SYDNEY (AP) — The Penrith Panthers rallied from two tries down to beat the short-handed South Sydney Rabbitohs 32-12 and advance to the National Rugby League grand final against the Parramatta Eels.
The defending champions trailed 12-0 to Souths nearing half-time on Saturday, before the match turned on its head in the space of four minutes with the Panthers scoring twice to go into half-time level.
Led by star halfback Nathan Cleary, Penrith ran riot in the second half scoring three tries and when Souths winger Taane Milne was sent off for a high tackle with 20 minutes to go there was no way back for the Rabbitohs.
Penrith finished atop of the standings in the regular season with 42 points and with a record of 20 wins and four losses, and will play in its third-straight decider in Sydney on Oct. 2.
On Friday, Parramatta advanced to its first grand final appearance in 13 years with a dramatic 24-20 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys.
Parramatta, which finished fourth in the regular season with 34 points, has not won a premiership since 1986. It's last appearance in a grand final was in 2009 when it lost to the Melbourne Storm.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports