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Dragons Pathways Preview: Trio of sides eye Grand Final berths

Three of the club's pathways sides will take to Leichhardt Oval on Saturday afternoon looking to punch their Grand Final tickets.

The Steelers Lisa Fiaola Cup side (under-17s women) open the day for the club before their Tarsha Gale Cup counterparts (under-19s women) follow them.

The slate of games culminates with the Dragons SG Ball squad (under-19s men) facing the Knights in a 2nd vs. 3rd matchup.

Key Timings

  • Date: Saturday, April 20th
  • Lisa Fiaola Cup: 12:30pm
  • Tarsha Gale Cup: 2:00pm
  • SG Ball Cup: 6:30pm
  • Where: Leichhardt Oval


Willie Talau's Dragons are set for the side's first postseason encounter in over a decade when they take on the Knights at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.

Having finished second on the competition ladder, the Dragons enjoyed a week off last week with the Knights having taken down the Steelers to keep their season alive.

The Dragons managed seven wins from their nine regular season outings finishing the year with the competition's best points differential.

The Knights also grabbed seven wins from their nine clashes finishing two for-and-against points back of the Dragons.

A number of Dragons have enjoyed standout years under Talau - winger Jesse Williams finished atop the competition's try-scoring list having formed a dangerous combination with fullback Tyler Peckham-Harris and skipper Shadi Hammoud.

Loko Pasifiki Tonga, Finau Latu, and Corey Ackers all benefitted from a preseason with the NRL squad whilst the likes of Jacob Halangahu, Cyrus Stanley-Traill, and Ryan Hutchinson helped bolster the pack.

The two sides faced each other in Round 4 in Newcastle with the Knights nabbing a late try to come away with a two-point victory.


The Steelers face the Sharks at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday having stormed through the regular season without a loss.

Securing the minor premiership meant that the Steelers were rewarded with a week off to open the postseason whilst the Sharks came up with a win over the Roosters.

Steelers head coach Courtney Crawford has been impressed with what her squad has shown thus far.

"I'm definitely pleased with the season we’ve had thus far," Crawford said.

"The girls have worked really hard and connected well. They’ve bought into the system and trusted our processes which has set us up well leading into the finals."

Finishing atop the competition ladder provided the Steelers with a handy week off and chance to refresh ahead of a big-time clash.

"The break's been really refreshing after a long preseason and season," Crawford said.

"We’ve focused on getting our bodies right first but then making sure we work harder than ever to ensure we are ready come Saturday. It's been a great opportunity to connect off the field which is only going to help us moving forward."

Crawford is expecting a physical clash with the Sharks who the Steelers got the better of when they faced in final game of the regular season.

"Finals footy is a whole different ball game. For us, we will focus on our circle and making sure we do the basics and do them really well," she said.

"The Sharks are an impressive outfit. They’ve got some strong middles that get their sets rolling and skilful backs who know how to find the try-line. It’s going to be a tough match."

Both Ella Koster and Charlotte Basham have taken the lessons that they learnt at NRLW level a year ago and applied them to their games over the past few months.

Australian Schoolgirls reps Indie Bostock and Evie McGrath finished first and second on the competition's try-scoring leaderboard whilst skipper Kasey Reh piloted the team around with aplomb through the year.


The Steelers Lisa Fiaola Cup unit - who also managed a top-two finish and subsequent week off - meet the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.

Brad Reh's squad lost just one of their eight outings and finished the season with the competition's second-best points differential.

The Wests Tigers managed six wins from their eight matches to finish fifth and last weekend took down the Central Coast Roosters.

Captain Tahlia O'Brien has enjoyed a strong campaign for the Steelers along with the likes of lock Michala Hardy, front rower Tahanni Kaufusi, halfback Ella Greatz and fullback Kiara Kostovski.

The two sides will be facing each other for the first time this year when they do battle on Saturday afternoon.

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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