The Newcastle Knights have etched their name into NRLW folklore after a triumphant 32-12 win over the Parramatta Eels in the 2022 grand final.
A revamped roster saw the Knights fly up the ladder this season after a winless inaugural campaign (the postponed 2021 season was played in early 2022), failing to win in any of their five games.
But this season saw the Knights sew up second place on the ladder, winning four from their five games during the regular season as well as a strong 30-6 victory over the Dragons to book their ticket into the grand final.
The offseason acquisitions of two former Broncos stars in Millie Boyle and Tamika Upton, along with the emergence of 17-year old young gun Jesse Southwell, proved to be the catalyst that spurred the Knights onto their maiden premiership.
After a contested start to the grand final, it was the Eels who opened the scoring in the 12th minute after Brooke Anderson crossed the stripe, with Preston adding the extras by conversion.
The lead was short lived, after tries from Kiana Takairangi, Emmanita Paki and Romy Teitzel saw the Knights surge into halftime with a 14-6 lead.
Newcastle continued to flex their muscle in the second half stretching their lead to 18-6 when Tamika Upton scored, becoming the leading try scorer in NRLW history in the process and contributing to her Karyn Murphy Medal performance for best afield on the day.
Although some resistance from the Eels, the Knights proved far too good running away with the lead, capping off their climb from wooden spooners to premiers.
With the NRLW increasing from six teams to ten next season, the challenge to defend their title as premiers will be as tough as ever in 2023.