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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Brisbane Broncos have secured an undefeated path into the NRLW grand final after an impressive 32-10 victory over a hard fighting New Zealand Warriors side at Melbourne's AAMI Park.
A grand final spot was already locked in for the Brisbane Broncos after their two wins to begin the NRLW season however a third win wasn't going to be easy with the New Zealand Warriors desperately looking for a win which would lock their spot for the NRLW grand final.
The Warriors were looking to make a better start than they did against the Dragons last weekend and they got the better start after just five minutes when Aieshaleigh Smalley was able to clean up a Chelsea Baker error after the Broncos fullback dropped the pick up of a grubber kick from Laura Mariu. The Warriors had a 6-0 lead after six minutes compared to the 10-0 deficit they faced against the Dragons.
The competition leaders didn't stay behind for too long when Rona Peters charged onto a short ball from Brittany Breayley out of dummy half and Peters got the ball down untouched next to the posts. Sharp-shooter Chelsea Baker added the conversion from next to the posts and the scores were level. The Broncos then put themselves in the lead with a good looking sweep play out of a scrum when Brittany Breayley took up the lock position at the scrum which allowed Brigginshaw to slide to the left and create a three on one which the Broncos took advantage of with Julia Robinson getting the first of her double.
The Warriors then hit back and re-took the lead again off an error from Karley Te Kawa who sprinted out of the line to intercept a long pass only to knock it down. The loose ball bounced fortuitously for the Warriors and Georgia Hale swept to the outside and scored in the corner, Nicholls took a long time setting the conversion but couldn't put the ball through. It wasn't long before the Broncos hit back to and the sweep play made another appearance in the Broncos attack book. The decoy of Fotu-Moala was key in the attack with the Warriors defence setting themselves for the second rower which allowed Chelsea Baker to come round the back and find Te Kawa who scored in the corner. The conversion from Chelsea Baker barely went over the crossbar on it's entire journey from the sideline but it got over and the Broncos had a 16-10 lead which they took to half time.
The second half was all Brisbane and it started off with a dart out of dummy half by Brittany Breayley who ran out of dummy half and ran 55m to get through and score after she was able to get past the Warriors speedy fullback Apii Nicholls. The Broncos then added a second try within ten minutes of the resumption when Kody House chased through a grubber kick and got her hand to the ball. The try left everyone including bunker official Henry Perenara surprised after referee Peter Gough ruled No Try onfield to check for any possible interference rather than the grounding itself which not even House claimed the try. The conversion from Chelsea Baker put the game out of reach for the Broncos extending the lead out to 28-10.
With little doubt left on the games result, the Broncos brought the cotton wool out and brought of their key stars but it didn't stop the Broncos who kept pressing the Warriors line and they added a final try with just under 15 minutes to go when five-eighth Kimiora Nati took control of the Broncos attack and threw a lovely ball out to Julia Robinson who finally got rewarded for her impressive diving over the line after being knocked back last week. The Warriors were denied a consolation try with ten minutes to play after an obstruction was ruled against Va'anessa Molia-Fraser who stopped in the line and denied the Broncos defence a fair opportunity.
The win gives the Broncos confidence into next week's Grand Final where they will take on either the Dragons or Roosters who have a grand final shootout tomorrow, meanwhile the Warriors have plenty of positives to take out of the competition including their first round win against the Roosters.
Brisbane Broncos 32 - Warriors 10
Venue: AAMI Park
Halftime Score: Brisbane Broncos 28 Warriors 10
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Brittany Breayley
2 points - Apii Nicholls-pualau
1 points - Julia Robinson
BRISBANE BRONCOS (32)
Tries: Rona Peters, Julia Robinson (2), Karley Te Kawa, Brittany Breayley, Kody House
Conversions: Chelsea Baker (4/6)
Tries: Aieshaleigh Smalley, Georgia Hale
Conversions: Apii Nicholls-pualau (1/2)