Sunday Territorian

GOLDEN DAY FOR GREEN MACHINE

Palmo men’s and women’s teams through to grand finals

- NATHANIEL CHAMBERS

FORWARD power saw Palmerston Raiders force their way into the 2021 NRL NT women’s grand final with a 30-4 win over Northern Sharks in the preliminar­y final.

Palmerston was on the front foot right away, forcing a scrum from the kick-off, which saw Ciara Aigea crash over.

The Raiders continued to pile on the pressure through their big forwards.

Sharks withstood that pressure and put in runs of their own when they managed to get hands on the ball, with Davida Norris scoring their first try on the right wing.

But it was Raiders who were back on top at the stroke of halftime as Aigea put in another bulldozing run.

Aigea made it a hat-trick of tries on the opposite end of halftime with her side busting its way up the field before letting her loose on the Sharks’ defence.

The Sharks didn’t let their heads drop, with captain Deanna Peckham providing her side with direction in attack.

But the day belonged to Palmerston, with Mele Tapuala scoring a try before Aigea put in another bulldozing run to seal the victory.

Palmerston’s Christabel Aigea Faatoafe was proud of the result, praising her forwards for the work they did across the park.

“It’s everything to get into the grand final – we’ve worked so hard since pre-season,” she said.

“Our forwards were really strong. If we stick to our game and stay strong in the middle we’ve got it.

“Without Ciara and her bulldozer self we wouldn’t have got the score we did.

“For next week we need our defence.” Palmerston will now face reigning premiers Darwin Sistaz in the women’s grand final in a repeat of the 2020 final.

 ?? Picture: Glenn Campbell ?? Palmerston’s Kasey Marsden looks for support during the NRL NT women’s preliminar­y final against Northern Sharks at Territory Rugby League Stadium.
Picture: Glenn Campbell Palmerston’s Kasey Marsden looks for support during the NRL NT women’s preliminar­y final against Northern Sharks at Territory Rugby League Stadium.
 ?? Picture: Glenn Campbell ?? Deanna Peckham stood out for Northern Sharks in her team’s loss to Palmerston at Territory Rugby League Stadium.
Picture: Glenn Campbell Deanna Peckham stood out for Northern Sharks in her team’s loss to Palmerston at Territory Rugby League Stadium.

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