The Newcastle Knights took down the Parramatta Eels for their first premiership in the NRLW competition. This came after a disaster of a season earlier this year where they failed to win a single game all year.
From there, with a number of major recruiting moves, the Knights were able to have a complete turnaround, into a premiership side.
The grand final didn’t start off well for Newcastle, with multiple errors giving Parramatta opportunities to open the scoring.
The Eels capitalised, as Brooke Anderson scored her first NRLW try in the biggest game of her career. Newcastle seemed to strike right back, but ended up committing another error, losing the ball in the in goal area.
The line drop out gave them a second chance, and this time they did not waste it, with Kiana Takairangi diving in on the wing. A missed conversion however kept the Eels in the lead.
The first try was what Newcastle needed to tighten up their performance, as Jesse Southwell found Emmanita Paki on the wing to take the league.
The Knights continued in strong form, with another excellent pass made to set Romy Titzel up for the next try.
As the half time siren sounded, the Knights returned to the sheds up 14-6. The half time break wasn't enough for the Eels to regroup. Tamika Upton broke through their line and opened the second half with another Knights try.
Another Eels error led to an interception, but some good defensive efforts and loose Knights ball handling averted the danger.
In need of a big play, the Eels captain took it upon herself to charge through the Knights line to put the game back to a single score lead.
Putting the pressure on, the Eels threatened to score again, but a bad pass put the ball in Jesse Southwell's hands for a counter attack. Newcastle failed to turn this into a scoring opportunity.
The Eels appeared to score again, however the bunker found that a penalty was committed, causing the try to be overturned.
The Knights however crushed the Eels hopes, as a hole in the Eels defence gave Tamika Upton a path to the try line.
Jesse Southwell then capped off a spectacular season, scoring another try to all but lock down the Knights first premiership in the NRLW.
Yasmine Clydsedale scored one final try for Newcastle, the sideline sounded and the Knights celebrated their first premiership.
For her efforts, Tamika Upton took out the Karyn Murphy Medal for the best player in the grand final.
“She’s my favourite player to play with” captain Millie Boyle said of Upton.
“She’s just an unbelievable teammate, so fit, can identify what’s in front so well, and is so confident under the high balls as well.”
The crowd was a new record for the NRLW, with almost 40,000 people turning up. Despite most of those being Parramatta fans, Boyle was still excited to see such a high turnout.
“[It] really meant a lot to have a lot of people there, even though a lot of them were Parra supporters.
“We could see our families and our friends and we could hear them loud and clear over everyone else.
“It just means a lot that people want to watch the game and turn up.”
With the NRLW only having single season deals, the challenge now for Newcastle will be attempting to retain their premiership side, as four new expansion teams join the competition next year.