Penrith Panthers secure NRL minor premiership

Penrith Panthers have won the NRL minor premiership following a 32-12 win over North Queensland in Townsville.

The Panthers are on a 14-game winning streak and in the previous two years they have been minor premiers, 1991 and 2003, they have gone on to win the Grand Final.

Three tries inside the first 14 minutes helped set them on their way to a comfortable evening’s work against the Cowboys, with the only real worry an incident involving Viliame Kikau that saw him put on report for a high tackle on Valentine Holmes.

Penrith have won 17 of their 19 games so far, and there is one round of the NRL left before the play-offs.

The top eight is already decided, with the only thing left to decide what order those teams finish, which of course determines the play-off ties.

The other seven teams include reigning back-to-back champions Sydney Roosters, as well as Melbourne, Parramatta, Canberra, South Sydney, Newcastle and Cronulla.

Penrith’s final game of the regular season is against Canterbury, who are in a shoot-out with Brisbane to avoid the wooden spoon. The Broncos take on North Queensland as they look to avoid the first wooden spoon in their history.

The Grand Final is due to be played on October 25 at Sydney Cricket Ground, and the NRL was boosted their week by the news that relaxed restrictions could mean a 40,000-crowd at their showpiece event.

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