All roads lead to Homebush for the Blue and Gold Army after the Parramatta Eels orchestrated a stunning 22-10 upset over the previously undefeated Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
One of the biggest upsets in NRLW history was made even more remarkable given Parramatta were missing their star centre Tiana Penitani and the side, led by Dean Widders, only had their first win of the season in the last round.
But it was halves pairing Taylah Preston and Ash Quinlan who rose to the occasion, booking themselves a maiden grand final that appeared unlikely after Parramatta began their season with six consecutive losses.
The halves not only laid the platform for the Eels’ slick attacking performance, but each finished the match with crucial four-pointers.
The girls in blue and gold got off to a flying start with a piece of individual brilliance from rookie playmaker Quinlan who exploded off her left foot to step inside Roosters Olivia Kernick and Keilee Joseph and score in the 13th minute.
The reigning premiers hit back two minutes later when a lucky kick bounced over the heads of Eels defenders and Roosters second-rower Shaniah Power planted the ball down in the in-goal area to make it 6-4.
Five minutes later and Dean Widders’ side went further ahead when Abbi Church took several Dragons defenders across the line with her to make it 12-4.
After the break Eels fullback Gayle Broughton produced a huge play to deny Roosters forward Shawden Burton a try in the 41st minute.
Burton bustled over the line but Broughton wrestles with her and holds up the ball, before the referee deemed it a knock-on.
Come the 47th minute and it was rookie halfback Preston who threaded a fifth-tackle kick into the in-goal area from dummy-half, before beating the Roosters defenders to chase the ball down and score her first NRLW try.
Just two minutes later and Eels centre Rikeya Horne crossed the line for the Eels to book their place in the 2022 NRLW Grand Final.
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