Brisbane Broncos have finished the NRLW regular season undefeated after a 24-16 success against Grand Final opponent Sydney Roosters this afternoon at ANZ Stadium.
Once again, Broncos showed why they are the NRLW benchmark. Class work from the Broncos spine - Ali Brigginshaw, Tamika Upton and Tarryn Aiken - all found the stripe alongside sharpshooter Meg Ward to strike a blow before the two meet again next weekend.
When teams have to meet before they tangle again in a big decider, it makes for a strange game. Both sides rung the changes to keep their powder dry for the Grand Final but one thing which remained was the class of the Broncos side.
Brisbane has through three NRLW seasons, lost one game - to the NZ Warriors - and look ready for the threepeat. Brigginshaw was involved in everything for the Broncos and even showed some pace for her four-pointer. Brigginshaw who is regarded as the best player in the competition might pick up her first Dally M gong in the upcoming week.
The Broncos came out of the blocks on fire, went back-to-back with tries to Aiken and Meg Ward to make it 12-nil. Aiken's try was the utility's first in the competition and was shwon in how the side celebrated once it was cleared by the bunker.
Sydney Roosters showed enough that they might give the Broncos a fright next weekend. Taleena Simon and Melanie Howard reduced the gap to four points with their tries either side of half-time. The difference was the kicking between Broncos sharpshooter Ward who slotted all four kicks today while Zahara Temara went two for four.
Tamika Upton was named before the season started as one to watch by Broncos half Ali Brigginshaw and the speedy fullback again showed why when she cannoned on the short pass from the aforementioned Brigginshaw to push them forward. Brigginshaw took the game on herself to complete the scoring.
The Roosters found some late consolation when Corban McGregor won the sprint race after taking the intercept to make it 24-16. There was plenty for both sides to take from the contest headed into next weekend's Grand Final.