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NRL grand final winner is decided by MEERKATS as players reveal their strange pre-game rituals

NRL grand final winner is decided by MEERKATS as players reveal their strange pre-game rituals – including the disgusting eating habit of a Penrith player

  • Meerkats at Sydney Zoo have forecast winner of Panthers v Eels NRL Grand Final 
  • Series of mongooses gravitated to the food on offer next to the Panthers rock
  • They left the Eels rock with food alone, could be an omen for ‘Battle of the West’
  • KIIS FM’s ‘Intern Pete’ also asked series of Penrith players their pre-game rituals 
  • Responses were left-field, especially from utility Jaeman Salmon and Brian To’o 

The 2022 NRL grand final winner has been decided early – by a bunch of meerkats who call the Sydney Zoo home.

As anticipation builds towards the ‘Battle of the West’ between Penrith and Parramatta on Sunday at Accor Stadium, the cheeky creatures were given the opportunity to decide who they personally thought who was going to win the premiership.

Food was placed next to two opposing rocks painted in colours of the Panthers and Eels – and it wasn’t good news for the blue and gold army, who haven’t won a title since 1986 – the longest drought in the NRL.

The mongooses all quickly gravitated to the food on offer next to the Panthers rock, which could be a possible omen at Ivan Cleary’s men seek back to back triumphs.

Elsewhere at Panthers training this week, KIIS FM’s ‘Intern Pete’ asked a series of players their pre-game rituals.

The 2022 NRL grand final winner has been decided by a bunch of meerkats at the Sydney Zoo – and it is good news for Panthers fans

Halfback Nathan Cleary revealed he wears the same underpants – provided his team won the previous week – while co-captain Isaah Yeo cuts his toenails.

Cult hero winger Brian To’o raised eyebrows when he said he devours a two litre bottle of Coke zero for breakfast on game day – but the weirdest response came from the mouth of utility Jaeman Salmon.

The 23-year-old – who Raiders coach Ricky Stuart labelled a ‘weak gutted dog’ in an extraordinary post-game attack last month – told radio personality Pete Deppeler he bizarrely eats a blade of grass before entering the fray.

Footy fans are salivating ahead of Sunday’s decider, which kicks-off at 7.30pm. 

Penrith and Parramatta have long been fierce NRL rivals – but have never met in a grand final.

Elsewhere at Panthers training this week, KIIS FM's 'Intern Pete' asked a series of players their pre-game rituals - with Jaeman Salmon's response turning heads

Elsewhere at Panthers training this week, KIIS FM’s ‘Intern Pete’ asked a series of players their pre-game rituals – with Jaeman Salmon’s response turning heads

Gun halfback Nathan Cleary revealed he wears the same underpants - provided his team won their previous game

Gun halfback Nathan Cleary revealed he wears the same underpants – provided his team won their previous game

Adding spice to the contest is Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Waqa Blake both joining the Eels in recent years after making their NRL debuts with the Panthers.

Both men also left the foot of the mountains in controversial circumstances – and would bragging rights over the club which released them.

Brad Arthur’s Eels beat the minor premiers twice in the home and away season – only for Penrith to exact revenge in week one of the semi-finals earlier this month.

Ivan Cleary’s men are chasing back to back premierships, with the Sydney Roosters (2018 and 2019) the last NRL side to achieve the feat.

Penrith – who have incredibly won 66 of 78 games dating back the past three years – have started the mind games ahead of the big dance after declaring they are now the premier NRL club in Sydney’s rugby league heartland.

Adding spice to the NRL decider is Reagan Campbell-Gillard (pictured) and Waqa Blake both joining the Eels in recent years after making their NRL debuts with the Panthers

Adding spice to the NRL decider is Reagan Campbell-Gillard (pictured) and Waqa Blake both joining the Eels in recent years after making their NRL debuts with the Panthers

Panthers winger Brian To'o this week declared 'things have changed' in relation to Penrith now being the dominant rugby league club in western Sydney

Panthers winger Brian To’o this week declared ‘things have changed’ in relation to Penrith now being the dominant rugby league club in western Sydney

‘You can call us Daddy,’ Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai quipped this week, in a statement the Parramatta players are likely to post up in the changerooms this weekend at Homebush.

Winger Brian To’o also weighed into the chat, declaring ‘things have changed.’

‘There aren’t that many kids coming through the Parramatta system that are from the west. The majority of the people that are in the Parramatta team come from other countries or other parts of NSW – or even Penrith,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

‘It’s pretty cool to see how many of us (Penrith) juniors have come through the lower grades up to the big leagues.’

According to Sportsbet, Parramatta are $3.10 outsiders, with Penrith paying $1.40. 

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