[2022] GF Panthers v Eels - Game Day Thread

This would have to be a dream match up for the NRL. Two Western Sydney arch rivals. The reigning premiers & minor premiers up against the team who has the longest drought & have troubled them most in recent years. Two father/son combinations (even if theirs is coming off the bench). It would be hard to find a more mouth watering game to end the season.

There is a weight of expectation on both sides. We are almost expected to win every time we take the field these days. They are carrying the expectations of long suffering supporters to get the job done, especially considering they beat us twice this year. I have a feeling they will get the lions share of outside support too, purely because Australians love an underdog.

I think the two teams match up man for man in most positions fairly well. Where we have the edge is our halfback and bench. When their starting props go for a rest, they don’t have the same impact as we do with replacements.

I’m expecting this game to go a similar path to our qualifying final, with a real arm wrestle for approximately 60 minutes, before we wear them down & gain the ascendancy. With wet weather expected, Blake would be having nightmares of how much Cleary will kick to him. I wouldn’t be surprised with a similar score line to last time we met.

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Injury Update

Panthers winger Taylan May has been ruled out of the 2022 NRL Grand Final against Parramatta.

May has not ben able to overcome a hamstring injury in time for Sunday’s decider at Accor Stadium.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary will name the winger’s replacement when official Grand Final teams are announced at 4:00pm on Tuesday.

Don’t have good feeling about this game feel like Eels winning is their destiny. They have lots of key players leaving and probably last chance in ages while we will be favourites for next 3-5 years. Hope I’m proven to be false

:mega: Team Lists and Match Officials have been announced.

I wouldn’t discount the Panthers having the same feeling going into it. We have Kikau and Koroisau departing as well as both our assistant coaches after the conclusion of the Grand Final. While unlike Paramatta we don’t have a premiership window closing, I would imagine the team will want to send those leaving with another premiership under their belt.


How are the decisions made on which jersey to wear? (Home, Alternate, Away ?)

Curious as to why the alternate this week and last ?

I understand but we won it last year while Eels have won’t anything in 36 years if we lost last year I probably be much more confident also going back to back is very uncommon.

The highest ranked team get to decide on the kit they will wear for the game. The Panthers have picked the alternate jersey as the jersey they prefer. Why?.. not sure.

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Not convinced about your logic kingswood. I think the Eel’s barren period will continue and I don’t think it will even be close.


As I said it’s a feeling more then a logical thought. This is it for Parramatta doubt they make another GF, while it’s will a disappointment if we don’t win 2 more GF in the next 4 years

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Emotion is only going to get you so far, the rest of the way will come down to skill… and I am not convinced he has the skill to guide around a top 4 team.

On his good days he is great, but on his bad days he is atrocious. The great halfbacks will find a way to put in a good showing in a bad day.


anyone can suggest a reason or gut feeling about who may win.
one could even promote stats but at the end of the day it will come down to 18 players and a coaching staff in how well either side has prepared.

running out onto the field for the GF will come down to how well the coach has prepared the respective players between the ears.

for mine i believe how Cleary has been setting this side for this game has been nothing short of brilliant, he masterfully rested players and even some like Nathan having a forced break all with an eye on this game

the boys know whaat to do, how to execute and in my mind are playing the most predictable side in the comp. Predictable and full of mistakes.

which we will see plenty of on Sunday nights.

Panthers to win!


If we have the right mindset going into the game - we win. The Eels can beat us on an off day, but if our boys are up to the fight, our skill, strength, speed, and fitness means we are unbeatable.

Our key four players in my humble opinion are Edwards, Cleary, Yeo and wait for it …….Kenny.

Why Kenny I hear you ask? Simply put he puts himself in a position to be a punching bag, tackles everything that moves, and then at the 25-30 minute mark onwards, makes Api look good.

Yes you read that right, the “night and day” differ and win attack once Api comes on can all be put down to the effort Kenny makes, leaving tired forwards for Api to run riot through.

My 2c of course.

Not to discount the bash brothers of Fish and Leota of course. It’s that ruck defense early on that sets the stage for our victory.

The boys know what they want, they know how to win.

Prior to the prelims I was a bit worried of a Penrith v Eels GF - a risk vs reward kind of thing.

I have no fear now - Penrith by 13


Dylan Brown is a big X factor he has been quiet whenever we have played them but is have been one of the most improved players this year, his running game can be damaging.

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I don’t know what to make of Brown. No doubt he has ability. The first time he played us he was probably man of the match. Since then he seems to have an off day whenever he plays us.

Maybe he is another Latrell Mitchell, who also never seems to fire against us. Or maybe we have just worked out the best way to shut him down.

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Bash their middle and they will fold

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The media are wont to bring up Parra’s two wins over us this year, suggesting that somehow they are our bogey team. But such an assessment is made without context. For the first game Cleary had an off game with the boot, and the bounce of the ball for two of their tries went their way. Yet they just won. And we all know about the second game, where our 12-man side won the second half. In the game that mattered, in the first week of finals, Penrith steamrolled them. Yet all the media can see is 2-1 in Parra’s favour. Hopefully that will give them a false sense of confidence, much like South’s last week.

Last week all the media seemed to write/say was Latrell, Latrell, freakin’ Latrell. We saw how that turned out. Their new darlings for this week is Parra. At times you’d wonder who Parra was playing.

May these golden years just keep rolling on. Don’t bother waking me up; I’m enjoying the dream too much.


To be fair, Parra are the one of the teams that have caused us the most problems over the last 3 years, accounting for 3 of our 10 losses during that period (equal with Melbourne, the only other team to beat us more than once). As you say, context is everything. The game in 2020 came down to a lucky bounce too.

Have seen plenty of talk about the trial game too, but we were missing a number from that game, and played a close to full strength Parra. Besides which, trials are exactly that - trials. They don’t count for anything other than bragging rights, and are more about testing fitness & combinations than actually winning.


The Eels are paying $3.10 that’s the biggest odds I have seen in ages for a GF. All the pressure is on us

Raiders were similar odds in 2019. Cowboys were longer odds in 2017.