Brisbane Broncos captain Adam Reynolds says Sunday’s grand final isn’t about redemption two years after he missed a late conversion against Penrith in the 2021 decider which ended in heartbreak.
Reynolds was wearing a South Sydney jersey that night in what turned out to be his final game for the club after 10 seasons which included helping them end their premiership drought in 2014.
The veteran halfback has since made Brisbane his home and has played a huge role in helping the Broncos reach their first grand final since 2015, just three years after the club finished up with the wooden spoon.
Experience is the buzz word this week with Reynolds and former Panther Kurt Capewell the only current Broncos who have played in a grand final, compared to Penrith players who are getting ready for their fourth decider in as many years.
That experience will be crucial for young guns like Reece Walsh, Ezra Mam and Selwyn Cobbo who have to learn how to handle the pressure of grand final week and everything that comes before a ball is even kicked.
For Reynolds, Sunday represents a chance for him to atone for what happened two years ago when the sharpshooter missed a sideline conversion with five minutes to go and then shanked a two-point field goal attempt in the dying seconds.
The Panthers ended up winning 14-12 but he says he’s moved on from that night at Suncorp Stadium where he was one of the best players on the field.
“Everyone’s tossed up the redemption story but I don’t see it as that,” he said.
“I see it as a chance for us as a club to do something great.
“I’ve made peace with that loss. Obviously I would have loved a different result that night, but you can’t get everything your way all the time.
“The lessons I learnt out of that game are that they (Penrith) have been doing it for a long time and they’ve been the best club for the last four years.
“They do things so well and 1-17 they’re strong across the park. I expect no different on Sunday.”
The 33-year-old is having one of the best years of his life with 26 try assists and 26 line-break assists – both career highs – while he’s also kept defences guessing with his outstanding short kicking game.
It’s why the Panthers must find a way to shut down Brisbane’s big men Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan who have laid a sensational platform for their chief shot caller and were both rewarded with spots in the Dally M team of the year.
“I feel like off the back of their forward pack that he’s able to control the game really well,” Panthers co-captain Isaah Yeo said.
“His kicking game gets spoken about every year about how good it is, and it’s top class.
“The forward pack lays the platform for him, and I feel that they’ve done a wonderful job all year which has allowed Adam and all the X-factor off the back of that to show why they’re so classy.
“I’m sure most halfbacks would say it all starts with their forwards, and I’m sure it does for their team as well.
“He’s done a terrific job controlling them and steering them around the park and setting them up in spots where their X-factor and real class can break teams down.”
Reynolds is one of the reasons why the Broncos are going to steal some support from Sydney locals on Sunday night with Rabbitohs fans still in love with the little general.
It’s why there were several fans in South Sydney gear on Thursday afternoon in Circular Quay, with one regularly shouting his support to Reynolds while he was on stage.
“I love you too,” Reynolds laughed, promising to get a Broncos tattoo to add to his impressive collection.
“It’s been unreal. The Souths fans have gotten behind me, and even though I’m wearing the Brisbane colours now, there’s still the support there.
“I’m very grateful for that and he’s looking terrific over there.”