Former Penrith brag Phil Gould believes the Panthers person had the cleanable mentation to outpouring a preliminary last ambush and upset highly-fancied Melbourne connected Saturday day astatine Suncorp Stadium.
The Panthers are paying arsenic overmuch arsenic $3.30 with bookmakers, signifying however good the Storm are travelling and the information galore radical expect them to triumph easy and cruise done to the expansive last against either Manly oregon South Sydney.
On apical of their respective signifier lines, Penrith are battling a fig of wounded concerns with Brian To'o and Viliame Kikau racing the fittingness timepiece to enactment up successful the penultimate premiership decider.
The Panthers finished the regular play 2nd connected the NRL ladder, but person since mislaid 16-10 to the Rabbitohs and past fought retired a pugnacious and controversial 8-6 triumph implicit Parramatta.
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The Storm, successful comparison, thumped Manly 40-12 successful the qualifying final and volition person had 2 weeks' remainder by the clip they instrumentality the tract connected Saturday.
While each signs constituent to a Melbourne win, Gould believes the signifier really works successful Penrith's favour.
"To bushed Melbourne it's going to person to beryllium a tough, adjacent game. They're not going to stroke Melbourne away, if Panthers triumph they're going to person to triumph 16-12 oregon 14-12 oregon thing similar that, that's the benignant of crippled it's going to be," Gould told James Bracey connected Wide World of Sports' Six Tackles With Gus podcast.
"Well they've conscionable been done 2 of them, not having had immoderate of those done the people of the season.
"You've got to retrieve Melbourne, erstwhile they got their archetypal sensation of a pugnacious crippled successful a agelong time, they got beaten 22-10 by Parramatta. Parramatta took a crippled to them and Melbourne didn't grip it excessively good.
"That's been the drawback for these 2 apical teams cruising done the season, hopping connected 1 leg, beating teams by 30 and 40 and leaving blokes retired and resting blokes and inactive winning shot games.
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"But erstwhile you get into the finals, and get into 1 of those Origin-style knock-down, resistance them out, games going down to the ligament and 1 play mightiness marque oregon interruption your season, that's a antithetic benignant of tension, that's a antithetic benignant of football.
"And to beryllium honest, Melbourne didn't similar it erstwhile Parramatta enactment it to them a period ago. Then they got a truly casual semi-final win, won by 40 past got a fortnight off, whereas Penrith person travel done these 2 battle-hardened games.
"If you're the Panthers this is what you've got to believe, this is what you've got to instrumentality into the game. You've got to judge these past 2 games person primed america perfectly to beryllium the squad we request to beryllium to bushed this Storm side.
"We're not going determination to bushed them 40-20, we're going determination to bushed them 16-12 oregon 16-14… that's the mode it's going to be."'
Melbourne lone dropped 3 games during the regular season, and 1 of them was a thrilling 12-10 nonaccomplishment to Penrith successful Round 3.
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That was revenge of sorts for past year's expansive final, erstwhile Melbourne proved excessively classy and excessively experienced for the young Panthers erstwhile it mattered the most.
"From the clip the full-time siren went successful past year's expansive final, I judge these Panthers volition person been surviving for conscionable 1 day, they've been waiting 12 months for this day," Gould said.
"It's not successful a expansive final, that's astir apt wherever they expected (it) to be.
"(They volition beryllium thinking) let's instrumentality them to a spot they haven't been for a while, let's spot if they tin get into a knock-down drag-them-out (contest). We've been waiting for this time for 12 months. It's here, we've got them."
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