Newcastle Rugby League: Macquarie Scorpions crowned 2017 champions

Macquarie have broken a 26-year premiership drought with an upset 24-6 grand final victory over favourites Western Suburbs.

The fans from Toronto stormed McDonald Jones Stadium after full-time on Saturday afternoon to kick-start the celebrations with the emotional Scorpions squad.

It followed an intercept try from Randall Briggs in the closing stages before retiring Daniel Abraham, who was named man of the match in his swansong, added the extras.

Wests had led 6-4 at the break but Macquarie, who have lost the last two Newcastle Rugby League deciders, piled on 20 unanswered points in the second half.

The Scorpions were without five injured regular first graders – Blake Gallen, Brendan Worth, Adam Swadling, Royce Geoffrey and Ryan Pywell.

Macquarie last won the title in 1991 with a similar upset win over the same opponents Wests. They are the only two times the clubs have met on grand final day.

In the lower grades Wests won reserves, Cessnock under 19s and South Newcastle the ladies league tag.

MACQUARIE 24 (Nathan Hinton, Andy Sumner, Mitch Manson and Randall Briggs tries; Scott Briggs 3, Daniel Abraham goals) defeated WESTERN SUBURBS 6 (Ben Stone try; Sam Keenan goal)