Wests Tigers Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership have produced a stunning upset to defeat the North Sydney Bears 22-16 in Extra Time of their Elimination Final on Saturday.
Coming up against the second-placed Bears, Wests Tigers trailed for the majority of the match before scoring in the final play of regular time to send the match in to Extra Time. And with a vocal Leichhardt Oval crowd behind them, the home side were too good for their opponents as a late try to Lakeisha Tipene would book Wests Tigers through to the Qualifying Finals next weekend.
Wests Tigers will face defending premiers Mounties RLFC next week for a place in the Grand Final, which will be played at ANZ Stadium on August 10.
Despite a desperate attempt from Aaliyah Paki, it was North Sydney who opened the scoring after eight minutes through Claudia Bell but the home side quickly hit back through Simone Karpani to hold a narrow 6-4 advantage.
A run of errors allowed the Bears to stay on the attack, and they soon took the lead again as Shenai Lendill and Shontelle Stowers both crossed in quick succession — giving North Sydney a commanding 16-6 lead at the break.
With relentless defence keeping the visitors at bay, Wests Tigers hit back once again through Karpani early in the second half to cut the margin to 16-10 but looked like they were going to fall short with time running out in the match.
With less than a minute on the clock, Najvada George found her way to the line to sensationally level the match after a third successful conversion from Emily Curtain sent the game in to Extra Time for the first time this finals series.
Full of running and with the home crowd behind them, Wests Tigers had all the momentum and took the lead once again through Tipene before showing their nerve to hold on through the final moments of the game and emerge with the win.
Wests Tigers will face Mounties RLFC next week for a place in the Grand Final.
Match: Wests Tigers v Bears
Finals Week 2 -
Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney