The Brisbane Broncos have remained the benchmark in the NRL-W, with a 20-10 win over the Roosters, taking them to their third straight title.
While it may be their most narrow of Grand Final wins, it’s toughness and physicality proved how far the women’s game has come in just three short years.
Tough weather conditions proved difficult for the tricolours, who’s handling errors helped Brisbane draw first blood only three minutes in through Tamika Upton. Only minutes later, a slick pass by Tarryn Aiken helped Amber Hall break through defenders and increase their lead.
Despite conceding twelve points only nine minutes in, the Roosters continued to build pressure through quick play-the-balls and perfectly weighted kicks. A successful Captains Challenge and repeat set helped changed the momentum, with the Roosters spreading the ball out through their backline to score through Yasmin Meakes.
With only five minutes to go in the first half, Sarah Togatuki helped put the Roosters in prime position, gaining 15 metres post-contact straight off a goal-line dropout. Quincy Dodd then buried through the defensive line to put the Roosters back in the game.
While the Broncos appeared rattled heading into the sheds, they hit back quickly in style with Chelsea Lenarduzzi barging through defenders. A sublime pass by Ali Brigginshaw drew in defenders to put Talisha Harden through a hole and boost their lead to ten.
Two missed conversions by Meg Ward kept the Roosters in the game, but a series of handling errors cost them in the important moments.
Broncos second-rower Amber Hall took out the Karen Murphy Medal for best on ground, in what was a stand-out performance from the Kiwi representative. Appearing refreshed after a one week break with a suspension, Hall was at her best with a try, 154 metres, three tackle busts and three offloads.