- Penrith are favourites to win third premiership in a row
- We run the rule over leading candidates for Clive Churchill Medal
- Bookie has taken staggering bet on Panthers to beat Broncos
Plenty of Penrith fans are confident their team can win their third premiership in a row when they face Brisbane on Sunday night – but one punter has put their money where their mouth is with a stunning bet on the Panthers.
Anthony Waller, CEO of leading bookmaker Bet Right, has revealed the huge wager that’s been put on the mountain men as they try to become the first side to three-peat since the great Parramatta team of the early 1980s.
‘The Panthers have been the favourites for this year’s premiership for a very long time – you could argue they were favourites for 2023 well before they won in 2022, Waller told Daily Mail Australia.
Penrith are clear-cut favourites to win their third premiership in a row – but a leading bookie sees good signs for the Broncos (pictured, halfback Nathan Cleary at training)
Winger Brian To’o shapes as one of the best candidates to become first tryscorer during the decider on Sunday night
‘You only have to look at the betting market and the frantic efforts of some operators to balance their books on the NRL premiership to see the challenge. Bet Right’s price of $1.60 is underpinned by one client who wagered $140,000 on Penrith.’
Waller also has some good news for Broncos fans, despite rating them the ‘clear underdog’ in the decider.
‘Their last premiership, all the way back in 2006, was under similar circumstances to this year: an upset win, masterminded by a brilliant coach in Wayne Bennett, against a juggernaut team in the Melbourne Storm,’ he said.
As always, one of the biggest topics among fans – other than who’ll hoist the premiership trophy – is which player will win the Clive Churchill for best on ground.
A Penrith star has taken out the award in the last two seasons: Dylan Edwards in 2022, and Nathan Cleary in 2021.
Waller believes history could repeat itself when coach Ivan Cleary’s men tackle the Broncos.
Broncos No.7 Adam Reynolds (pictured) will be crucial to Brisbane’s chances – and is in with a shot of becoming the club’s fifth Clive Churchill Medal winner
‘The opposing halfbacks will be crucial to their respective teams’ chances and it’s no surprises that they lead our Clive Churchill Medal betting, with Nathan Cleary at $3.50 well ahead of his counterpart Adam Reynolds on $8,’ he explained.
‘If you’re looking at the first tryscorer, it’s Penrith’s wingers who offer the shortest price – both Sunia Turuva and Brian To’o paying $9 to strike the first crucial blow on Sunday.’
Fans who are trying to predict who’ll be named best on ground would do well to take a few lessons from the history of the Clive Churchill Medal.
It’s only been awarded to a player on the losing grand final team four times: Brad Clyde for Canberra in 1991, Brad McKay for St George in 1993, Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans in 2013 and Raiders star Jack Wighton in the 2019 loss to the Roosters.
A Penrith star has won the award three times, with a Bronco taking the honours four times thanks to the efforts of Allan Langer, Gorden Tallis, Darren Lockyer and Shaun Berrigan.