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Penrith Panthers pounce on 2021 NRL premiership in historic Brisbane Grand Final

Peter Badel, October 4, 2021 7:00PM Kids News

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The Penrith Panthers celebrate with the Premiership Trophy after winning the 2021 NRL Grand Final against South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on October 3, 2021. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraThe Penrith Panthers celebrate with the Premiership Trophy after winning the 2021 NRL Grand Final against South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on October 3, 2021. Picture: Getty Images


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The Panthers are the toast of the NRL, claiming the club’s third premiership with an exciting Grand Final win over South Sydney.

Penrith sank South Sydney 14-12 in front of 39,322 fans at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, erasing the heartbreak of last year’s loss to Melbourne Storm and capping two years of regular-season dominance*.

The tough, gripping Queensland decider exploded in the final quarter on Sunday night, with the Panthers appearing to have sealed victory when Stephen Crichton latched onto a Cody Walker intercept for a 14-8 lead with 13 minutes to play.

2021 NRL Grand Final - Panthers v Rabbitohs media_cameraStephen Crichton of the Panthers is tackled by South Sydney players during the 2021 NRL Grand Final. Picture: Getty Images

But the Panthers sweated until the final seconds. Souths crossed via winger Alex Johnston with five minutes to play, but Adam Reynolds couldn’t land a sideline conversion, breaking the hearts of Rabbitohs fans and sending Penrith into premiership dreamland.

It was the first time the NRL Grand Final had been played in Brisbane, with Covid-19 restrictions forcing its relocation from Sydney.

The AFL Grand Final a week earlier was also played away from its traditional home in Victoria, with the Melbourne Demons winning their first premiership in 57 years with victory over the Western Bulldogs in Perth.

2021 AFL Grand Final - Melbourne v Western Bulldogs media_cameraThe Demons won their first premiership in 57 years when they defeated the Western Bulldogs in the AFL Grand Final at Optus Stadium in Perth on September 25, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

The NRL decider was a fitting result for the Panthers. They were the most consistent* team for two seasons and emphatically* buried the pain of last year’s 26-20 Grand Final loss to Melbourne Storm by holding out the gutsy Rabbitohs.

Penrith were always calm and controlled. Defence has been their bedrock* for two years – and it delivered Penrith their third premiership after triumphs in 1991 and 2003.

2021 NRL Grand Final - Panthers v Rabbitohs media_cameraPenrith star Brian To’o proposes to his partner, Moesha Crichton-Ropati, after winning the 2021 NRL Grand Final. Picture: Getty Images

Penrith superstar Brian To’o celebrated his team’s win in a unique* way, asking his girlfriend, Moesha Crichton-Ropati, to marry him.

The 23-year-old Samoan winger, also known as Bizza, got down on one knee to pop the question on the sideline as soon as the match was over.

“I just want to thank my beautiful partner for saying yes and credit to the boys for getting us here,” To’o said.


  • dominance: power and influence over others
  • consistent: performing in a steady, reliable way
  • emphatically: in a strong and determined way, clearly and without doubt
  • bedrock: solid foundation on which something is built
  • unique: special, one of a kind


AFL Grand Final is heading west

Footy celebrates Indigenous links

NRL hero backs local sports boost

Winners are grinners in Grand Final showdowns


  1. Which team did Penrith beat in the NRL Grand Final?
  2. What was the score?
  3. Which city hosted the NRL Grand Final?
  4. Which City hosted the AFL Grand Final?
  5. Which Penrith player celebrated by asking his girlfriend to marry him?


1. Panthers glory
Design a premiership poster for the Penrith Panthers winning the NRL Grand Final. Your poster should be eye-catching and give important details such as score, location and any of your favourite highlights. Present your poster on A3 paper using colours or as a black and white sketch.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: Visual Arts, Critical and creative thinking

2. Extension
Do you think these NRL and AFL premierships are more or less valuable than a regular season premiership taking into account all the Covid restrictions, changes, crowd limits and having the Grand Final away from the normal grand final home? Explain your answer.

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical education, Critical and creative thinking

A time I felt proud
No matter the result, both teams made it all the way through to the Grand Final and should be very proud of their efforts.

Share a time you felt really proud of something you or a close friend or family member did. Write down a few dot points to help you remember – start with Who, What, When, Where, Why or How.

Then pair up and present your moment in time to another person.

We are practising our presenting skills:

  • Use a nice clear voice as if you are in front of more people.
  • Share the information as a presentation, not a conversation.
  • Use your notes to help you, but try to make eye contact with the audience.

Having a clear speaking voice with help you create a clear writing voice, so it’s important to practise reading aloud to check how things sound to an audience and if the punctuation is in the right places.

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