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Pule brilliance helps Roosters to glory

Indigenous Academy Sydney Roosters 2022 NSWRL Tarsha Gale Cup Champions (Photo : Brayden Sharp NSWRL)
Indigenous Academy Sydney Roosters 2022 NSWRL Tarsha Gale Cup Champions (Photo : Brayden Sharp NSWRL)

Pule brilliance helps Roosters to glory

Author : Stuart Honeysett NSWRL

Pule brilliance helps Roosters to Tarsha Gale Cup Grand Final glory

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The Indigenous Academy Sydney Roosters have held on for a thrilling 12-10 win against a gallant Newcastle Knights in the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup Grand Final at CommBank Stadium today.

The result was a welcome relief for the Roosters, who had also made the Grand Final last year but went down on the day to the St George Dragons.

There was little separating the two sides during the match, with barnstorming Roosters back-rower Otesa Pule proving to be the difference after scoring a brilliant, individual try in the second half.

Newcastle Knights 2022 Tarsha Gale Cup Grand Final team photo(Photo : Steve Montgomery)

Newcastle Knights 2022 Tarsha Gale Cup Grand Final team photo (Photo : Steve Montgomery)

“The biggest thing for us was making sure we got our processes right and I feel like throughout the week we did,” Roosters coach Blake Cavallaro said.

“The biggest thing I said was when the going gets tough, the tough gets going and they got tough and they did the job.

“It’s an awesome scene for our female pathways, with the NRLW and the Tarsha Gale. These girls will be definitely pushing the NRLW girls and it’s a great start for our club.”

The Roosters had headed into the Grand Final with the best defensive record of all the teams and were keen to go one better after last year’s result.

Otesa Pule, 2022 Tarsha Gale Cup player of the Grand Final (Photo : Steve Montgomery)

Otesa Pule, 2022 Tarsha Gale Cup player of the Grand Final (Photo : Steve Montgomery)

The Knights also had plenty of motivation

The Knights also had plenty of motivation after finishing as Minor Premiers last year before bowing out in the finals race.

The opening half was fiercely contested, with end-to-end action and solid defence from both teams on their line.

The Roosters were being led admirably up front by props Kalosipiani Hopoate and Milly Lupo, while Pule came close to scoring after a damaging run which ended with her being held up over the line.

The Knights were also asking plenty of questions of the Roosters defence, with Tori Brazier making a promising break down the sideline with support on her outside and the try-line beckoning.

Unfortunately the final pass went to ground. Replacement forward Lexi Beagan also went close after charging at the line but was denied by the Roosters desperate goal-line defence.

The Game for all - NSWRL
It took until the 24th minute for the deadlock to finally be broken after Roosters fullback Jada Taylor put through a grubber kick which was picked up by winger Zoe Cass, who then stepped back inside to race away untouched and score underneath the posts.

Hooker Ally Bullman converted to hand the Roosters a 6-0 lead at half-time.

While points had been hard to come by in the first half, they flowed freely when the second half resumed after Beagan busted through the defence from the kick-off and made a long run to put the Knights on the front foot.

With momentum behind them, the Knights worked the ball to the left and hooker Sophie Clancy went herself from dummy-half to score a much-needed try. Clancy then converted to lock the scores up at 6-all.

A Roosters knock-on in their own end opened the door for the Knights and they took advantage after a quick spread to the left.

Ended with winger Kasey Gaukroger showing great presence of mind to plant the ball down one-handed as she was being dragged into touch. Clancy missed the extras but the Knights had their noses in front 10-6.

The Roosters needed something special to spark them and Pule – who has scored doubles in four games this season.

Answered the call when she caught the marker defence napping and made a 50-metre beak to score underneath the posts. Bullman converted to put the Roosters back in front 12-10 with plenty of time left for both teams.

The action was frantic to end the match with the Roosters digging deep in defence to hang on for the win and spark scenes of jubilation having now gone one better.

Related Links

nswrl.com.au

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News Corp will stream a game of the round from the NSWRL junior representative competitions.

You can go back into our archive to watch every game we have streamed so far this season. Click the links below to see what you missed.

ROUND 1

Tarsha Gale Cup: Raiders v Steelers

Harold Matts: Raiders v Sea Eagles 

SG Ball: Raiders v Sea Eagles 

ROUND 2

Tarsha Gale Cup: Bulldogs v Eels

Harold Matts: Bulldogs v Eels 

SG Ball Cup: Bulldogs v Eels 

ROUND 3 

Tarsha Gale Cup: Rabbitohs v Knights 

Harold Matts: Rabbitohs v Knights 

SG Ball Cup: Rabbitohs v Knights 

ROUND 4

Tarsha Gale Cup: Tigers v Roosters 

Harold Matts: Tigers v Knights 

SG Ball Cup: Tigers v Knights 

ROUND 5 

Tarsha Gale Cup: Rabbitohs v Raiders  

Harold Matts: Rabbitohs v Bears

SG Ball Cup: Rabbitohs v Bears 

ROUND 6 

Tarsha Gale Cup: Dragons v Steelers 

Harold Matts: Dragons v Steelers

SG Ball Cup: Dragons v Steelers 

ROUND 7 

Harold Matts – Cronulla Sharks v Canberra Raiders

SG Ball – Cronulla Sharks v Canberra Raiders 

ROUND 8 

Tarsha Gale Cup – Panthers v Bulldogs 

Harold Matts – Panthers v Bulldogs

SG Ball Cup – Panthers v Bulldogs 

ROUND 9 

Tarsha Gale Cup – Sydney Roosters v St George Dragons

Harold Matts – Sydney Roosters v St George Dragons

SG Ball Cup – Sydney Roosters v St George Dragons

ELIMINATION FINALS 

Tarsha Gale Cup – Wests Tigers v Illawarra Steelers 

Harold Matts – Canberra Raiders v Penrith Panthers 

SG Ball Cup – Penrith Panthers v Illawarra Steelers 

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