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Wests Tigers stun Steelers to book finals berth

Wests Tigers Tarsha Gale side have produced a stunning comeback to down the Illawarra Steelers in their Qualifying Final today at Campbelltown Stadium.

Trailing 18-0 after just seven minutes of the game, Wests Tigers refused to say die and eventually took the lead in the second half before Emily Curtain sealed the result with a field goal in the final seconds.

The result sees Wests Tigers with a week off ahead of their Preliminary Final match against the winner of the Penrith v Newcastle match next weekend.

The competition's two leading try-scorers Madison Weatherall and Lilly-Rose Bennett got the visitors off to the perfect start with three tries between them in the opening six minutes of the game.

Bronte Girdler's perfect goal kicking saw the lead stretched to 18-0, before Sophie Curtain stemmed the flow with a try of her own in the ninth minute. A double to Shaylee Bent pulled Wests Tigers right back in to the contest before a third try to Weatherall in the 26th minute restored Illawarra's lead.

Girdler was unable to convert this time, however, and when Natalina Suaalii touched down one minute before half-time, the visitors' advantage was reduced to just 28-20 at the break.

Coming out of half-time, it was the defensive resolve of Wests Tigers that kept the hosts in the contest, with Pauline Lee and Josephine Bee eventually crossing for tries to put Wests Tigers in the lead.

Rose-Bennett's second try of the day with four minutes from time gave the visitors a chance to steal the win, but Girdler's missed conversion saw the match remain level at 32-points apiece.

That set the stage for Curtain to step up and secure victory — capping off another strong afternoon from the playmaker — further cementing Wests Tigers as a force to be reckoned with in the Tarsha Gale Cup.

Wests Tigers 33 (Bent 2, S.Curtain, Suaalii, Lee, Bee tries; E.Curtain 3/5, Bee 1/1 goals, E.Curtain field goal) def. Illawarra Steelers 32 (Weatherall 3, Rose-Bennett tries; Girdler 4/5 goals)