2023 KOE NSW Cup Grand Final TEAMS and PREVIEW

COMP NSW CUP

It's Teamlist Tuesday for Grand Final of the 2023 NSW Cup Season! Around 5pm AEST every Tuesday, the full teams for each NSW Cup round will be posted right here!

The match will be streamed live on NSWRL TV (Facebook) and 9Now.

All times are listed in AEST (NSW/QLD/VIC/ACT) unless otherwise noted.

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2023 Grand Final
South Sydney Rabbitohs v North Sydney Bears
Sun September 24 2023, 3:00pm
at CommBank Stadium, Parramatta / Burramattagal

South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Blake Taaffe 2. Tom Carr 3. Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson 4. Jacob Gagai 5. Tyrone Munro 6. Dion Teaupa 7. Dean Hawkins 8. Shaquai Mitchell 9. Peter Mamouzelos 10. Brock Gray 11. Ben Lovett 12. Ethan O’Neill 13. Tallis Duncan 14. Shannon Gardiner 15. Matthew French 16. Jaxson Rahme 17. Yileen Gordon 18. Leonard Skelton 19. Tristian Alvarado

North Sydney Bears
1. Josh Bergamin 2. Allan Fitzgibbon 3. Kieran Hayman 4. Toa Mata'afa 5. Fetalaiga Pauga 6. Jesse Marschke 7. Ben Stevanovic 8. Terrell May 9. Tyran Ott 10. Kurt De Luis 11. Elie El-Zakhem 12. Reuben Porter 13. Zach Dockar-Clay 14. Ben Marschke 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Ben Thomas 17. Jerry Key 18. Ben Talty 19. Alfred Smalley 21. Ben Seufale

Referees: Cameron Paddy;Sideline Officials: Tom Cambourn, Nick Beashel;Video Referees: Liam Kennedy;

Match Preview

with Rob Crosby

Foundation rivals face off once again 

Two of rugby league's foundation clubs will renew hostilities on Sunday afternoon when the South Sydney Rabbitohs and North Sydney Bears face off for the right to be crowned Knock-On Effect Cup premiers.

Holding the distinction as the most successful reserve grade club in premiership history with 20 titles, the South Sydney Rabbitohs will make their first appearance in a reserve grade grand final in 40 years on Sunday afternoon.

Naming a 19-man squad containing nine players who featured in the NRL this season, headlined by the return of Blake Taaffe in his final game for the club, the Rabbitohs finished the regular season in second position with the fifth best attack and eighth best defence.

Getting the better of New Zealand (26-12) in the Major Preliminary Semi Final, the Rabbitohs became the first team through to the decider after defeating North Sydney (30-24) a fortnight ago.

Coach Joe O'Callaghan will be looking to lead the Rabbitohs to their first reserve grade title since 1983, while Yileen Gordon, who debuted in first grade as an outside back at the age of 18 in 2005, will come off the bench in the front-row at the end of a well-travelled career. 

Serving as the feeder team for the Sydney Roosters for the past five seasons, the North Sydney Bears will be eyeing off their ninth reserve grade premiership - and first since last claiming the title in 1993. 

Naming a 20-man squad featuring eight players with first grade experience, including Junior Pauga, Terrell May and Fletcher Baker who featured in the Roosters NRL semi final defeat last Friday, the Bears finished the regular season as minor premiers, ranked second in attack and defence respectively.

Earning their place in the big dance after losing the Major Semi Final to South Sydney (24-30), the Bears bounced back last Saturday by holding off a fast-finishing New Zealand (28-24).

Coach Jason Taylor will be hoping his team can go one better than the last North Sydney side to reach a reserve grade decider, where the Bears, acting as the feeder team for South Sydney, conceded a try on full-time to go down to Parramatta in 2007.

Last Meeting: Major Semi Final, 2023 - North Sydney Bears 24 South Sydney Rabbitohs 30

Who to watch: Leading with distinction as a ball playing lock-forward this season, North Sydney captain Zach Dockar-Clay will play a vital role in the Bears' bid to achieve grand final success. Boasting a wealth of experience in the NSW state league, along with a stint in England with Hull KR, the 28-year-old realised his lifelong dream of breaking into the NRL last season with Canterbury-Bankstown and represented the Māori All Stars earlier this season. Finishing as one of only two players to appear in every game for the club in 2023, the 28-year-old has been a key contributor with eight tries and six assists, and received deserved recognition as 18th man for the Roosters on three occasions midway through the year.

Earmarked as a star of the future and going on to make an impression when given an opportunity in first grade, South Sydney forward Tallis Duncan shapes as a player with the capacity to blow the game open for the Rabbitohs. Making 18 appearances in reserve grade to go along with seven starts in first grade this season, the 21-year-old forward has shown explosive form at times with long range breaks and a knack for breaking tackles. Contracted to the club for the next two seasons, Duncan will be hoping his time in reserve grade ends on a high ahead of a long career to come in the NRL.

The favourite: With both teams winning one fixture apiece during the regular season, the Rabbitohs success in the Major Semi Final a fortnight ago has the red and green favoured to get the job done.

My tip: Having endured more than their share of disappointment in finals matches as a club historically, the experience in the North Sydney ranks should be enough to get the Bears over the line. Bears by 10.

The winner of the Knock-On Effect Cup will face the Brisbane Tigers - Hostplus Cup premiers - in the State Championship to be played as a curtain raiser on NRL Grand Final day next Sunday.