The 2021 NRL Grand Final: When Is It, Where Is It & How To Watch
The NRL Grand Final is the culmination of the biggest rugby league competition on the planet, and every year attracts close to 80,000 spectators to Stadium Australia and many millions more to their TV screens around the country. Here is all you need to know about this year’s edition of the event.
When and where
The NRL Grand Final 2021 will be held at Stadium Australia, as it has been each and every year since 1999. This allows for as many spectators as possible to attend, with the 80,000 capacity of that ground significantly more than at any other NRL ground across the country. Indeed, since the Grand Final was moved there more than 79,000 people have attended every season with the exception of last year, when regulations only allowed for 37,303.
The game will take place on Sunday, the 3rd of October, exactly eight days after the AFL Grand Final, meaning the NRL will have the focus of the sporting world to themselves throughout the entirety of the first weekend of October. Though a start time hasn’t yet been officially announced, typically Grand Finals kick off at 7.30pm AEDT, and there’s no reason to expect it to be any different in 2021.
Where to watch
As it has been for decades, Channel 9 is the official broadcast partner of the NRL in 2021, and they have exclusive rights to the Grand Final. This free-to-air coverage means everyone around the country can tune into the game, and you can expect coverage to start well in advance of the kick-off of the game itself.
Given we are still a few months out from the game, the broadcast schedule has not yet been released, but based on past years there will almost certainly be plenty of action to build up the anticipation in the lead-up to the game. Expect pre-game coverage to start during the afternoon, with the game itself beginning at 7.30pm AEDT and post-game footage continuing well into the night.
Who will be playing?
There is still plenty of water to go under the bridge just yet, but every week it is looking increasingly likely that a repeat of last year’s Grand Final could be on the cards. That game saw the Storm defeat the Panthers in a thriller, and more than halfway through the regular season those two sides have again established themselves as clearly the best two teams in the competition.
There are, however, a handful of teams sitting just below them, all of whom would rightly consider themselves legitimate chances at upsetting the apple cart. Chief among them are the Rabbitohs, who have struggled against the top two when they’ve faced them this year but have hit an electric vein of form in recent weeks, while the Eels look likely to lock up a top four position and will be desperate to atone for a straight sets exit in last year’s finals series.
Each and every year, the NRL Grand Final proves to be one of the most popular events on what is a jam packed Australian sporting calendar. This year promises to be no different. It all kicks off on the 3rd of October at 7.30pm AEDT, and with the Panthers looking to get revenge on the Storm and a number of teams trying to bridge the gap on those top two, the race to the NRL Grand Final is set to be an intriguing one.