We're three days out from the decider, edging closer to what on paper seems one of the strongest grand finals in recent years, but there's one glaring stat that has these teams miles apart.

The Broncos and Panthers have easily been the top two teams of the 2023 NRL season, and while they've reached the same destination, the pair took two very different roads to get here.

For Penrith, it's business as usual, reaching their four straight grand final, seeking their third consecutive premiership, coming off the back of their third minor premiership. They ooze success, and a winning culture.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Viliame Kikau of the Panthers offloads the ball to Apisai Koroisau of the Panthers during the round 16 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at BlueBet Stadium on July 02, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Every year they've had players leave or poorly timed injuries or suspensions, but while you can add or remove parts to it, the system keeps on rolling on.

Meanwhile Brisbane have had to gruel their way here, their first finals campaign since 2019, which infamously ended in a 58-0 drubbing at the hands of Parramatta. They worked themselves into a top four spot last year, just to stumble their way into 9th by the end of the regular season.

Especially with such a young squad, this year's finals campaign is the first for the majority of Broncos. In fact, 11 of the 17 Broncos hadn't played a finals game prior to their 26-0 win over Melbourne three weeks ago.

Only Sunia Turuva, Lindsay Smith, Jack Cogger and Luke Garner without finals experience heading into this year's post-season. The other 13 all have a premiership ring. Of those 13, ten have two rings.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Nathan Cleary of the Panthers runs the ball during the 2021 NRL Grand Final match between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on October 03, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Brisbane only have two premiership rings in their entire squad - one for Adam Reynolds and one for Kurt Capewell. In fact, those two have played a combined 37 finals games across their respective careers.

The entire Brisbane side combined has played just 72 finals games, an average of just 4.2 postseason games each, and meaning those two stars make up more than half of the Broncos' finals experience.

Penrith have more than double the experience at the helm with a combined tally of 167, an average of 9.8 each, but more impressively, 12 members of Penrith's side have 8+ finals games, their experience dwarfing their Queensland rivals.

The old adage goes 'you've got to lose one to win one', something even Penrith have endured after their 2020 loss to the Melbourne Storm, shellshocked in the first-half to trail 22-0, and eventually go on to lose 26-20.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Payne Haas of the Broncos celebrates with team mate Reece Walsh of the Broncos after scoring a try during the round five NRL match between Brisbane Broncos and Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium on April 01, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

This arena is one the Panthers have conquered on multiple occasions, while Brisbane, well post of their stars are just getting used to the packed Sydney crowds and high-pressure stales.

Adam Reynolds has roughly 30% of Brisbane's finals experience with 23 matches, meaning if the Broncos are to muster a victory, the pressure lies squarely on his shoulders, it's just a matter of whether or not the young brigade can help share the load.