NSWRL Junior Rep Grand Final previews

After kicking off back in February, the NSWRL junior representative season culminates this weekend with three exciting Grand Finals. All games will be streaming LIVE on NSWRL.com.au.

SG Ball Cup Grand Final
Cronulla Sharks v Parramatta Eels
Saturday May 6, 2:00pm, Leichhardt Oval
Cronulla Sharks: 1 Dylan Smith, 2 Jonaiah Lualua, 3 Bronson Xerri, 4 Ronaldo Mulitalo, 5 Jensen Taumoepeau, 6 Jaeman Salmon, 7 Luke Metcalf, 8 Fine Kula, 9 Isaac Longmuir, 10 James Roumanos, 11 Teig Wilton, 12 Tom Caughlan, 13 Monty Raper. Interchange: 14 Harrison Smith, 15 Kai Broadhurst, 16 Rhys Ward, 17 Franklin Pele, 18 Jack Gould, 19 Jackson Stewart, 20 Harrison Demeio, 21 Angus Ernst, 22 Trace Davidson.
Parramatta Eels: 1 John-Paul Nohra, 2 Cliff Lea’aetoa, 3 Haze Dunster, 4 Noel Aukafolau, 5 Ethan Parry, 6 Joseph Taipari, 7 Dylan Brown, 8 Valance Harris, 9 Kyle Schneider (c), 10 Mark Tepu-Smith, 11 Matthew Doorey, 12 Charbel Tasipale, 13 Jesse Cronin. Interchange: 14 Lufusi Vea Tapaatoutai, 15 Kyle Cassel, 16 Harry Duggan, 17 Dallas King, 18 Alex Seve, 19 Dennis Mataia, 20 William Kei, 21 Rico Aliva, 22 Aitasi Matautu, 23 Sione Tupou.

The two best attacking sides in the SG Ball meet in this year’s Grand Final, with both club’s scoring over 300 points this season. The Sharks put 40 past the Magpies and the Sea Eagles and decimated the Pirates by 78 in the space of four rounds on their way to the minor premiership, while Parramatta also put a big score on the West Coast side, winning 96-0 in the lead up to the finals. Cronulla had a somewhat tougher road to the Grand Final, defeating Penrith by eight points in Week 1 and having to overturn a deficit to get past Illawarra last weekend. The Eels on the other hand, defeated Canterbury by 42 points and the Roosters by 20.

Cronulla are looking for their second SG Ball title in three years after winning their first in 2015, while Parramatta have won the competition a record 11 times but not since 2007.

Top Pointscorers: Luke Metcalf (Cronulla) 132 points, Kyle Schneider (Parramatta) 74 points
Top Tryscorers: Jaeman Salmon, Bronson Xerri (Cronulla) 11 tries, Ethan Parry (Parramatta) 8 tries


Harold Matthews Cup Grand Final
Newcastle Knights v Manly Sea Eagles
Saturday May 6, 11:00am, Leichhardt Oval
Newcastle Knights: 1 Bradman Best, 2 Malie-J Townsend, 3 Darcy Heaney, 4 Cooper Jenkins, 5 Patrick Achurch, 6 Max Buderus, 7 Kobe Davies, 8 Thomas Affleck, 9 Mitchell Black, 10 Christian Ma’anaima, 11 Riley Meyn, 12 Harry Croker, 13 Jaron Purcell (c). Interchange: 14 Ryan Potts, 15 Tyler Doney, 16 Ben Olson, 17 Sione Tuitupou-Kutu, 18 Trentham Petersen, 19 Blake Layton, 20 Harry Whitfield, 21 Jack Jackson.
Manly Sea Eagles: 1 Albert Hopoate, 2 Armani Biddle, 3 Keegan Turner, 4 Ben Trbojevic, 5 Uluaki Tuipulotu, 6 Kaeo Weekes, 7 Daniel Ala, 8 Filimaua Filiamau-Tau, 9 Jack Birt, 10 Alec Tuitavake, 11 Jacob Ratcliff, 12 Joshua Schuster (c), 13 Levi Moger. Interchange: 14 Luke Rouland, 15 Tyreece Matangi, 16 Viliami Fifita, 17 Angus O’Donnell, 18 Jai Vakai.

It’s first v fifth in the under-16 final, with both sides putting on attacking masterclasses throughout the year. The Knights were completely dominant during the undefeated regular season. Only twice did they not score 40 or more points in a game, scoring 50+ on two occasion and putting 76 past the Roosters in Round 8. Although Manly suffered two losses during the season, when they won they did it in style. In all their wins, they scored 38 or more points, putting up 50+ three times. In fact, one of their losses came against Newcastle, going down 40-16 in Round 4.

Newcastle last won the Harold Matthews Cup in 2014 and can pick up their fourth on Saturday, while Manly have never won the competition.

Top Pointscorers: Max Buderus (Newcastle) 132 points, Daniel Ala (Manly) 84 points
Top Tryscorers: Albert Hopoate (Manly) 15 tries, Patrick Achurch, Malie-J Townsend (Newcastle) 13 tries


Tarsha Gale Cup Grand Final
Canterbury Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers
Saturday May 6, 12:45pm, Leichhardt Oval
Canterbury Bulldogs: 1 Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa’amausili, 2 Terese Taufa, 3 Sinead Sio, 4 Tigerlily Wakim, 5 Grace Li, 6 Adi Toga Kulaya Sinukula Sakiti, 8 Taalefili Saufoi, 9 Haneen Zreika, 10 Joy Tedeschi, 11 Kerri Putahi, 12 Tarquin Mata, 13 Sydney Topine, 14 Makerita Faitua, 16 Seneuila Faitua, 17 Tangikina Hanisi, 18 Tali Blake-Smith, 20 Alafou Fatu.
Penrith Panthers: 1 Cassie Ormsby, 2 Lorna Shepherd, 7 Cheryl Varga, 21 Isabelle Lealaiauloto, 15 Ashlee Harrison, 16 Jasmine Moeroa, 4 Emily Perrinh, 9 Christian Sio, 3 Leone Tuivaiti-Higgs, 5 Emma Parker, 6 Jaime-Lee Davies, 8 Nikita Katoa, 10 Jodi Leota-Hughes, 11 Elizabeth Terekia, 12 Malelega Lavemai, 13 Harmony Tahana-Reneti, 14 Norlynn Tu’ifua, 17 Dena Isaako.

It will be an historic encounter on Saturday, as Canterbury and Penrith square off in the first ever Tarsha Gale Cup final. When these two sides met in Round 4, the Bulldogs got the bragging rights with a 40-10 win at Belmore. Since then, the Panthers lost just one more game and had to to defeat fourth placed Parramatta and third placed Illawarra to get to the Grand Final. The Bulldogs finished the season in first place and were the best side defensively, conceding just 78 points. In a big blow for Canterbury, they’ll be without top try and goal scorer Page McGregor.

Top Pointscorers: Page McGregor (Canterbury) 86 points, Cassie Ormsby (Penrith) 54 points
Top Tryscorers: Page McGregor (Canterbury) 14 tries, Cassie Ormsby (Penrith) 13 tries

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