In what would have been deemed an unlikely Grand Final at the beginning of September, South Sydney and Penrith will meet in Sunday’s 2021 premiership decider.
Both teams have shown incredible resilience in the finals series, with South Sydney getting to the decider without Latrell Mitchell and the Panthers toughing out multiple tight contests.
While it’s shaping up to be a classic battle, both Cameron Smith and Matty Johns believe the Rabbitohs are the team to beat.
They explained why on SEN 1170 Breakfast.
“I’ve got the Rabbitohs winning,” Smith said.
“Mainly because of their run into this match and how difficult the last three finals have been for Penrith, they’ve been beaten up and again they have a handful of players that have been battled and bruised from that game against Melbourne.
“So, they’re in a really good position the Rabbitohs, and the one thing we’re talking about defence right now, and the one thing I’ve been impressed with is their defence.
“I’ve got the Rabbitohs ahead, just.”
Johns also sided with Smith’s reasoning in picking Souths, labelling the extra rest as a big advantage.
“I’m with Cameron, Souths by a fraction at the moment,” Johns said.
“I’m curious to see how bad the injury is to Adam Reynolds, I think the extra day is an advantage.
“I think the coach, just about how he goes about his work gives me confidence in the Rabbitohs.
“I think, like Cameron, they’re a lot fresher than Penrith are, and that win (against Melbourne) was a really difficult game for them.
“I genuinely think they will win.”
The NRL Grand Final between South Sydney and Penrith is set for this Sunday evening at Suncorp Stadium.
The game kicks off at 7:30pm (AEDT).