On the back of an inspired display from Tamika Upton, the Newcastle Knights have the chance to retain their NRLW premiership with a thrilling 30-24 win over the Brisbane Broncos.

Against her former club, Upton was everywhere and in everything, as she did her part to guide the Knights to the win.

In front of 12,689 raucous fans, a record for an NRLW standalone game, it was one with everything.

Olivia Higgins would open proceedings as her second effort with the ball carrying the arm in the air eventually coming down to produce the goods.

Upton then showed her class as she bust the line, spun, offloaded and found forward Hannah Southwell who did the rest and muscled her way to the try-line to put the Knights up by 12.

The Knights, at this time, were matching the clock, as Upton was again involved when she grubbered ahead with Caitlan Johnston beating everyone to the ball and scoring.

A side that you can never count out, the Broncos found some resolve and their mojo to eventually get their first points.

The ball went left off a scrum play and it was Shenae Ciesiolka who flew through an open gap out wide to score.

The Broncos would continue to claw the deficit back early in the second as a swashbuckling run from Chelsea Lenarduzzi saw her crash her way over.

Needing a spark with momentum shifting away from them, it was that star player, Tamika Upton, who hit the shortside and the gas, and beat the defenders to score.

But again, the Broncos refused to go down without a fight as Gayle Broughton put the ball on a silver platter for Tazmin Gray to slice through.

They then narrowed the deficit further when with her first touch of the ball and on the back of a quick spread to the right, Lauren Dam scored in the corner.

The game looked to be sealed when Tiana Davison powered over from close range for her first NRLW try.

Though in typical fashion, the Broncos came at them and made it a thrilling finish when Dam scored her second in similar fashion and Ali Brigginshaw converted out wide.

That would be all she wrote, however, as the Knights ran away 30-24 victors.

Broncos NRLW coach Scott Prince praised his side’s resiliency for not giving up throughout the contest.

“It’s so hard to fight your way back when you give a team an 18-point head start,” Prince said.

“I am super proud of the girls; they showed some real guts and grit and character on the way they fought back.”

Knights coach Ron Griffiths admits that he has a special side here and praised their grit and determination at home.

“It’s surreal,” Griffiths aid.

“When you talk about this team there’s so many superlatives you could talk about.

“It wasn’t pretty at times, but jeez we saw some magnificent grit.”

Newcastle Knights 30 (Higgins, H. Southwell, Johnston, Upton & Davison; Goals: J. Southwell 5) def. Brisbane Broncos 24 (Dam 2, Lenarduzzi, Gray; Brigginshaw: 4).














By ricky

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