Queenslanders certainly have the talent to produce an upset, but the defensive prowess of this Penrith squad should prove the difference over 80 brutal minutes. Expect Penrith to come away with their third consecutive premiership to become the first team in the NRL era to do so.
Betting Tip: Panthers -3.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)
Panthers -3.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)