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Your 2024 Tarsha Gale Cup premiers, the Illawarra Steelers.

The Illawarra Steelers are the 2024 Tarsha Gale Cup premiers having downed the Knights 24-12 in Saturday afternoon’s Grand Final at CommBank Stadium.

Having won all eight of their regular season outings en route to a minor premiership along with a Semi Final victory, the Steelers required just the one more victory to finish their climb atop the mountain.

A first half Indie Bostock double helped the Steelers leap out to an early lead before the persistent Knights pounced on a handful of errors to eat into the deficit.

The intensity went up several notches in the second half with Courtney Crawford’s squad showing off their competition-best defence to shut the Knights out in the second thirty.

Led by the boot of captain Kasey Reh, the Steelers put unwavering trust in their gameplan with their rock-solid defensive work proving the catalyst for a superb win.

Bostock capped off a season in which she finished atop the competition’s try-scoring leaderboard with a Grand Final Player of the Match nod whilst childhood friend Reh was named Player of the Series.

The afternoon got off to a less than ideal start for the Steelers with an error off the kick-off presenting the Knights a golden attacking opportunity with winger Lilly McNamara finding her way over in the right corner to make it 4-0.

The Steelers forced an error to answer back rather promptly with Maria Paseka pouncing on an Evie McGrath grubber to score in the left corner.

Chelsea Savill slotted the conversion from just inside the touchline to give the Steelers their first lead of the contest.

The Steelers’ kicking game bore fruit again soon after with a pinpoint Reh punt landing in the lap of a flying Bostock who dragged several defenders over the line for the side’s second.

Savill improved to two-from-two from the tee to extend the Steelers’ lead beyond a converted try.

The Steelers were straight back in attack mode off the kick-off with Ella Koster finding some space down the left edge via an angled carry only for an error to put an end to the sequence.

Bostock’s electric afternoon continued the Steelers’ following set with the classy centre slicing through off a scrum to jet 90 metres downfield and dive over under the sticks.

Another kick-off error put the Knights on the attack, and they found more success down the right flank with centre Aylah McCulloch tiptoeing her way to the try-line.

The Knights found their third just shy of the break through No.9 Malaki Poa who burrowed her way over to make it 18-12 heading into the break.

The Steelers’ defence kept finding ways to turn the Knights away in what was a physical second stanza with players held up over the line, kicks defused, and try-savers made.

Paseka was assisted from the field with nine minutes to play forcing a late reshuffle for the Steelers.

2024 Tarsha Gale Cup Grand Final Player of the Match Indie Bostock.
2024 Tarsha Gale Cup Grand Final Player of the Match Indie Bostock.

The end-to-end deadlock was finally broken by super-sub Bronte Wilson who charged her way through a yawning gap to score under the sticks and earn the Steelers a handy 12-point buffer.

Wilson’s effort proved the final say in what was a seesawing decider with the Steelers holding on for a hard-fought 24-12 win.

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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