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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
Brisbane have made history by becoming the first ever NRLW champions and it was done in style with a 34-12 victory over the Roosters at ANZ Stadium.
Two sides with very differing fortunes came together in the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership grand final with the undefeated Brisbane Broncos taking on the Sydney Roosters who had only locked in their Grand Final spot with their big win over the Dragons last weekend.
The Roosters opened the scoring after just five minutes when they elected to take a penalty goal after the Broncos gave away back to back penalties on their own line. The penalty goal was slotted by Zahara Temara and the Tricolours held a 2-0 lead.
The two point lead didn't last long for the Roosters with a drop ball straight from the kick-off put the Broncos into their first set of attack of the game. The potency of the Brisbane attack was there to see and they got across through Kimiora Nati who fought her way to the line and got the ball to the line, although Henry Perenara in the NRL Bunker needed plenty of replays to uphold the live decision of try. The Nati try was converted by Chelsea Baker and the Broncos led 6-2.
Fortune favoured the Roosters in their only try of the first half when the Broncos couldn't handle a kick from Zahara Temara - the ball ended up with Tazmin Gray who claimed a try. The celebrations of Gray were quickly muted with referee Jon Stone ruling 'no try' live on field on the basis of a double knock on. The replays instead showed success for the Roosters when it was revealed that the ball had in fact not come off the hands of Taleena Simon but rather her head which meant that it was play on and the try was awarded and the scores were locked up at 6-6.
The action continued to surround Taleena Simon but unfortunately for the Roosters it wasn't for the good reasons this time around. Brisbane went close to scoring through Kimiora Nati though it looked as if she had lost the ball in goal and was going to be called as such by referee Jon Stone - however based off a tip from pocket ref Kasey Badger, it was sent to the bunker on a No Try to check the contact coming in from the feet of the defender in Simon. Again it was a long review in the bunker by Henry Perenara, who eventually ruled that Simon kicked at the ball and knocked it out of the hands of Nati who had taken sufficient control of the ball and the penalty try was awarded.
The momentum had well and truly shifted towards the Broncos and they were able to pick up two more tries late in the half with Arakua Ngatokotoru barging over from close range after a good short ball out of dummy half from Brittany Breayley. The final try of the half for the undefeated Brisbane outfit came through Lavinia Gould who was backing up off a good burst from Chelsea Baker and the Broncos took a 28-12 into the half time break.
The second half was a much tighter affair with just one try apiece coming in the second forty minutes. The Roosters again opened the scoring first in the second half when veteran Lavina O'Mealey took a pass floated pass and stepped her way through to the line and scored under the posts. The Broncos finished the scoring with just under 15 minutes to go when Kimiora Nati scored her third try of the match when she ran at the line and reached out and got the ball down.
Both sides had chances to add more points but they couldn't crack the opponents line and after 60 minutes of action the Broncos became the inaugural NRLW champions with a 34-12 victory.
Brisbane Broncos 34 - Sydney Roosters 12
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Halftime Score: Brisbane Broncos 28 Sydney Roosters 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Kimiora Nati
2 points - Brittany Breayley
1 points - Chelsea Baker
BRISBANE BRONCOS (34)
Tries: Kimiora Nati (3), Heather Ballinger, Arakua Ngatokotoru, Lavinia Gould
Conversions: Chelsea Baker (5/6)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (12)
Tries: Tazmin Gray, Lavina O'mealey
Conversions: Zahara Temara (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Zahara Temara (1/1)