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PANTHERS: 1. Kieran MOSS 2. Eto NABULI 3. Waqa BLAKE 4. Kevin NAIQAMA 5. Wes NAIQAMA 6.Luke CAPEWELL 7. Tom HUMBLE 8. Sam Anderson 9. Kevin KINGSTON © 10. Reagan CAMPBELL-GILLARD 11.Ben MURDOCH-MASILA 12. Nathan SMITH 13. Ryan SIMPKINS

INTERCHANGE: 14. Vaipuna TIA KILIFI 15. Kierran MOSELEY 16. Leilani LATU 17. Andy SAUNDERS

PRIDE: 1. Hezron MURGHA 2. Javid BOWEN 3. Brett ANDERSON 4. Kyle FELDT 5. Semi TADULALA 6. Shaun NONA 7. Sam OBST 8. Ricky THORBY 9. Jason ROOS 10. Ethan LOWE 11. Blake LEARY 12. Tyrone MCCARTHY 13. Ben SPINA

INTERCHANGE:  14. Ryan GHIETTI 15. Sheldon POWE-HOBBS 16. Davin CRAMPTON 17. Jack SVENDSEN 18. Tom HANCOCK 21. Patrick KAUFUSI

It’s Grand Final weekend!

There will of course be the deciders for the NRL and NYC Premierships, but for the first time ever, there will be a State Championship game between NSW Cup Premiers, the Panthers, and QLD Cup Premiers, the Northern Pride.

These two teams have obviously not met at all this season but there are a number of similarities between them. Both dominated their respective state wide competitions and took out the minor premierships, and both boast a stack of NRL experience. This ensures that this match is going to be both close and exciting and the fact that the clubs are, essentially, representing their state, means that it will be an aggressive affair.

The Northern Pride are the feeder team for the North Queensland Cowboys, which means that players including Ethan Lowe, Kyle Feldt and Ricky Thorby who have all played NRL for the Cowboys, are available for this clash. Due to the top five system that is in use in QLD, the Pride have had the luxury of having a number of weeks off recently, ensuring that they will be fresh for the big day on Sunday.  This certainly seemed to help them in the QLD Cup Grand Final where they crushed the Easts Tigers 36-4.

They have a number of players that the Panthers will need to keep a close eye on including exciting winger Javid Bowen, but perhaps the Pride’s most damaging attacking weapon is the combination of five-eighth Shaun Nona and back rower Blake Leary. These two have an outstanding partnership that has seen them dominate both for the Pride and for the QLD Residents team earlier this year. With Nona heading to the Storm next year and Leary bound for Manly, this may be the last chance they get to play together and they will be looking to make the most of it, so the Panthers will need to be focused on shutting them down.

The Panthers came away from last week’s NSW Cup Grand Final with a much deserved victory and entertained their fans with some great tries in a 48-12 win. Coach Brennan and the boys will know that the job is far from done and will be looking to finish a great season with a victory in this one. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to see the NSW Cup Premiers in action this season, this weekend is a great chance to witness their skill on display. The Panthers have built their season around consistency across the park and a strong defensive base and will need the same effort in this match.

Everyone at the club congratulates the Panthers NSW Cup team on their success thus far and wishes them all the very best for this weekend. We encourage all fans to support the boys on Sunday, either at the game or at the Panthers Leagues Club. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.