Panthers into first grand final in 17 years after Rabbitohs prelim thriller

The Penrith Panthers are into the club’s first grand final in 17 years after a 20-16 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

But it could have been much different if not for a matter of foot placement, as the Rabbitohs’ Adam Reynolds was denied one of the plays of the season.

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With four minutes left after drawing four points behind the minor premiers, Reynolds took a kick for a 40-20, but his foot was on the 40m line.

Reynolds thought he had done it, but Fox League’s Warren Smith saw the foot on the line, with referee Gerard Sutton awarding a scrum to the Panthers 10m out.

Regardless, Braith Anasta was blown away by the play.

“What a kick, even if this is not a 40-20, what a play, what a kick,” Anasta said.

“And his foot was on the line. Enormous call. What about the kick still? That’s crazy.”

Smith said it was “half a size 10” from being a massive play.

Adam Reynolds went so close to a 40-20.Source:FOX SPORTS

For a 40-20, the kicker has to stay behind the 40m line.

“What a shame,” Andrew Johns said. “That was incredible, when you think about it, to get to the position and then get that kick off at such an acute angle.”

Phil Gould added: “Wow, that was a massive play, a brilliant play, dethroned by two inches.”

But while the preliminary final was hardly a classic with mistakes aplenty — 25 between the teams — the Panthers only just held on for a historic milestone.

The club’s 17th straight win takes the side equal with the 2002 Bulldogs, who had all the their points deducted for breaching the salary cap.

The only streak ahead of the side is the 1975-76 Roosters, who had 19 straight victories.

The Panthers led 14-6 at the break, but the Rabbitohs fought back to score in the 49th minute when Dane Gagai somehow grounded the ball behind his head to make it a two point ball-game.

With the game on the line, it took until the 66th minute — with nothing seemingly happening — for Isaah Yeo to break the Souths line and pass to Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards to score.

While at 20-12, the game appeared over, a horrible pass landed at Corey Allan’s feet on the left flank, grubbering for himself.

He then grounded the ball in goal to set up the grandstand finish, although he may have injured his hamstring for his trouble.

Woweeee, how on earth Corey Allan!? 😮#NRLPanthersSouths#TelstraPremiership

It ignited the game and set up a tremendous end to the game.

The Rabbitohs appeared to be out on their feet at the end of the first half with the commentators praising the courageous comeback.

Great kick tho. Adam Reynolds a fair dinkum competitor

Great effort Penrith, brilliant season & deserve to be in the GF #NRLPanthersSouths

Typically brave denouement to the @SSFCRABBITOHS’ 2020 season. The Panthers were fitter, fresher and stronger – and yet right ‘til the end it seemed like the Bunnies might win. The Rabbitoh Nation has cause to be proud tonight.#OldestProudestLoudest#NRLPanthersSouths

But it fell just short with the Panthers to face the Melbourne Storm in next Sunday night’s decider.

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