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Soward frustrated at bunker ruling as Knights defeat Dragons and book first grand final

The Newcastle Knights have booked their spot for their first ever NRLW grand final appearance, after defeating last year’s runners-up the St Geroge Illawarra Dragons 30-6 in Sunday’s semi-final at Suncorp Stadium.

But Dragons coach Jamie Soward was clearly unhappy with a denied try at a pivotal part of the game.

“It was a try. She still had her finger on it. It’s a try. It changes the game,” said Soward.

“Newcastle were great, and it’s going to be a great grand final whoever they play – but it was a try.”

The Knights have come a long way from their disastrous 2021 season, going from a winless campaign to now being one win away from premiership glory.

Their high-profile recruits have delivered to power the NRLW side from wooden spooners to grand finalists, and their effort in Sunday’s win were nothing short of enormous.

Fullback Tamika Upton scored twice while Millie Boyle produced a spectacular solo try, but Boyle insists that it’s teh effort of teh entire team that is behind this season’s success.

“Everyone has a role in our team. Tamika and my roles are no different from everyone else,” said Boyle.

“Everyone wants to put on their best performance and play for each other, we have that team-first mentality.

“That’s what I think we have in Newcastle and it’s great to be a part of.

The former Brisbane pair starred on their old turf at Suncorp Stadium in the first of Sunday’s double-header, three-time champions Brisbane absent after missing the semi-finals for the first time.

Newcastle, who were 0-5 last season, will play the winner of the Sydney Roosters and Parramatta in next Sunday’s decider.

The Dragons, who had lost 30-8 to the Knights a week ago, had powered back into the contest when star fullback Emma Tonegato crossed in the right corner.

But a knock-on was spotted on review and a 12-10 scoreline was suddenly 18-6 at halftime, when Knight’s five-eighth Kirra Dibb scooted over from dummy-half.

The Dragons dominated territory in the second half, but the Knights’ defence held firm.

Upton breezed through for a second try to seal the result before Kiana Takairangi’s try was the icing on the cake.

Dragons winger Teagan Berry kept her side close early on, plucking an intercept from Upton’s kick return to score against the run of play.

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Tonegato’s no-try followed, her side unable to score another point as the Knights made an early grand final statement in Brisbane.


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