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Panthers v Broncos: Same 17 for Cleary; Farnworth named despite scare

As the Panthers look to become the first team in four decades to win three premierships in a row, the Broncos are in a decider for the first time since 2015 and looking to end a 17-year title drought.

Penrith were in devastating touch as they advanced to their fourth-straight grand final with a commanding 38-4 victory over the Storm, which is the biggest preliminary final winning margin achieved in the NRL era.

On the back of an 87 percent completion rate, the Panthers were able to flex their considerable attacking muscle, with Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo and Dylan Edwards all having a big influence on the match.

Twenty four hours later up in Brisbane, the Broncos put on a clinic of their own led by superstar fullback Reece Walsh, who tore the Warriors to pieces in a 42-12 win.

With 11 line breaks and 23 offloads to their name by full-time – all while still managing to complete 82 percent of their sets – Kevin Walters' side delivered a powerful message about their ability with ball in hand, ahead of facing a side who have been easily the best defensive unit in the competition this season. 

As it's turned out the last game of the Telstra Premiership season will see a rematch of a clash which featured in the opening round back at the start of March, with the Broncos making a statement that night via a 13-12 defeat of the defending premiers. 

Penrith got one back by way of a 15-4 victory at Suncorp Stadium 11 rounds later though. 

The Panthers have won 50 percent of their 42 games at Accor Stadium, while the Broncos have won 16 of 34 at the venue. 

Team News
Panthers: Coach Ivan Cleary sticks with the same 17 that rolled past the Storm in the preliminary final. Jarome Luai (shoulder) and Izack Tago (pectoral) got through their returns to action unscathed, while Nathan Cleary showed no signs of being impacted by the finger injury he suffered at training in the lead-up to the match. The facial cut he sustained against Melbourne isn’t expected to be an issue come Sunday. Tyrone Peachey is once again 18th Man with Matt Eisenhuth, Zac Hosking, Luke Sommerton and Thomas Jenkins the reserves.

Broncos: Brisbane have named the same 17 that got the job done in their two finals wins over the Warriors and Storm. Centre Herbie Farnworth sent a minor scare through the camp when he left training early on Tuesday with hamstring tightness but he has been named and is expected to play. Tristan Sailor and Jock Madden are among the reserves should a late backline change be required but the Broncos look set to run out as per program. Veteran winger Corey Oates is once again 18th Man.

Stat Attack 

  • The Panthers have won their past eight finals matches.
  • Brisbane have won six of the seven grand finals they have played in since entering the competition in 1988. 
  • Brian To’o has scored nine tries in his last five finals games.
  • Reece Walsh has assisted 37 line breaks in 21 games this year. 
  • Penrith have won nine of their past 11 games at Accor Stadium.
  • The Panthers have won five of their past six games against the Broncos.
  • The Broncos have not won a finals game in Sydney since 2008.
  • Panthers centre Stephen Crichton has scored a try in three consecutive grand finals.
  • Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs will make his 100th NRL appearance.
  • The Panthers have 13 players with grand final experience, compared with the Broncos two.
  • Broncos halfback Adam Reynolds requires one point for 200 points in finals matches.

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