NRL finals week 2 schedule, odds, 2021 title betting — Panthers aim to bounce back
This is our early look at week two of the 2021 NRL finals, with Manly v Sydney Roosters kicking off the action on Friday night, September 17, at BB Print Stadium in Mackay.
There are two semi-finals in the second week of the finals, with the winners of these matches to advance to the preliminary finals where the title favourites Melbourne Storm and South Sydney await.
The second of the matches this weekend is Penrith-Parramatta on Saturday night, also in the North Queensland city of Mackay, with the winners headed for a showdown against the Melbourne Storm on Saturday, September 25, at Suncorp Stadium.
In early markets, Australian bookies have made Manly short-priced favourites at around $1.30 to beat the Roosters ($3.50) on Friday night, with the winners advancing to a meeting with the Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, September 24.
The Sea Eagles were thumped by the Storm in their opening final 40-12 last weekend, while the Roosters were lucky to escape with a 25-24 win against the Gold Coast Titans in their elimination final.
The Roosters should relish being the underdogs and will also hope to welcome back prop Siosiua Taukeiaho (calf) who lasted just two minutes against the Titans.
Roosters hooker Sam Verills is headed to the tribunal to challenge the grading of a high tackle charge from that game. If he is successful he will be free to play against Manly.
Manly’s Lachlan Croker (back) was a late withdrawal against the Storm but is expected to be fit for this one.
Manly and the Roosters have played only once previously this season, with the Roosters winning 46-4 in round one, but the fortunes of both teams have gone in different directions since with Manly surging and the Roosters dealing with a string of injuries and retirements.
Penrith coach Ivan Cleary was fuming after his red-hot Panthers side was outfought 16-10 by Souths to turn the NRL finals series on its head, but the Panthers are certain to bounce back hard against their old western Sydney rivals Parramatta in the unlikely venue of Mackay.
They could also have some good news at selection with fullback Dylan Edwards (foot) and big bopper Moses Leota (calf) expected to be available to face the Eels, who are sweating on the fitness of forward Nathan Brown, who suffered a corked leg in the tough win over the Newcastle Knights on Sunday.
Bookies don’t believe the Eels are any match for the Panthers, who have been posted at around $1.28 against $3.75 for the Eels. The teams have met twice this season and the Panthers won both: 13-12 in round 16 and then 40-6 in round 25 when the Eels rested players.
NRL Premiership odds before finals, week 2
Not surprisingly Melbourne Storm firmed up substantially from $2.40 into $2.05 in title betting after breezing through their first final against Manly, and also after the news star hooker Brandon Smith was cleared of a facial fracture from the match.
Indeed the way the matches fell, the Storm may face their greatest challenge in the preliminary final, with the Panthers’ surprise loss meaning the two teams cannot now meet in the decider.
Penrith eased from $2.60 out to an attractive $3.80 after their surprise reversal against the Rabbitohs. We think they will win this weekend and then give the Storm a scare in a preliminary final.
Souths firmed from $10 to $5 and look near certainties to reach the big dance, so they could be good value at that price. They will be heavily favoured to beat whoever wins out of Manly and the Roosters.
The Sea Eagles eased in betting after their disappointing performance against the Storm, out from $6 to $8.
$2.05 Melbourne Storm
$3.80 Penrith Panthers
$5 South Sydney Rabbitohs
$8 Manly Sea Eagles
$34 Sydney Roosters|
$41 Parramatta Eels
Check out all the latest odds at TopSport!
NRL 2021 finals week one fixture, odds and times
Friday, September 17
- Semi-final: Manly $1.32 v Sydney Roosters $3.40, 7.50pm, BB Print Stadium, Mackay
(Winner to play South Sydney in preliminary final)
Saturday, September 18
- Semi-final: Penrith $1.25 v Parramatta $4, 7.50pm, BB Print Stadium, Mackay
(Winner to play Melbourne Storm in preliminary final)
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