TRANS-TASMAN PREVIEWS | We've got a look over and made our picks for the opening night of the rep ro...
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The SG Ball and Harold Matthews competitions came to a close today with two big Grand Finals - and it was Newcastle and Canterbury who ran out winners!
Harold Matthews Cup
The afternoon of action at St Mary's Stadium started with Canterbury facing Illawarra in the Harold Matthews grand final. After taking an early 12-0 lead, the Bulldogs conceded second-half tries and the Steelers drew level late in the game before a field goal gave the blue-and-whites the premiership.
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 13 (B Cox, M Morgan tries; B Cox 2 goals; B Cox field goal) def. Illawarra Steelers 12 (J Bird, A Atallah tries; DJ Harris 2 goals).
A thrilling afternoon of action was capped with an exciting finish in the SG Ball Grand Final - the Knights dominated a see-sawing contest until around the 60th minute. The Bulldogs had all the momentum in the last 15 to 20 minutes, drawing level on fulltime through a bizarre try to Santi, where a Newcastle player had attempted to send the ball dead over his own line with seconds remaining, but failing to do so - Santi swooping on the loose ball to score. A missed conversion from Langi sent the game to extra time, where Newcastle managed to stave off the embarrassment with a Shippard field goal and win the match, and SG Ball premiership.
Newcastle Knights 25 (N Ritter 2, J Savin, B Roose, J Hill tries; N Ritter 2 goals; L Shippard field goal) def. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 24 (B Santi 2, D Minute, M Thorpe, H Lavaka tries; J Rainbow, S Langi goals).
Both matches were played at St Mary's Stadium. Vision of both matches will be available via www.nswrl.com.au soon.