Waratah have confirmed their seeding in second place for the finals, after an 8-3(1) victory put them an eventual six points clear of chasing Belmont.
The ‘Tahs will now turn their eyes to a return to the grand final stage, where they were downed 14-9 to Hamilton in season nine, and a return to form in the final two weeks of the regular season may offer hope for the squad.
An uptick in form for a number of key members of the team, including Andrew De Souza and Molly Walker – both of whom starred in Waratah’s second half control against Rutherford – will also prove vital as they return in the semi-finals.
Later on in the evening, Hamilton came back from a deficit at half time to show the rest of the league why they’re the favourites heading into the elimination series.
Trailing by one set at half time, the defending champions returned to batter Belmont in five straight sets, to secure a 7(1)-3(1) victory.
Although Belmont were accounted for in the second half, it was a club lacking some of their veteran core – forwards Nic Price and Liam Janczuk were both out for the week, while back-court Gorgia Watkins was forced to watch from the sidelines heading into the finals.
In the earliest match at Oakdale Arena, Raymond Terrace made short work of Cooks Hill with a 10-3 win. The victory secured the Terrace’s fifth place finish, with both teams set to play out the rematch in the quarter finals next week.
GF: Belmont edge out Hamilton in two-set grand final epic (16/11)
FINALS: Hamilton and Belmont set up grand final rematch (9/11)
RD14: Waratah down Belmont in heated one-set thriller (2/11)
RD13: Shortland oust Hamilton from first with one to go (26/10)
RD12: Belmont upset Hamilton to blow first place race open (19/10)
RD11: Shortland take second after thriller against Belmont (12/10/18)
RD10: Waratah tumble into fourth place after slow start (5/10/18)
RD9: Top four teams hold off finals-hopefuls (28/09/18)
RD8: Hamilton claim first as league celebrates Ladies Day (21/09/18)
RD7: Shortland and Kotara clash goes down to the wire (14/09/18)
RD6: Waratah keep close on Hamilton's heels (07/09/18)
RD5: Hamilton prevail in grand final rematch (30/08/18)
RD4: Belmont tumble into ladder mix with defeat (24/08/18)
RD3: Waratah cuts Shortland's undefeated streak short (17/08/18)
RD2: Shortland break Terrace to continue strong start (10/08/18)
RD1: Waratah open account against long-standing rivals (03/08/18)
PRESEASON: Season 11's draw & key fixtures revealed (19/07/18)
PRESEASON: Registrations now open for NDL Season 11. (13/07/18)
GF: Hamilton extend dynasty with fifth championship (06/07/18)
SF: Belmont punch ticket to season decider with comeback (29/06/18)
QF: Raymond Terrace scores maiden finals victory (22/06/18)
RD15: Waratah confirm second place, first week bye (15/06/18)
RD14: Waratah steady the ship with key three-set win (08/06/18)
RD13: Belmont ensures the Waratah slide continues (01/06/18)
RD12: Cooks Hill and Belmont remain level with draw (25/05/18)
RD11: Waratah lose sight of first place after defeat (18/05/18)
RD10: Raymond Terrace shock Cookers in sudden death (11/05/18)
RD9: Cookers drop 'Tahs to second with 6-5 slug-fest (04/05/18)
RD8: Hamilton take revenge in Battle of Oakdale (27/04/18)
RD7: Bailey best on field as 'Tahs in cruise-control (20/04/18)
RD6: Waratah break three-year hoodoo over old rivals (13/04/18)
RD5: Hamilton reclaim first place with 13-0 masterclass (06/04/18)
RD4: League's closest round sees 'Tahs take top spot (23/03/18)
RD3: Cooks Hill record first point with 5-5 draw (16/03/18)
RD2: Sudden-death deciders see Hamilton pip Belmont (09/03/18)
RD1: Waratah-Hamilton classic ends in 6-all draw (02/03/18)