A strong contingent of Central West stars has helped the Newcastle Yowies win a brilliant women's grand final at the Koori Knockout.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
A field goal from Australian representative Caitlin Moran in the final 20 seconds of extra-time helped the Yowies defeat the Redfern All Blacks after the scores finished 12-all at full-time.
Dubbo CYMS league tag player Rikka Lamb captained the Yowies to another title win while fellow Dubbo star and Parramatta Eels NRLW representative Taneka Todhunter was named Player of the Final after a fantastic showing at hooker.
Orange's Cheynoah Amone - another who played NRLW in 2023 - and Molly Kennedy of Bathurst were also part of the victorious Yowies side.
Bathurst was also in show in the Redfern lineup with Kandy Kennedy and Kate Fallon wearing the black and white in what was a real war of attrition in the decider.
"That's up there with one of the toughest games," Lamb said to NITV post-game.
"Both teams were grinding to the end and only Caitlin Moran could come up with something like that to seal the deal for the Yowies."
It was the All Blacks who started the better and they shot out to a 8-0 lead, largely on the back of smart play from hooker Bec Riley.
But the Yowies, a real powerhouse of the women's competition at the Knockout, soon found their feet and a long cut-out ball to the left in the 18th minute resulted in a try for winger Kayla Fleming.
Todhunter, a former Wiradjuri Goannas star who made four appearances for the Eels this season, started to make her presence felt almost immediately after half-time.
Her running from dummyhalf got the Yowies on the front foot while her effort in defence led to plenty of praise from the NITV commentators.
One of her darting runs and offloads close to the line shortly after the restart led to a try for Akira Kelly, who then converted to make it 12-8.
But Redfern rallied again and some brilliant work from Riley put winger Darci Simpson-Carr over but a missed conversion left it at 12-all.
That was how the score remained through to full-time and for the first period of extra-time.
A Kelly field goal attempt in the second half hit the upright much to the frustration of Yowies fans and with time ticking down it appeared Redfern would be crowned winners due to the first try rule.
But the Newcastle side had one last chance and after going to Kelly previously, this time it was Moran who took the ball and secured a memorable win with a perfect field-goal from right in front.
Moran is a member of the Newcastle NRLW squad and her brilliant performance was made more impressive by the fact she'd spent the night celebrating the Knights' second successive premiership win.
"She was just calling for it and she just wanted it Taneka gave it to her and that was it," Lamb said, before adding what it meant to win another Knockout.
"When we put on this Yowies jersey we're playing for past players and founders who have got us to be here today. When we put on that jersey we play with heart and soul."
Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens. Download in the Apple Store or Google Play.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.