St George Illawarra ready for NRLW grand final test

Final face-off: Opposing captains Kezie Apps (left) and Ali Brigginshaw. Picture: NRL Imagery/Grant Trouville.
Final face-off: Opposing captains Kezie Apps (left) and Ali Brigginshaw. Picture: NRL Imagery/Grant Trouville.

The Brisbane Broncos may be the powerhouse of the NRLW, but that won't stop the St George Illawarra Dragons from entering Sunday's grand final full of confidence.

The Broncos are the defending premiers and claimed a 14-4 victory over the Dragons when the teams clashed in round one, but Daniel Lacey's side have produced two much improved performances since that result.

Playing in such a short competition, St George Illawarra's round two and three clashes were effectively must-win matches and Lacey said that has helped his side prepare for the added intensity that comes on grand final day.

"It's the old saying, you either win or you learn," Lacey said. "We did learn a lot out of that and we've fixed our second halves up so that's a big part of our game.

"We've still got a lot of improvement in the team and not a lot of things have gone our way as of yet and I'm going to challenge them to get to the next level. If we can get to that level, it's going to be pretty freaky to see how good they can perform."

"We've had two do or die matches against the Warriors and Roosters where if we lose, we're out. I don't think the Broncos have had that luxury yet.

"So we'll be looking to put them under the pump and see if they can come out swinging when they're behind and their season is on the line."

While the majority of the Dragons will be playing in their first grand final, the side also features three women who turned out in last year's decider.

That group includes Queensland superstar Brittany Breayley who starred for the Broncos in the first edition of the NRLW.

Coming up against her old team for the second time, Breayley said she's excited to topple the competition's heavyweights.

"I'm really excited for Sunday," Breayley said. "There was a big rivalry in the first game and they got the win over us, but we saw last week the Warriors were able to beat them.

"That shows they are beatable and I think we have the team to do it. It's just about controlling the forwards and restricting Ali Brigginshaw and starving them of ball."

This story St George Illawarra ready for NRLW grand final test first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.