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Newcastle’s incredible NRLW rise from worst to the brink of first

It’s not easy to go from worst to first in just a couple of months but Newcastle’s NRLW side are just 80 minutes away from pulling off one of the great turnarounds in rugby league history.

The Knights went winless in their inaugural NRLW season earlier this year, dropping all five games to finish with the wooden spoon.

But with a revamped roster and coaching staff, Newcastle have risen from the ashes to storm into the club’s first NRLW grand final on Sunday, where they’ll have the chance to complete their resurrection with victory over Parramatta.

According to star five-eighth Kirra Dibb, the foundations for the club’s phoenix act were laid in those difficult days earlier this year.

“We went into every game last year like we were going to win and we have that mentality now, the points are just going our way this time,” Dibb said.

“Lots of bits and pieces have changed, but the platform we laid in our inaugural year really gave us something solid to stand on for this season.

“Grand finals don’t come along every day. It’s so exciting to be part of the first one for the Knights.”

Knights topple Dragons

From the opening match, Newcastle looked a different team this season.

On the back of star recruits Millie Boyle and Tamika Upton, and the appointment of new coach Ronald Griffiths, the Knights won four of their five regular season matches before toppling the Dragons in last week’s preliminary final.

Dibb has enjoyed the best season of her NRLW career, pairing well with rookie sensation Jesse Southwell in the halves, and using her dynamic running game and prodigious boot to pilot the reborn Knights to within a game of premiership glory.

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