The Wests Tigers have put on a performance of a lifetime to edge out the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks by one-point. A clutch field goal by the Tigers half Emily Curtain at the back end of the game cemented them the win and the premiership.
The NSW Women’s Premiership grand final was all about the NSW Sky Blues and NSW Under 19s teammates facing off against each other.
The Sharks had six players from these squads; Sam Bremner, Tiana Penitani, Teagan Berry, Talei Holmes, Rueben Cherrington and Quincy Dodd. Their 17 also included former Origin representatives Holli Wheeler, Maddie Studdon and Tegan Dymock.
Their opponents, the Wests Tigers were bolstered by three elite state representatives; centre Jess Sergis, forward Kezie Apps and five-eighth Losana Lutu. Not only did each player play their respective role well, but over-delivered in their performances.
The Sharks opened the scoring in the 17th minute mark through centre Tiana Penitani. The Tigers quickly countered back, evening up the score with Keele Brown.
A quick accurate attempt on goal gave the orange and black their first lead. New South Wales representative Jess Sergis scored on the stroke of halftime to give the Tigers a four point lead going into the break.
After half time the Sharks were quick to bring the game back to level. Second-rower Talei Holmes scored an amazing try, but the Tigers extended their lead with four-points from Josephine Lenaz.
From then on it was all the Sharks for the next 20 minutes as they put on a great attacking showcase that provided them with two tries; Zali Fay and Sam Bremner.
The Tigers were not to be taken for granted and brought the game back to 20-20 with a Keele Browne stunner.
As the game moved to extra time, Wests Tigers halfback nailed the Sharks coffin as she cleanly hit a field goal over the posts. This clutch move solidified the Tigers as the new premiers of NSW Women’s Premiership.
In the six years that this competition has run, it is the first time the Tigers have been able to walk away with the silverware. The Player of the Match was awarded to pathways halfback Emily Curtain.
“It’s been a long time coming, us Tigers girls have worked hard for four years to try and get here to finally do it, full credit to the girls, they stuck in that whole 80-minutes and it was just great to see the effort,” Curtain said.
“We grew as a team towards the end of the season and to get that win it is amazing there is no feeling like it.
“I have no words; we have practiced getting to this moment to be able to finally do it is amazing and I can’t wait for the next one.”
The Chief Executive of New South Wales Rugby League David Trodden congratulated both teams on a valiant effort. He recognised that the competition is one of the best in the nation and is producing such high quality.
“The Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership continues to go from strength to strength every season and that is reflected by the number of players competing today who have achieved higher honours in representative football,” Trodden said.
“The NSWRL will always be a proud supporter of Women’s Rugby League and I congratulate the Tigers on their first premiership win and the Sharks for making the Grand Final.
“Both teams can leave the ground with their head held high after producing an epic Grand Final.”
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