Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Finally, after nearly nine months and a season of shocking twists and turns the day was here, the 2021 NRL Grand Final.
After 2020, we thought it could not get any crazier but it did, as following a normal start to the season where the game got back to allowing full crowds in stadiums across the country and interstate travel for fans, it all came crashing down in June when games in New South Wales were forced to be played in empty stadiums, before the competition was uprooted and moved into a Queensland bubble for the rest of the season.
The entire State of Origin series was played in Queensland, with New South Wales winning this year’s series 2-1, and the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England postponed.
Despite these setbacks, and the threat of further disruption, the NRL soldiered on and completed it’s 2021 season in its entirety, which was concluded this evening when the Penrith Panthers took on the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium.
Penrith was seeking redemption for their Grand Final loss in 2020 against the Melbourne Storm, the team who they had beaten to make it to the big dance this year.
HOLYYYYY SNATCH 🤯
— NRL (@NRL) October 3, 2021
The Panthers had dominated the first half of the season, before State of Origin selections and injuries disrupted the flow of the side; however, they were able to come out the other end and partake in the NRL’s day of days.
South Sydney were ruled out as contenders by many after not only conceding 50 points to the Melbourne Storm, but their Grand Final opponents the Panthers just two weeks apart.
No matter what, this Grand Final was always going to be historic due to the fact it was the first NRL Grand Final to be played outside of Sydney and the last for at least the next 25 years, with Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium tasked with hosting duties for the 104th Grand Final in the competition’s history.
Following an amazing game, the Penrith Panthers would win the 2021 NRL Grand Final, defeating the South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-12 and take home the Provan Summons Trophy!
This marks Penrith’s first premiership in 18 years and their third in club history.