Heartbreak for Parramatta Eels as Newcastle Knights win 2022 NRLW Grand Final
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The Newcastle Knights have won the 2022 NRLW Grand Final, defeating the Parramatta Eels 32-12 in a hard-fought encounter at Accor Stadium.
Star fullback Tamika Upton well and truly took the game by the scruff of the neck, guiding her team to a historic victory before being crowned the Player of the Match.
It was a gutsy effort from the Eels, but the Knights were simply unplayable at times.
A fantastic conclusion to a brilliant NRLW season with the climax being played out in front of a record crowd of 42,921.
It took 12 minutes for the stalemate to be broken, Parramatta drawing first blood through a bulldozing effort from Brooke Anderson.
But the Knights wasted no time in responding.
Kiana Takairangi scored in the corner to reduce the early deficit, although Kirra Dibb’s missed conversion meant the Eels still lead.
Emmanita Paki then put Newcastle ahead, powering past a couple of Eels players before bundling the ball across the try line.
The Knights refused to let up too, bagging another try through Romy Teitzel – although it was the genius of Tamika Upton which deserves all the plaudits.
Jinking past the opposition, he unleashed a brilliant flock pass which opened up the Eels.
And Upton showed her class once again after shortly into the second half.
Peeling off down the left edge, she hit the narrowest of gaps before grounding the ball.
That effort officially made her the highest try-scorer in NRLW history.
But the Eels weren’t willing to roll over easily, hitting back through skipper Simaima Taufa to bring them to within one converted try of tying it all up.
The Eels then had a try chalked off with The Bunker ruling that Gayle Broughton had pushed her opposite number when chasing Tayla Preston's inch-perfect kick.
But, in the end, the Knights were just too damn good.
Takairangi bagged her second try of the night before teenage sensation Jesse Southwell extended Newcastle’s lead even further.
Yasmin Clydsdale then secured a historic victory for the Knights with the last touch of the game, scoring in the corner after a cruel bounce left the Eels scrambling.