St George Illawarra have joined the Brisbane Broncos in the 2019 NRLW Grand Final after a 24-16 win over the Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt Oval this afternoon.
Needing victory to secure their place at ANZ Stadium next week, the Dragons started brightly, but it would be the Roosters who drew first blood through Mel Howard following several potential tries being denied by the Bunker for both sides in the opening 15 minutes.
Howard's try kicked the contest into gear - Jess Sergis scored the Dragons' first off the next set from the Roosters, plucking the ball neatly from opposing centre Isabelle Kelly to get the first for the Red V.
Debutant Bobbi Law responded for the Roosters and suddenly the famous old scoreboard on the Leichhardt Oval hill was ticking over, with the Tricolours taking a 10-6 lead.
Before the halftime siren could sound though, the Dragons would run in two more - exposing the Roosters' edge defence on both sides with both Tiana Penitani and Shakiah Tungai picking up tries to surge the Dragons' women to a 16-10 lead as the sides changed ends.
In her farewell rugby league match, Roosters' prop Ruan Sims crossed under the sticks for a memorable try, which together with Kirra Dibb's conversion enabled the last-placed side to draw level once more - but the joy was short lived when Sergis' second steal of the day - this time an intercept on her own 10m line, saw the skilful Dragons centre run most of the field to put her side back ahead.
From there the Dragons were never headed - a penalty goal for Maddie Studdon in the last five minutes the only remaining score as the Red V made it into the big dance with a 24-16 victory.