The Steelers Tarsha Gale and SG Ball Cup teams will play Elimination Finals footy this weekend after securing wins over the North Sydney Bears in the final round of the NSWRL Junior Reps, both sides finishing in fifth place in their respective competitions on completion of the regular home and away series.
Glen Buffolin’s SG Ball side scored six tries to four in defeating the Bears 32-22 at North Sydney Oval to set up a clash against the Penrith Panthers, who they beat 24-16 in Round 4, while the Tarsha Gale side won their round nine encounter 28-14 and will take on the West Tigers for the time this season.
Meanwhile, after enduring a season of injury setbacks the Steelers Harold Matthews Cup side finished their season with 20-all draw with the hosts.
Bears and Steelers can’t be separated in Harold Matts thriller
It was a tale of two halves with the Steelers going into the halftime break up 14-4 after a double to Toby Rumble and a try to Caleb Hall within the first 18 minutes.
Despite the fact the Bears have only managed one win in 2022, the tide started to turn when five-eighth Cameron Robertson threw a beautiful cut-out ball to put winger Apiianga Manu over in the left-hand corner.
Determined to not let his wing partner have all the fun, Jack O’Connor finished a sweeping play down the right edge with a brilliant finish in testing conditions to put his side within striking distance.
The wet conditions came into play once more when a grubber from Bears hooker Joseph Dillon was spilled by the Steelers and Hoseah Neil put the ball down underneath the sticks. When Dillon landed his first conversion of the afternoon, the scores were all tied up at 14-all.
Both sides managed to crash over again, via James Walsh and Thomas Epere, but they couldn’t be separated after 60 minutes for the game to remain a draw.
Elimination Finals Fixtures, Ringrose Park, Friday, 15 April
- 10am – Tarsha Gale Cup – Illawarra Steelers v West Tigers
- 11.45am – SG Ball – Illawarra Steelers v Penrith Panthers
Match report courtesy nswrl.com.au