With both Illawarra and Newcastle taking out the top 2 spots on the ladder at 8 wins each, it is only fitting that they meet in the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup Grand Final at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday 4 May to determine who truly is the best team of 2019. It hasn’t been smooth sailing in their respective finals campaigns, however, after the Knights and the Steelers had to overcome losses in the opening week of the finals to keep their premiership hopes alive.
Their last meeting was a 24-22 nail biter at Dudley Oval in Round 7, where the Knights scored a 49th minute try through second rower Caitlan Johnston to secure victory. It was very much a back-and-forth contest between the competition’s strongest attacking outfits, and fans should expect more of the same in the decider.
For the Steelers to win, look for a strong performance from the back five - featuring the likes of Teagan Berry, Mikayla Kidd, Olivia Vale and Keele Browne - who this season have possessed the skill and speed to produce long range tries and prove an attacking threat from anywhere on the field.
If the Knights are to be crowned 2019 champions it will fall down to No. 7 Joeli Morris, who will be steering her team around the park and has the ability to break the defensive line, and outside backs Jorja Holden and Ashlee Russell who can finish off any attacking raids.