Back-to-back Broncos dominate in final frenzy
THE Broncos have asserted themselves as the benchmark club of the women's game after claiming back-to-back NRLW premierships with a dominant 30-6 win over St George at ANZ Stadium.
Led by playmaking duo Ali Brigginshaw and former Dragon Raecene McGregor, the Broncos came out of the blocks on fire and never let up in Sunday's grand final in front of 36,785 fans.
The five-tries-to-one demolition job continued the Broncos dominant season as they ran riot through the Dragons defence.
Brisbane have dropped just the one game since the NRLW's inception last year and the team's perfect cohesion was no more evident than on the biggest stage of the year.
Even a late backline change failed to rattle the Red Hill side, when coach Kelvin Wright dropped Jillaroos and Maroons fullback Chelsea Baker for young Yeppoon gun Tamika Upton just moments before kick off.
Wright said he knew his side could go to another level from their dominant season so far.
"I thought we had a big performance in us and I was hoping that it was today," Wright said.
"We showed that right from the start from the very first tackle, just with our intent.
"We've been so defensively-focussed and again I think that's where we won the match.
"We were written off by a lot of people at the start of the season with the changes we decided to make."
Brigginshaw (one try-assist) steered the side with her perfect execution while the engine room forward pack helped the Broncos run for double the amount of running metres than St George.
Broncos backrower Annette Brander led the charge in the forwards, with two tackle breaks and a runaway linebreak to be awarded the Karyn Murphy Medal.
The Dragons made it easy for their opposition though, making 11 errors and giving away five penalties, which the Broncos were able to capitalise on.
The incredible feat by the Broncos was made even more special considering only nine out of their 17 featured in last year's grand final.
The player movements ahead of this year's season set up a new grudge match between this year's grand finalists, with two Broncos and three Dragons facing their former clubs.
And there was plenty of feeling in this match as the Broncos looked to make amends for last week's first ever loss.
St George were left battered and bruised after the first half with Maddison Weatherall stretchered off the field with a serious leg cut and star No.9 Brittany Breayley taken off for a precautionary knee injury before returning in the second half.
Broncos dummy-half Lavinia Gould continued her livewire form in the No.9 jersey when she opened the scoring for the Broncos in the fourth minute.
Brisbane five-eighth Raecene McGregor put the dagger into her former club by crossing over in the 16th minute to take her side out to a 10-nil lead going into the break.
And they didn't let up out of the break with tries to Julia Robinson, Amber Pilley and Chelsea Lenarduzzi to extend their lead out to 30-nil with 10 minutes to go.
A late consolation try to Dragons captain Kezie Apps brought scores to within 30-6 but the brilliant Broncos bustled their way to hold on to a second consecutive NRLW title.