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St George Illawarra and the Gold Coast will open the first-ever NRL Telstra Women's Premiership finals series on Sunday with a spot in the rescheduled 2021 grand final on the line at Leichhardt Oval.

The Dragons have been one of the most consistent sides in the NRLW this season but face a Titans outfit that have strung two wins together and have proven to be giant killers with victories over the Broncos and Roosters. 

The Dragons and Titans opened the season in Newcastle last month with the Red V claiming a 20-12 win but there were a few things to consider in coming out of that match to give people an open mind around just who could win this one.

Gold Coast completed at less than 50 percent in the opening half to trail 8-0 before coming home with a wet sail to set up a grandstand finish. 

The battle of the fullbacks and class of both side's forward packs will be a match-up not to be missed.

The Rundown

Team news

Dragons: Renee Targett and Aliti Namoce-Sagano have been promoted to the bench on Saturday with Tegan Dymock (hand) and Janelle Williams dropping out. Kody House will start the game in the second row with Talei Holmes going to the bench.

Centre Jaime Chapman (head knock) has been cleared to play after passing her HIA protocols this week. Rachael Pearson (back) will return at halfback after missing the Roosters game as precaution. Her comeback will see Quincy Dodd start from the bench with Keeley Davis moving back to her preferred dummy half role.

Titans: Evania Pelite is a late inclusion after overcoming an ankle injury, set to play at left centre. Shaniah Power shifts to the bench. Cobie-Jane Morgan has come into the side at five-eighth with Grace Griffin out. Zara Canfield has been added to the bench with Laikha Clarke dropping out.

Tazmin Gray and Georgia Hale both return after serving suspensions. 

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Emma Tonegato
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Jetaya Faifua
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Teagan Berry
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Karina Brown
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Jaime Chapman
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Jasmine Peters
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Page McGregor
    Centre for Titans is number 22 Evania Pelite
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Madison Bartlett
    Winger for Titans is number 5 Hailee-Jay Maunsell
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Taliah Fuimaono
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 14 Georgia Hale
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Rachael Pearson
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Kimiora Breayley-Nati

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 Elsie Albert
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Brianna Clark
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Keeley Davis
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Brittany Breayley-Nati
  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Kezie Apps
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Stephanie Hancock
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Shaylee Bent
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Tiana Raftstrand-Smith
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 15 Kody House
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Tazmin Gray
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Holli Wheeler
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Destiny Brill

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 11 Talei Holmes
    Interchange for Titans is number 4 Shaniah Power
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Quincy Dodd
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Jessika Elliston
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 18 Renee Targett
    Interchange for Titans is number 18 Cobie-Jane Morgan
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 21 Aliti Namoce-Sagano
    Interchange for Titans is number 19 April Ngatupuna

Reserves

  • Replacement for Dragons is number 19 Keele Browne
    Replacement for Titans is number 16 Laikha Clarke

Match Officials

  • Referee: Kasey Badger
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

Emma Tonegato v Evania Pelite: After winning gold together at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, former rugby sevens stars Tonegato and Pelite have lit up the NRLW this season and will be crucial to their side's chances. Tonegato was enormous in the Dragons win last week, particularly defensively, while Pelite was sorely missed in attack despite the Titans jagging a final round win over Newcastle. Her fitness will be vital to the side's chances on Sunday.

Stat attack

The Titans have more tackle breaks than any other side in the competition despite having fewer line breaks and tries than the Dragons. Their total figure of 177 easily eclipses the Dragons' 126. Destiny Brill (33) and Evania Pelite (27) lead the competition with Dragons prop Elsie Albert (20) and Emma Tonegato (20) not far behind. 

 

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this historic occasion, with the first ever NRLW Finals double-header at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday, April 3. Tickets start from just $15 for Adults, with Juniors under 15 able to attend for FREE with a paying adult. Secure your tickets at NRL.com/tickets

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.