It’s here, the greatest show on turf in a season that’s featured many many highs for fans of teams like the Eels, Panthers, Cowboys and Rabbitohs and a season of lows that supporters of the Tigers, Titans, Dragons and Knights would rather forget.

Though it’s sad that the season is ending, it’s great that there’s still a chance for a fairytale ending, with the Parramatta Eels who have one of the most loyal fanbases in the country looking to break their 36-year drought this Sunday when they play the reigning premiers the Penrith Panthers.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo will be hoping the game reaches the heights of last year’s Grand Final which had the second highest viewership on television for an NRL Grand Final since the Australian Rugby League began televising Grand Finals in 1967.

The biggest winners on the day won’t be any group of players, it will be the bookmakers who are estimated to make upwards of three million dollars from the day not including bets placed prior to the Grand Final.

As for the game itself, it’s sure to be one of the most physical Grand Finals we’ve seen in a long time involving two cold-blooded western Sydney rivals who will be looking to make each other’s lives miserable throughout the night.

The main focus on the game will be on the halves duel between Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown versus Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai. Both duos have had impressive seasons and are arguably the two best halves pairings in the competition but who will shine brightest amongst the stars on Sunday night?

The forward pack battle will be salivating for people who love watching bruisers play with Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo sure to be eating metres for fun versus a smaller Penrith pack featuring Moses Leota and James Fisher-Harris.

Though the Panthers duo are lighter they possess much more agility and bring more versatility to an attack, the downside, of course, is that Junior Paulo looks poised for a big game and if

Penrith are to let him get too many dangerous offloads away they could be leaking more than a broken tap.

The men sitting behind the two defences aren’t too dissimilar to each other in a lot of ways, they both aren’t the flashiest players in the world who will wow you with their speed.

They make up for it though with their strong defence and elite playmaking skills for their positions.

The two teams’ benches could be where the game is won, both have provided huge minutes for their teams and we will see two very different approaches with the benches.

The Panthers will go physical with Scott Sorenson, Api Korisau and Spencer Leinu highlighting a very physical approach from the Panthers whilst the Eels will look for more spark off their bench with Jakob Arthur and Bryce Cartwright looking to bring utility to a strong Parramatta side, with talk that Nathan Brown may be recalled to Parra’s bench.

It’s sure to be a close game between two elite sides. Though the betting money has gone heavily towards the Panthers it is anyone’s game as is every Grand Final. So who’s your pick for the Grand Final?

Clearly, the fan’s team is the Eels with most cheering for them to finally end what has been a heartbreaking 36-year drought.

Good luck to both teams and good luck to all who will be dipping their toe in the betting pool on the weekend.

Make sure to gamble responsibly and enjoy this cracking rivalry on the grandest stage of them all!

Tully Potts