Thanks largely to a monstrous performance from Panuara-born No.8 Grace Hamilton the NSW Waratahs clinched their second consecutive Buildcorp Super W crown on Sunday evening, edging home 8-5 in a thrilling decider against arch-rivals Queensland.
In a rematch of last year's epic, inaugural grand final - one that was decider in extra-time - the two sides once again produced a cracking advertisement for the women's game, which was ultimately decided by Hamilton's 55th minute try.
That match-winner proved the focal point of an absolutely enormous performance in which Hamilton ran for a whopping, game-high 110 metres and also pulling off a crucial turnover as the Reds were relentlessly attacking her Waratahs' line in the dying stages.
While low-scoring the clash was as entertaining as they come, a beautiful spectacle of end-to-end attacking rugby and desperate, scrambling defensive efforts.
While Hamilton was massive for the Waratahs Queensland fullback Lori Kramer was deadly every time she touched the ball for the Reds, with winger Alana Elisaia also a handful as the Maroons threatened to end NSW's unbeaten record since the competition began last year.
In front of a crowd of more than 3000 at Leichhardt Oval last year's grand final hero Ash Hewson, skippering the Waratahs from fullback, gave her side an early 3-nil lead thanks to her pinpoint right boot.
NSW lost winger Maya Stewart to the sin bin at the 15-minute mark though, for an off-the-ball shot on her opposite Elisaia, and the Reds cashed in and their star winger touched down in the right-hand corner, her seventh try of the 2019 tournament.
Despite a glut of possession and field position the Waratahs struggled somewhat to answer back and, as a result, there were questions as to whether Sunday might have been Queensland's time to shine.
But, through Hamilton, the hosts did eventually break through more than half an hour after Elisaia's try.
Some fancy footwork from centre Katrina Barker helped give Hamilton enough space to barge her way over for what ultimately proved the decisive moment.
Fittingly it was Hewson who had the last touch of the game, booting the ball into the stands to confirm the victory before being chaired off by her teammates and deservedly being named player-of-the-tournament, completing a fairy tale finish to 2019.
"She's a legend," NSW prop Emily Robinson said, simply, of Hewson.
A humbled Hewson heaped praise on her teammates following the win, particularly the grit and determination they showed defensively in the dying stages.
"Absolutely stoked," she said.
"The belief in our girls was absolutely amazing. We showed a lot of resilience there, especially in that second half, and I'm really proud of my girls and this (award) definitely goes to all of them.
"To go through undefeated for both (competitions) is pretty special and it's a credit to my girls.
"The love that is in this team, it's the reason why we get up for each other and why we always seem to get over the line."
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