NRL Grand Final 2022 Tips and Predictions

There have been 200 games throughout the course of the season, and they’ve all led us to this moment; the 2022 NRL Grand Final. The Panthers, as almost everyone expected, will be there as favourites, attempting to win their second consecutive Grand Final. For the Eels, it’s a different story; they only snuck into the top four in the last game of the home and away season, and after a thrilling preliminary final win, will have a chance to bring home their first Premiership since way back in 1986. In the lead-up to the game, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the 2022 NRL Grand Final.


NRL Grand Final Date

The Grand Final will take place on the first Sunday of October as it usually does, which this year falls on the 2nd of October.

What time is the NRL Grand Final

The game will kick off at 7.30pm AEST.

NRL Grand Final Stadium

The 2022 NRL Grand Final will take place at Accor Stadium – historically known as Stadium Australia – where it’s been played every year since 2008 with the exception of last year.



NRL Grand Final Records & Trends


Biggest Winning Margin: 40 points, Manly Sea Eagles vs Melbourne Storm (2008)

Highest Team Score: 42, South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles (1951)

Most Grand Final Appearances: 10 (Norm Provan, Cooper Cronk, Brian Clay)

Biggest Attendance: 107,999 (Melbourne Storm vs St. George Illawarra Dragons, 1999)


This will be the sixth time that Penrith have made the Grand Final in their history, and they’ve won three of their previous five. Incidentally, this will be their third Grand Final appearance in succession.

This will be Parramatta’s tenth Grand Final appearance, and they have a record of 4-5 in their previous nine. All of those four wins came between 1981 and 1986.

The Panthers beat the Eels easily a couple of weeks ago, but Parramatta won both of the regular season games between these sides this year.

Key Talking Points

Will the best version of the Eels turn up? At their best, they’ve been a formidable unit – as evidenced by their two wins over the Panthers this year. Thrown into the mix, however, have been a number of shockers. This season they’ve endured a 26-0 defeat to the Rabbitohs, a 36-14 loss to the Broncos and a 34-4 defeat to the Bulldogs, and those results give you a team which isn’t always easy to predict. Of late they’ve largely managed to avoid such results, but they can’t afford to be even a step off against the Panthers.

Will expectation prove to be a burden for Penrith? The Panthers have been at the top of the food chain for three years now, losing a Grand Final in 2020 and winning a tight one last year, but never have they had a weight of expectation on their shoulders as significant as this year. They’ve been the best team in the league all season, and the only team that has been able to get near them for Premiership favouritism was the Storm many months ago – and we all know how that ended up. It’s been Panthers vs the rest for much of the year, and nothing that’s happened over the course of the finals series has done anything to change that. Now that they’re here, can they capitalise on the dominance they’ve displayed over the rest of the league all season?

The battle of the halves. Nathan Cleary won the Clive Churchill Medal last year and is the raging favourite to do it again, and how both he and his opposite number in Mitchell Moses perform will go a long way to deciding this game. Cleary enters the Grand Final off the back of a brilliant preliminary final performance, but Moses too was excellent after a wobbly start in leading his Eels’ team into the Grand Final.


NRL Grand Final Preview

Penrith Panthers ($1.34) vs Parramatta Eels ($3.25)

October 2, 7.30pm @ Accor Stadium, Sydney

So here we are. The biggest game of the year is upon us, and as expected it’s Penrith who will enter it as favourites, and deservedly so. Their opponent, however, has shown all year that at their best they are capable of beating anyone. Never has that been more evident than against Penrith themselves, who they’ve beaten on two occasions – first in a tight 22-20 victory, and then in comprehensive fashion a couple of weeks later. This will be a battle of the western suburbs for the ages, and will mark the first time that these two teams have ever met in a Grand Final.

For Penrith, this is the game that they’ve been waiting for all year. They had top spot sewn up months before the end of the regular season, meaning a home qualifying final was on the cards and with it a very clear path through to the big dance. And for all intents and purposes, they got there with aplomb, winning their qualifying final by 19 points and their prelim by 20. The latter of those, however, wasn’t quite as easy as it might look on the scoreboard. The Rabbitohs jumped them to lead 12-0 in the shadows of half-time, but a couple of late first half tries led to a dominant second half and ultimately saw them score the last 32 points of the game.

The Eels didn’t have quite as easy a path. That 19-point qualifying final win the Panthers enjoyed came at the expense of their Grand Final opponents, but the Eels responded in incredible fashion with a 40-4 win over a Raiders team which had been playing as well as almost anyone in the league over the previous few weeks. Last week, they were made to work a lot harder, and eight points in arrears with 25 minutes to go it looked like Parramatta’s season might be coming to an end. Instead, they scored two tries in seven minutes to take a four-point lead which they would never relinquish, making their way into their first Grand Final in 13 years.

Offensively, it’s easy to see how these two teams have made their way into the big dance. They each rank equal first for possession in the league, and occupy the top two spots for set completion, too, with the Panthers sitting at 81% and the Eels at 80%. The Eels lead the league in post contact metres comfortably, while sitting in second place is, you guessed it, the Panthers. The same applies for run metres, with the Eels leading and the Panthers in second; Penrith leads kick return metres and the Eels sit in second; the Eels are first for try assists while the Panthers are third, and you get the picture – these are two very, very good offensive teams.

But while the Eels are capable of scoring in bunches, they are not nearly as well-oiled a machine as the Panthers are. They’re prone to mistakes, ranking fourth in the league for errors, while the Panthers have made fewer than any team in the league. Defensively, Parramatta are also a lot leakier than they’d like to be; in fact, they conceded more points in the home and away season than any other top eight side. In contrast, the Panthers are the best in the business in this regard, and have conceded just 20 points in their two finals games to date.

The Eels’ offensive firepower makes them a dangerous outfit, and never has that been more evident than in their two defeats of the Panthers earlier in the year. However, they have holes in their game that simply don’t exist in that of Penrith. The Panthers are a fine-tuned machine; Parramatta at their best work as well as anyone, but malfunctions are not uncommon. Ultimately, this makes for an enthralling matchup; if they bring their a-game, the Eels are a serious danger to the Panthers. Penrith, however, is favourite for good reason.

NRL Grand Final Betting

Check out the odds for some of the most popular NRL Grand Final betting markets below. 

NRL Grand Final Winner Odds

Penrith Panthers – $1.34

Parramatta Eels – $3.25

NRL Grand Final Line Odds

Penrith Panthers -8 – $1.85

Parramatta Eels +8 – $1.95

NRL Grand Final Totals Odds

Over 37.5 points – $1.80

Under 37.5 points – $2.00



Tips and Predictions

Penrith -8 @ $1.85 – If the Eels are at their best, they can win this game. On the balance of probabilities, however, a comfortable Penrith win seems far more likely. They have been the best team in the league by a long way all season, and though they’ve lost twice to Parramatta this year, when it mattered most in the qualifying final they put their foot down and won with relative ease. At close to even money, they’re good value to do that again.

Nathan Cleary to win the Clive Churchill Medal @ $3.00 – It might be the safe pick, but if the Panthers win as expected then Nathan Cleary is a great chance of being a major reason why. He has put in plenty of better performances than his Grand Final last year, but so significant is his role in the team that even that solid game was enough to see him end the day with this medal around his neck. He is in the process of putting together one of the great careers, and can add a little more silverware to his rapidly growing collection on Sunday afternoon.


**Odds quoted are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.