NRL Set to Start 2021 Season With Penrith Panthers as Favourites

The Grand Final of the 2020 National Rugby League season was dramatic as Melbourne Storm beat Penrith Panthers 26-20 points. Melbourne Storm who finished the regular season in 2nd place and five points behind winners Penrith Panthers, delivered when it mattered most in the Grand Final.

The Grand Final was all one way traffic in the first half as Melbourne Storm let 22-0 at half time in a result that shocked everyone. The 2nd half was the opposite as Penrith Panthers fought back as best they could scoring 22 pts, however the extra 4pts that Melbourne Storm added secured them the win and another Grand Final win.

At one stage during the 2nd half Melbourne Storm were winning 26-0, but Penrith mounted a huge fight back, but they just fell short in the closing stages of the match. Cameron Smith was the hero for Melbourne Storm scoring 5 out of 6 goals and also adding a try just before half time.

Other try scorers in the 2020 Grand Final for the Champions Melbourne Storm were Ryan Papenhuyzen, Suliasi Vunivalu and Justin Olam. Towards the end Melbourne Storm had a couple of players in the sin bin, but held on to win.

For Penrith Panthers, they will be kicking themselves that they started so poorly in the 2020 NRL Grand Final, especially as their regular season form was outstanding. From the 20 regular season matches played, Penrith Panthers won 18, drew 1 and lost 1. This outstanding form led to them being strong favourites for the title, especially as they navigated their way through the play-offs in solid form, but this didn’t happen in the final. The key player for Penrith Panthers was Nathan Cleary who was superb throughout the season scoring many tries and goals and being a strong leader on the pitch. In the Grand Final, Cleary was Penrith Panthers best player as he scored a try as well as scored a couple of goals as well. He will be most disappointed that his team didn’t start well in the final.

Looking ahead to the 2021 season and Penrith Panthers are favourites with Sportsbookreviews at 9/2 (5.5) + 450 following their outstanding form during the regular season and they will want to come back even stronger next year and win the Grand Final. With a strong squad to choose from with many of the same players retained for this coming season, they will want to put their disappointment behind them and go one better.

Next in the betting are Sydney Roosters who finished 4th at the end of the League season with 14 wins from their 20 matches, and were beaten in the knock out play-offs and fell short of reaching the Grand Final. Their up and down league form last year showed in the knock out stages as they lost to Canberra 22-18 in the elimination match.

This year they are expected to come back stronger with more youth added to their squad who can give them a big change of finishing in the top 2 positions and an easier route to the Grand Final. With Sportsbookreview, where you can see all the latest odds on the NRL season, Sydney Roosters are best priced 11/2 (6.5) +550 to win the Grand Final.

Next in the betting with Sportsbookreviews to win the Grand Final are the current Grand Final champions Melbourne Storm. They are priced 6/1 (7.0) +600 to repeat their 2020 success and they do offer a little bit of value at current prices given they know how to get the job done in the Final and as they showed in 2020, it’s about peaking at the right time and after a 30-10 win in the semi-finals against Canberra, they started the Final in red hot form to all but secure the Grand Final victory by half time.

The team 4th in the betting is South Sydney Rabbitohs who finished 6th last season, but have added more quality to their squad and likely to challenge for a play-off spot and for this reason they are best priced 7/1 (8.0) + 700 to in the Grand Final in 2021.

It promises to be another exciting season and you can follow all the action at Sportsbookreviews.

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