We take a look at tonights NRL Finals match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Penrith Panthers which is set to start at 7:55PM at Suncorp Stadium.
View our NRL live scores results for the game between Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers.
When: 19:55 | Friday 15/09/2017
Where: Suncorp Stadium
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1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Corey Oates 3. James Roberts 4. Tautau Moga 5. Jordan Kahu 6. Anthony Milford 7. Benji Marshall 8. Sam Thaiday 9. Ben Hunt 10. Adam Blair 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh McGuire. Interchange: 14. David Mead 15. Jai Arrow 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Herman Essese 18. Darius Boyd 19. Jaydn Su’a 20. Jamayne Isaako 21. Tevita Pangai
Ins: Darius Boyd, Jamayne Isaako, Jaydn Su’A, Tevita Pangai Junior
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Dean Whare 5. Dallin Watene Zelezniak 6. Tyrone May 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 10. Regan Campbell-Gillard 11. Corey Harawira 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin. Interchange: 14. Sione Katoa 15. Bryce Cartwright 16. Moses Leota 17. James Fisher-Harris 18. Jarome Luai 19. Viliame Kikau 20. Sitaleki Akauola 21. Jed Cartwright
Ins: Jarome Luai, Jed Cartwright, Sitaleki Akauola, Viliame Kikau
Comparisons with Johnathan Thurston may be premature but Queensland coach Kevin Walters believes it is only a matter of time before Nathan Cleary wears the NSW No.7 jersey.
Walters just hopes it is not any time soon.
Cleary has emerged as Penrith’s dangerman after stepping up in troubled skipper Matt Moylan’s absence to help the Panthers book a knockout NRL semi-final clash with Brisbane on Friday night.
His stellar rise has reminded many of another former Penrith teenager — NSW great Brad Fittler.
Brisbane rake Ben Hunt paid Cleary arguably the greatest compliment before their sudden death clash, saying taking on the Panthers halfback was like “going into a game against Thurston”.
Walters believed it was a bold call in Cleary’s first full NRL season but claimed the 19-year-old was destined for representative honours.
“There is only one Johnathan Thurston for mine but for a guy his age he is doing some great stuff on the field,” Walters said of Cleary.
“He’s a quality player, he’s got a calm head on his shoulders for a young player.
“And I thought his tactics (in finals win over Manly) were really good last week, kicking the ball early — that sort of stuff wins big end of season games.”
Walters may be sitting pretty after becoming the third Queensland coach to win his first two State of Origin series at the helm.
It marked the Maroons’ 11th Origin series win in 12 years.
However, Walters sounded like an anxious man when asked about the possibility of Cleary making his Blues debut as soon as next year.
“I hope it is a long way away,” Walters said.
“But on the progression that he is on, all things going the way they are he is going to play Origin at some stage.
“It is just a matter of when the Blues decide to pick him.
“It’s not just his organisation, with the ball he supports well, kicks well, defends as good as any halfback — he is quite a talent.”
Ex-Broncos skipper Walters said Brisbane must overcome the Cleary factor in their knockout semi-final — something he believed would be easier said than done.
“I think the Broncs can bounce back but they will have to be at their best to beat the Panthers,” he said, referring to Brisbane’s 24-22 qualifying finals loss to Sydney Roosters last week.
“They (Panthers) were pretty impressive on Saturday night with their aggression and their defence was exceptional to hold Manly.
“They have some improving to do against Penrith but I think they can do it.”