In a devastating end to their 2021 season, the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership Sharks have had their title hopes dashed without a ball being kicked, with the NSWRL cancelling the qualifying finals matches due to the current COVID lockdown situation in Sydney and the surrounding areas.
COVID lockdown restrictions allowing, the top two teams following the regular season will now play a Grand Final on the weekend of July 24, with the third-placed Sharks and fourth-placed Helensburgh Tigers eliminated.
The Sharks lost just two games during the season, one to the minor premiers the Central Coast Roosters, the other to Helensburgh in the final round when missing seven of their regulars, including five players away in the NSW Origin camp, with the manner of their exit from the competition a disappointing one.
Mounties will play the Central Coast in the decider, with the Sharks frustration heightened by the fact they didn’t have the opportunity to play Mounties during the 15-round home and away season.
The final outcome notwithstanding, with first-year Women’s coach Tony Herman in charge the Sharks enjoyed a successful 2021 campaign, winning nine of their 11 matches, while recording a positive points differential of 336.
Five Sharks played in the Women’s Origin match, with Tiana Penitani, Corban Baxter, Maddi Studdon, Quincy Dodd and Kennedy Cherrington representing NSW, while Talei Holmes was a member of the City side which played NSW Country prior to the State of Origin match.
A number of the Sharks women will now go on to play for various clubs in the NRLW competition.