2020 Grand Final

Penrith Panthers (1st) vs Melbourne Storm (2nd) – Sunday night (6.30pm) – ANZ Stadium

Penrith Panthers

  1. Dylan Edwards
  2. Josh Mansour
  3. Stephen Crichton
  4. Tyrone May
  5. Brian To'o
  6. Jarome Luai
  7. Nathan Cleary
  8. James Tamou (c)
  9. Apisai Koroisau
  10. James Fisher-Harris
  11. Vilame Kikau
  12. Liam Martin
  13. Isaah Yeo
  14. Brent Naden
  15. Zane Tetevano
  16. Moses Leota
  17. Kurt Capewell

Melbourne Storm

  1. Ryan Papenhuyzen
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu
  3. Brenko Lee
  4. Justin Olam
  5. Josh Addo-Carr
  6. Cameron Munster
  7. Jahrome Hughes
  8. Jesse Bromwich
  9. Cameron Smith (c)
  10. Christian Welch
  11. Felise Kaufusi
  12. Kenny Bromwich
  13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  14. Brandon Smith
  15. Tino Faasuamaleaui
  16. Nicho Hynes
  17. Dale Finucane

* note that team line-ups are subject to change and will be updated as soon as possible

First plays second, and we can safely say these two sides have been the most consistent sides this season. In the finals series the Storm have beaten the Eels by 12 and the Raiders by 20, while the Panthers have beaten the Roosters by 1 and the Rabbitohs by 4. The Storm have clearly been more impressive throughout the finals series, but the Panthers may have forgotten how to lose. This, however, is their sternest test, against a team who have won 18 of the last 21 contests between these sides. Notably, the Panthers did win their only meeting this season, and recent form counts more than recent history. In round six the Panthers won 21-14 at Campbelltown, but the Storm were missing Hughes and Addo-Carr on that occasion (and the block of cheese famously started at prop). The Panthers won that game, and they've won every game since then, but can they win the game that matters most? They're young, they're free of injury, and they're full of confidence. If things go their way they can clearly win this, but there are a few key areas where they can be picked apart, and no team picks apart an opponents weaknesses like the Melbourne Storm. Last week the Rabbitohs gave their all under difficult circumstances. They scored all three of their tries on the left edge, and the Panthers right edge defence has long been their weakest. Clearly replaced Naden with Tyrone May at right centre to try and address that weakness, but they still conceded three tries on that edge. If the Bunnies left winger had two legs they could have scored at least two more down that left edge. He still scored one...with one good leg. Naden comes back into the first thirteen for the grand final, but that right edge defence can be targeted. Does the Storm have the attacking artillery on their left edge to target and break down the Panthers right edge defence? Well...their left edge attack is Munster, Hughes, Olam, Kenny Bromwich, Addo-Carr and Papenhuyzen. They can attack that edge through the hands. They can attack that edge with speed. They can attack that edge with a kicking game. The Storm will hit them with all three. The other issue could be on the right flank, where Vunivali has a 12cm height advantage over Josh Mansour. And it's not just the 12cm, as Vunivali has a vertical leap that puts him high above his opponent. It's another potential avenue to the tryline for the Storm. So a few issues for the Panthers to manage there. Beyond all that, it's looking likely that the Storm captain is playing his last game on Sunday night. They looked ominous against the Raiders, virtually icing the game in the first ten minutes. They had enough in hand to take their foot off the pedal at the end of that game, and they've had an extra day since then to prepare for the grand final. Cameron Smith, like him or otherwise, retires with a premiership. I'm declaring them.

Verdict – Storm by 10

Result – Storm 26 defeated Panthers 20

Wally Lewis - Grand Final selection (in bold)

Note: tips from Wally will be published on Wednesday night or Thursday morning

  • Panthers vs STORM

Comments

Guru Craig's picture

Update to the weather report, there is a Storm in Sydney...a Mighty Covid Storm....

Rocket Ryan's picture

Bang bang thats it coach your cooked
All you need now is a wet arse from a real storm

I am hopefull

Rocket Ryan's picture

Cameron Smith the great 1

Mary S's picture

Storm off to an excellent first half!
Keep it going guys.

Cheers,
Mary

mark ashford's picture

Hey Rocket
Can you believe Phil Gould's commentary? It's all Panthers, Panthers hardly a word for the Storm. Yet the score is 22 to nil in favour of the Storm. Panthers may come back but so will the Storm.

mark ashford's picture

Rocket
It's now 26 to nil and all the commentry team can talk about is the Blues team. Give me a f--king break.

Guru Craig's picture

That's Game! SB paid out.

The Mighty Covid Storm, 2020 Premiers, pride of QLD.

Great win from the Storm although the game was a bit of a let down after all the build up, it turned out to be boys vs men.

Rocket Ryan's picture

There is a freebie spud you dont leave with a duck egg
Better leave early and close the trophy cabinet nothing more going in this year.

JKBubble's picture

Haha cummins made cleary move conversion 40mm closer to sideline and he scraped it inside the pole. Should of left it where it was and would of hit pole plum

Rocket Ryan's picture

You're right Mark good old Gus he's had a bad night

a's picture

Holy shhh Panthers nearly came back

Mary S's picture

Hi a,
Yes, I'm glad there were only seconds to go with Storm having 2 in the sin bin - was worrying!

Ryan Papenhuyzen just been awarded the Clive Churchill Medal.

Cheers,
Mary

mark ashford's picture

Well Coach
I'm not one to rub it in but Storm did give it to you in the first half and then you came back a bit and the refs decided to help you a bit by sending off two Storm players, So it was 13 plays 11 and you still couldn't win. Thought Nathan Cleary was very quiet maybe the occasion was beyond him. The two square headed Clearys can now think about next year.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Where is he we seek him here we seek him there.......
Rub it in mark this pototo is mashed...

Christine's picture

There is always next year coach i am sure you'll be back on here giving us a hard time again , sorry for your loss ...

The Thinker's picture

Coach was at the game tonight...so I don't expect to hear from him this evening.

He'll be hurting, so let's not all pile onto him all at once (and yes, I'm well aware of how much he likes to dish it out).

JKBubble's picture

Thanks for the year thinker. Never thought we would make it to this point. We were preparing for a footy-less year...but we got a reduced season, a grand final, a few records broken and we still have origin 💪
Thanks for hosting the comp....really enjoyed it!

Christine's picture

J k ruble it also includes soo in the tipping points wevre bot done just yet ...

Christine's picture

That was j k rubble it also includes soo in the tipping points we're not done just yet ...

Christine's picture

Hows your hebrew now coach ...

a's picture

Sorry coach but Storm were way to good

Rocket Ryan's picture

Coach where is your recognition of the storm for the victory

So unlike you to go undercover.

Christine's picture

How is your streak theory looking now coach , i told you stats are meant to be broken , congatulations gonout to any storm supporters in this site ...

Christine's picture

That said how us your streak theroy looking now coach i told you stats are meant to be broken , congratulations goes out to storm & any storm supporters on this site & while i am at it craig bellamy for being a goat ...

Mary S's picture

Commiserations to Panthers supporters,

Your team had a brilliant run this season, and look to have a promising future, but I found from personal experience, that sometimes a loss before the big event, is more beneficial to the team's performance.

Last night, experience told the story, and Storm came away with the prize!

Cheers,
Mary

The Butcher's picture

Last night s game was a real coach killer.
After losing your bet the only streak you need to worry about is when you run down Penrith high street with no clothes on.

mark ashford's picture

Guru
Can you tell me why 2 Storm players went sent off in the final minutes of last nights game. It was a GF after all and there was plenty of wrestling from both sides during the game but only Storm were penalised in the final 10 minutes when Penrith were making a charge.
What was Sutton thinking? maybe about the betting slip in his pocket.

Guru Craig's picture

It was certainly a big call to send Hughes for 10, The Guru doesn't agree.
Brandon Smith probably deserved it as he was deliberately trying to end the game by not letting the Panthers play the ball.

Cam Smith said to Sutton 'Are you trying to give us an exciting end' or something similar, as EVERYTHING was flowing to the Pennies from before the first sin bin. Intentional or not, the officials, Ref and bunker have assisted Penrith and others back into games when the situation of play is reversed and one side gets possession until they score once or twice.

Now if people want to think its nonsense that officials are havin a laugh, what about Penrith's first try? the only person in Australia who thinks that was a try happened to be sitting in the bunker??? The Guru has heard of co-incidence but....even the commentators, on both ch9 and the Fox replay were outraged, Gus included. That cant happen in a GF. But it did.

The media have written a psychological narrative during the Covid season of the Penrith Panthers and Ivan and Nathan Cleary...if you keep telling people something they will eventually believe it. The Guru cant say if the refs are like the rest of us and buy into that rhetoric, but it has been a problem this season with the six agains, send offs and bunker blunders that bring a team back into contention and swing the game. It's happened in big games too. NZ had a rough year of the ref as much as Penrith enjoyed continual assistance. The Panthers should not have beaten The Roosters or Souths. And now in hindsight, we can see that Souths or The Chooks would have given us a better GF.

Still, its better than the 90s, The Guru remembers a game, finals 92? he thinks Bris v Manly and Manly took a shot at goal, missed the goal but the linesman raised his flag and they were awarded 2 pts for a missed goal. Good ol NSWRL with Quayle and Arthurson, one reason why Super League started, QLD were getting cheated on and off the field.

Christine's picture

Kyle flanagan has been released from his contract eith roosters & signed a 3year deal with bulldogs...

Rocket Ryan's picture

Come out and face your medicine no good hiding under your couch it's just like those State of Origin floggings we gave you i know you can handle it you've had practice.

You have had a big year look in the trophy cabinet there's the JJ shield sitting there wow

Christine's picture

Rocket he has crawled back into the crevous he once came out from hopefully never to be heard from or seen again ,so be it coach don't forget to turn off the lights & not wake the neighbours & remember coah your silence is deafening but i can still here you scream ...

Christine's picture

That last bit was coach your silence is deafening but i can still hear you scream ...

The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the tipping comp after the grand final. Just in case there is any confusion, the State of Origin series is not included in the tipping, but I will post preview pages on the website for those that are interested.

If anyone sees any issues with the tipping table just let me know.

The Thinker's picture

My quick summary of the grand final - experience beat exhuberance.

The Panthers made critical errors (69% completion rate) when it mattered, and the Storm (as they generally do) made the most of the opportunities they had. As for talk of the Panthers being robbed, or the commentary by Gus that the Panthers were, regardless of the scoreboard, on top - I think these people are talking through their Penrith goggles or their Anti-Storm goggles.

If there were mistakes made by the referee, the glaringly obvious one favoured Penrith. Even Gus Gould and Brad Fittler said it wasn't a try. Take that one off the scoreboard, and the Storm are in front 26-0 until the 68th minute. Once the ref starting sending purple people to the bin the Panthers scored some tries late which gave us a tight finish, but the best team won.

They haven't been home for months, they haven't played at home for months, they played a grand final where 95% of the crowd were with the opposition, they finished the game with 11 men...and they still won. They have every right to be proud.

 

The Thinker's picture

@Guru Craig

Luke Phillips (former player and former referee) was tweeting during the game. He essentially said exactly what you are saying here.

Flip the teams - imagine the Storm are leading 26-0, Munster runs behind his own player to kick for the Fox who scores in the corner. On field ref says obstruction no try. Is the video ref going to overturn the on field decision and make it 30-0 with a kick to come?

Flip the teams - imagine the Storm are leading 26-12 with ten minutes to play and they put a kick through. Cleary braces himself as Asofa Solomona runs straight over the top of him. Is the ref going to send Cleary to the bin for a professional foul?

Do either of those events happen if you flip the teams? In front of all those Panthers fans?

mark ashford's picture

Mr Thinker
Thanks for the above observations which IMO I find very accurate, however I wonder if Sutton did (unintentually) do the Panthers a disservice. In both send-offs the Panthers were aggressively attacking Storm's line, perhaps, a penalty, a quick tap and who knows? The delays gave Storm time to reset defence and well we know what happened. I know quick taps aren't allowed within 10 meters of the defenders tryline but I'm sure Sutton would have found a way!
As for Gus's commentary, well #9 should retire him before he embarrasses himself or the station any further.

mark ashford's picture

The Thinker
After my "tongue-in-cheek" comment above I forgot my real reason for posting. A huge thank-you to you, TLH and Mrs Thinker for once again giving us this opportunity AND ball bingo AND it's completely FREE
Looking forward to SoO comments when you can.
By the way my Gus comment was not tongue-in-cheek.

Anonymous's picture

For your information apart from j mansour penrith are in a world of pain next year alot of there players & some juniors are off contract actually alot of them are if you care to look so coach might suffer again next year too ...

Christine Forbes's picture

That previous anonymous comment was from me guys sorry my user name & my email address just disappeared from the comments section...

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