How they got there: Penrith’s road to the Grand Final

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Penrith have qualified for their second NRL Grand Final. Here’s how they got to the big dance…

Round 1: Cowboys no match for Panthers

Penrith open their 2021 campaign with a convincing 24-0 win over the Cowboys at BlueBet Stadium. The Panthers score four tries to none in the victory.

Round 2: Panthers thrash dogs in the wet

In atrocious conditions at Bankwest Stadium, the Panthers keep their opposition scoreless for a second straight week, beating the Bulldogs 28-0.

Viliame Kikau celebrates a try against the Bulldogs. Photo: NRL Photos.

Round 3: Hand of Kikau

Kurt Capewell scores a late try and Viliame Kikau produces an incredible defensive moment on the bell, as Penrith prevail 12-10 over Melbourne.

Round 4: Sea Eagles offer little at Brookvale

The Panthers blow Manly away 46-6 at Brookvale, with Brian To’o and Viliame Kikau both grabbing doubles. The Panthers took a 22-6 lead into half-time.

Round 5: ‘Arrogant’ calls after Penrith thrash Canberra

In a controversial and at times fiery affair at the foot of the Mountains, Penrith easily account for Ricky Stuart’s Canberra Raiders 30-10.

Things got controversial in Round 5 against Canberra. Photo: NRL Photos.

Round 6: Cleary grabs two point field goal

The Panthers are far from convincing against lowly Brisbane but still get the job done, leaving Suncorp Stadium with a 20-12 victory. Nathan Cleary kicks the first two point field goal of his career.

Round 7: Panthers extend winning run

Stephen Crichton scores early but an arm wrestle ensues, with Penrith eventually proving too good for Newcastle, winning 24-6 at BlueBet Stadium.

Round 8: Panthers return to Bathurst

Manly show some fight but Penrith are never really not in control in Bathurst. The Panthers eventually run out 28-16 winners in front of 5,798 fans.

Round 9: Sharks blown away

Penrith offer Cronulla a footballing lesson with a 48-0 demolition at BlueBet Stadium. Charlie Staines grabs a hat-trick in the win.

James Fisher-Harris scores against Cronulla. Photo: NRL Photos.

Round 10: Magic Panthers thrash Titans

The Panthers put on a show for Magic Round. Nathan Cleary scores three tries and kicks eight goals in a 48-12 thrashing of the Gold Coast.

Round 11: Rubbish Rabbits smashed

The Panthers smash a woeful South Sydney in Dubbo. Nathan Cleary scores after three minutes and the tries keep coming in a 56-12 demolition.

Round 12: That’s a dozen wins on the trot

The Panthers make it 12 wins in a row, with a 30-4 Indigenous Round victory over Canterbury at BlueBet Stadium. Charlie Staines grabs a double.

Round 13: Origin starts to bite

Tigers fans are delirious after they beat a second-string Penrith side 26-6 at Leichhardt Oval, as the State of Origin period begins to take hold.

Round 14: Sharks by a point

A late Shaun Johnson field goal breaks an 18-all deadline and seals a one-point win for Cronulla, as the Panthers record back-to-back defeats.

Round 15: Panthers rattled early

After falling behind 12-0 early, Penrith click into gear and take a 22-12 lead into half-time against the Roosters. The Panthers eventually win 38-12.

Brian To’o scores against the Roosters. Photo: NRL Photos.

Round 16: Burton’s boot gets Penrith home 

Matt Burton kicks a late field goal to give Penrith a 13-12 win over Parramatta in front of an empty BlueBet Stadium, as the COVID lockdown begins.

Round 18: QLD relocation starts with a bang

The NRL relocates to QLD, and Penrith start the period away from home with a 30-16 defeat of the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Round 19: Panthers sneak home

Brisbane pushes Penrith to the championship minutes, but in the end the Panthers get home 18-12 after leading 4-0 at the half-time break.

Round 20: Storm inflict Penrith’s biggest loss

Chaos surrounds what should have been a blockbuster, as a Penrith side down on troops loses 37-10 to Melbourne in a rescheduled match-up.

Round 21: Burto magic helps Panthers home

Penrith bounce back into form with a hard-fought 20-14 win over the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium. Matt Burton has one of his best games of the year.

Round 22: Panthers demolish Dragons

Brent Naden and Dylan Edwards both score doubles as Penrith easily account for the Dragons, running out 34-16 winners.

Round 23: Panthers too good for Bunnies

Penrith concede two early tries, but eventually change the momentum and beat South Sydney 25-12. Nathan Cleary and Isaah Yeo are outstanding.

Isaah Yeo in action against Souths. Photo: NRL Photos.

Round 24: Panthers win battle of the big cats

Penrith’s forwards stand up to get the job done 30-16 over the Wests Tigers in an uninspiring match in Redcliffe in front of 5,351 fans.

Round 25: To’o good on the Gold Coast

The Panthers take advantage of a Parramatta side missing several key stars, running out 40-6 winners on the Gold Coast. Brian To’o scores a hat-trick.

Finals Week 1: Rabbitohs stun Panthers

The Finals Series is turned on its head when Souths spring a major upset, beating Penrith 16-10 in Townsville. The Panthers have several chances to level the game late, but can’t get the job done.

Finals Week 2: Panthers edge Eels in a belter

In one of the great Finals games of all-time, Penrith down arch rivals Parramatta 8-6. In a game ultimately rocked by controversy, Penrith’s defence proves the key in the low-scoring contest.

Finals Week 3: Panthers weather the Storm

Penrith qualify for their second straight Grand Final after terrorising Melbourne with brutal defence. Ivan Cleary’s side survives a classic late Storm charge to win 10-6 in one of the games of the year.

Brian To’o celebrates his second half try in the Preliminary Final. Photo: NRL Photos.

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