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Presser Points: Griffiths and Boyle react to final fixture win

The nib Newcastle Knights NRLW team finished the regular season  with an impressive victory against the St George Illawarra Dragons at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon. 

The side kept the Dragons to nil in the second half as they marched towards a maiden finals series.

NRLW Head Coach Ronald Griffiths and Co-Captain Millie Boyle spoke after the game on the Dragons victory, depth in numbers and preparations for next Sunday's re-match with the Red V. 


"We went out with a really simple plan to play in our game cycle and put the pressure on in those little areas. We wanted to leave an impression for next week, that was our big thing leading into this game," Boyle said. 

"We're fortunate that our players play how they train...the first three sets we turned the ball over, but in the defensive resolve, we keep turning up for each other, that's us," Griffiths said.

"We've made a decisive decision since day one that we want to play the Newcastle way and we've done that.

"Defensively we were under pressure and we just keep turning up. They scored a couple of nice little tries, and some well-worked plays, particularly around the scrum...but to get back in the grind and stay there and keep dragging ourselves out.

"It's about winning in different ways and knowing we can turn up for each other. The foundation of our club is built on the back of hard work and that's what we're about."


"She [Romaniuk] went really well, she was a bit nervous out on the field but it was so good to see her out there. She just puts her head down and goes hard. There were a few times she lost her breath a bit and I was like 'it's alright we're in a scrum you can breathe now.' She did really well and I think a lot of her family and friends were here supporting her," Boyle said.

"Jess Gentle on the wing just took the opportunity with both hands and it's great to see a local girl get a debut and a try. I think she did really well defensively in areas as well so it was good to see."

"Above all else, I think when we're talking about those two debutants, they are two players that earned the opportunity through first impressions," Griffiths said.

"Jessica Gentle turned up in our first training session when we did testing and she didn't have a contract. She was a development player and she wanted a contract for next year...she worked so hard that she got one.

"Kayla Romaniuk was a popular choice in the playing group because of her resolve to turn up and work hard. She's a great teammate and that's the big thing for us, that matters."


"I think it's about everyone getting their prep right and having a good week of training. This week is do-or-die footy and we've still got so much to build on and improve on that we haven't really played our cards yet so we've got to where we are by playing simple footy," Boyle said. 

"It always makes it tricky because we had 27 players, we had 24 contracted players and three development players who have ticked every box from day one. Their work ethic and commitment towards a team-first mentality make it tricky from that perspective but it is what it is, that's the joys of coaching," Griffiths said.

"I've been asked a couple of times the difference Millie and Tamika have made in the Club. It's a team effort to win a game but what they do is teach us how to win through their preparation. I think we'll be able to lean on their experience in the next seven days going into semi-final football.

"A historic occasion, the first semi-final for the Newcastle Knights NRLW."


"She wanted to play but we decided against it. We met on Friday and we thought we're better off leaving it for another week...she came to us again and said 'I'm ready to go, can I play," Griffiths said.