2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Penrith Panthers drew first blood as the South Sydney Rabbitohs hit back in the NRL grand final on a historic night for the code.

The NRL decider is being played outside Sydney for the first time due to coronavirus, forcing thousands of fans to watch at home.

Panthers centre Matt Burton was the first to find the try-line in the 18th minute after back-to-back sets before halfback Nathan Cleary converted to give Penrith an early 6-0 lead.

Rabbitohs hit back minutes later with playmaker Cody Walker scoring under the under the posts.

The try was converted to level the scores before Panthers regained the lead with a penalty goal to lead 8-6.

A sell-out crowd 39,000 footy fans have packed Brisbane‘s Suncorp Stadium after 13,000 ticket-holders were locked out earlier in the week due to the Queensland‘s latest Covid-19 outbreak.

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Panthers centre Matt Burton scored the first try in the 2021 NRL grand final, the first one being played outside Sydney

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai celebrates with teammates Matt Burton after Penrith drew first blood

There is plenty of support for both Sydney clubs in the stands as thousands of footy fans donning team jerseys, flags, face masks and banners arrived in their droves.

Many took advantage of a pop up clinic set up outside the ground to help boost the state’s lagging vaccination rates.

The pre-match entertainment line-up The Stafford Brothers, Kate Miller-Heidke and Aussie rock icon Ian Moss divided social media. 

The Rabbitohs kicked off after the Panthers won toss and elected to run towards the northern end of Suncorp Stadium in the first half.

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Country music singer and Souths fan Missy Lancaster hopes to be toasting a 22nd premiership later on Sunday night

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Fans have already arrived at Suncorp Stadium for Sunday night’s NRL grand final

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Club mascots Paws and Reggie Rabbit briefly put their fierce rivalry aside to pose for photos together and mingle with fans

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Queensland rugby league supporters arrived at Suncorp Stadium in good spirits, despite going for rival clubs

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Penrith Panthers fans show their support before the 2021 NRL Grand Final match at Suncorp Stadium

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

This Penrith Panthers supporter enjoyed a pre-match refreshment prior to grand final kick off

Players from both clubs arrived at the stadium 90 minutes prior to kick off.  

Earlier in the day, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed she’ll attend and issued a warning to other footy fans amid concerns of an outbreak.

‘As long as there are no issues that arise this afternoon it’s my intention to attend,’ she told reporters on Sunday.

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

‘Can I say to people who are attending, you have to check into the stadium, you have to wear your mask in there and you can only remove your mask when you are seated if you are eating or drinking.

‘That doesn’t mean sitting there with a beer and having the mask, only when you are drinking.’ 

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

There was plenty of support for the Penrith Panthers north of the border, despite the grand final not being played in Sydney

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

This South Sydney fan decked out in Rabbitohs colours had a message for her mum

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

39,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium were lucky to snare tickets to the first NRL decider played outside of Sydney

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Penrith Panthers fans Ru and Caitlin (right) will be cheering on their team back home in western Sydney

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Henry the labradoodle is cheering for the South Sydney Rabbitohs from home

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

One Panthers fan is watching the grand final back home in Sydney with some homemade sweet treats made for the occasion

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Many footy fans in Brisbane enjoyed a pre-match drink or two before heading to the game

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Face masks are a must-have accessory for the 39,000 fans attending the grand final at Suncorp Stadium 

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

Penrith Panthers fan Shane Binns took advantage of a pop up vaccination clinic set up outside Suncorp Stadium

Back home in Sydney, thousands of Rabbitohs and Panthers fans are proudly donning their club jerseys and decked out their homes in team colours.

One Panthers fan had their western Sydney backyard transformed into a footy field.

But grand final celebrations will be low key with Sydneysiders holed up in three months of lockdown under stay at home orders for another week.

The Panthers go into the grand final as hot favourites, despite losing to Souths three weeks ago in week one of the final.

Rabbitohs stars Adam Reynolds, Dane Gagai and Benji Marshall hope to finish their stints at the club on the high, while departing coach Wayne Bennett hopes to leave with a 10th premiership.

The Panthers hope to win their third premiership after previous success in 1991 and 2003.

The Rabbitohs are eyeing off their 22nd title, the last being in 2014.

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

These Rabbitohs supporters hope to be singing Glory Glory to South Sydney later on Sunday night

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

South Sydney supporters turned parts of Suncorp Stadium into a sea of red and green 

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

This Penrith Panthers fan at Suncorp Stadium pledged her support for halfback Nathan Cleary

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

, 2021 NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers draw first blood against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, Nzuchi Times National News

This Rabbitohs fan had a message for departing Rabbitoh figures Adam Reynolds, Dane Gagai, Benji Marshall and coach Wayne Bennett