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NSWRL TV Preview | Panthers to face Dragons, Women’s Country grand finalist to be decided

The Panthers are out for five wins in a row when NSWRL TV captures the ladder leaders taking on the Dragons in Round six The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup on Saturday 17 April, while a Grand Final spot is up for grabs when the North Coast Bulldogs meet the NMR Knights in the Women’s Country Championship Semi-finals. Showcasing the talent in the NSWRL women’s game this weekend doesn’t stop there as St Mary’s face the Central Coast Roosters in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership on Monday.

The action starts at 1pm on Saturday as Penrith tries to maintain their unbeaten start to 2021 with a third win at home by hosting St George Illawarra at BlueBet Stadium. Then the emphasis swings to Jack Neal Oval in Taree at 1pm on Sunday for the Bulldogs-Knights game to decide who meets Riverina Bulls in the Women’s Country Championship Grand Final in May. The weekend round wraps up on Monday at 7pm for the top-four clash between the Roosters and St Mary’s.

Women’s Country Championships Semi-finals

The North Coast Bulldogs brings players together from as far north as Grafton, south to Forster.

Academy Manager Daniel Tempest said the players were excited to be this close to a Grand Final after losing out on playing in 2020.

“We’ve been around the pointy end before. We were going quite well last year before COVID shut the competition down. But this year the girls keep plugging away,” Tempest said.

The Bulldogs managed to keep the core group of players together for new coach Scott Mieni this year.

“Our last game against Illawarra the girls just kept chipping away and got the job done,” Mieni said. “They just don’t stop or ever give up, which is great.

“We just need that kind of effort again. We’re very much looking forward to the opportunity.”

The Newcastle-Maitland Region Knights don’t want to let the chance to play in next month’s decider pass them by either.

The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup

Competition leaders the Panthers will want to maintain their fortress at home after beating the Rabbitohs and the Raiders already this season at BlueBet Stadium, when the Dragons come to visit on Saturday.

The Red-V is determined to not suffer another heavy defeat after losing to the Knights 40-6 in Round four and then to the Eels 40-8 last weekend. But coach Russ Aitken will need his players to lift as the Dragons are the second-worst defensive side in the competition.

Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership

St Mary’s are hoping to offer better resistance to the Roosters juggernaut after they put 50 points on the Dirty Reds last weekend, and 78 on the Wentworthville Magpies the game before.

St Mary’s being much higher up the ladder – third place – will help. Shutting down halfback Jocelyn Kelleher is also on the list as the No.7 has scored five tries in her past two games.