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Huge Saturday of action to decide Junior Reps Grand Finalists

A bumper eight-plus hours of action this Saturday – showcasing the best young talent in Rugby League across the state – decides which teams will square off at the NSWRL Junior Representatives Grand Final day on Saturday 27 April.

Kicking off with both UNE Harold Matthews Cup Semi-finals at 11am, and culminating with the second UNE SG Ball Cup Semi-final at 6.30pm, 16 teams and eight games will determine the deciders of the four Junior Reps competitions including the Westpac Lisa Fiaola Cup and Westpac Tarsha Gale Cup.

Newtown’s Henson Park will host Semi-finals for both the UNE Harold Matthews and UNE SG Ball Cup, while the six other Grand Final qualifiers will take place at Leichhardt Oval. All eight games will also be streamed live on NSWRL TV.

UNE Harold Matthews Cup

After earning a week off, top-of-the-table Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs host a form Warriors side, who snatched sixth position in the final round before upsetting Parramatta Eels 30-20 in Week One of the finals to reach the Semi-final. The Warriors will look to spoil the party for a Bulldogs outfit aiming for back-to-back Harold Matthews Cup trophies, when they take the field at Henson Park.

In the other Semi-final at Leichhardt, the unbeaten Western Suburbs Magpies take on Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. The boys from the Shire have recorded three-straight wins since their Round Seven bye, but they’ll be tested against the Magpies who boast the best regular season defensive record (114) of the four teams that remain.

Westpac Lisa Fiaola Cup

The Lisa Fiaola Cup Semi-finals get underway at 12.30pm from Leichhardt Oval between second-placed Illawarra Steelers – coming off a 7-1 win-loss record for the season – and fifth-placed Wests Tigers. The Tigers survived elimination following a 24-22 win last week where five-eighth Agnews Faaui starred with two tries and a conversion.

The 3.30pm clash pits the Newcastle Knights against the ladder-leading Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. The Dogs have been dominant in attack and have leaked only 48 points this season - but 16 of those were against the Knights in Round Two. This was also the most points scored against the Bulldogs by any opponent in 2024.

UNE SG Ball Cup

Saturday’s second game at Henson Park features the SG Ball Cup Sydney Roosters, returning after a week off having finished the regular season in top spot, against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. The Semi-final opponents previously went head-to-head back in Round One, with the Roosters scoring five second-half tries on their way to a 36-26 win.

The later game from 6.30pm at Leichardt Oval features St George Dragons and the Newcastle Knights. Their last clash in Round Four was three tries apiece but the Knights clinched the win 16-14 with the boot of Newcastle fullback Connor Votano proving the difference.

Westpac Tarsha Gale Cup

Tarsha Gale Cup action begins at 2pm when the Illawarra Steelers line up against Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, with the two sides meeting again only a fortnight after their Round Nine match. While the Steelers came away with a 38-4 win on that occasion, the Sharks were still able to finish the regular season in sixth spot to clinch a finals berth and will be circling for revenge come Saturday afternoon.

In the 5pm match-up, the undefeated Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs play the Newcastle Knights in a third-against-fifth battle. Despite the Bulldogs looking a tough proposition after their 64-0 win in the final round, it was the Knights who gave them a scare in Round Two when the Dogs scraped home 12-6 after trailing 6-4 at half-time.

Junior Representative Semi-finals schedule – Saturday 20 April

11am: Bulldogs v Warriors, Henson Park (Harold Matthews Cup)

11am: Magpies v Sharks, Leichhardt Oval (Harold Matthews Cup)

12.30pm: Steelers v Wests Tigers, Leichhardt Oval (Lisa Fiaola Cup)

12.30pm: Roosters v Bulldogs, Henson Park (SG Ball Cup)

2pm: Steelers v Sharks, Leichhardt Oval (Tarsha Gale Cup)

3.30pm: Bulldogs v Knights, Leichhardt Oval (Lisa Fiaola Cup)

5pm: Bulldogs v Knights, Leichhardt Oval (Tarsha Gale Cup)

6.30pm: Dragons v Knights, Leichhardt Oval (SG Ball Cup)

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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