Brilliant Broncos storm into NRLW grand final
THE Brisbane Broncos have played their way into the rugby league history books after becoming the first team to qualify for the inaugural NRLW grand final.
Brisbane set the benchmark for next week's premiership decider, overcoming an early arm wrestle to claim a 32-10 victory over the New Zealand Warriors in Melbourne.
The win was their third of the short season and also confirmed their place in next Sunday's grand final at ANZ Stadium, with their opponent to be decided after Saturday's clash between the Dragons and Roosters.
The red-hot Broncos have been the favourites for the competition since their Round 1 performance and proved again on Friday night that they are the frontrunners to claim this year's trophy.
However, coach Paul Dyer will now have to sweat on the fitness of centre Meg Ward and second-rower Maitua Feterika who are both in doubt for next Sunday.
Ward missed out on Friday night's clash after suffering a fracture to her hand against the Roosters, while Feterika had to be assisted from the field with a left knee injury.
The New Zealand international fell to the ground just four minutes into the second half but Brisbane dismissed concerns of an ACL injury, instead reporting a concern with her knee cap.
The pair have been standouts for Brisbane over the last three weeks and will both require scans in the coming days.
Despite the injury concerns, Brisbane did not take a backwards step as they raced towards Sunday's grand final, which will be played in the lead up to the NRL's premiership decider.
Led strongly once again by hooker Brittany Breayley and skipper Ali Brigginshaw, the Broncos and Warriors battled it out for the opening 20 minutes to lock the game up at 10-all before Brisbane flexed their muscle.
Winger Karley Te Kawa handed Brisbane a 16-10 lead before half-time and the tries flowed in the second half, with Kody House and Julia Robinson crossing.
Breayley scored the try of the match however, darting out of dummy-half to race 50m in a stunning solo effort in the 31st minute.
While the Broncos walked away with the win, the Warriors are still in grand final contention depending on Saturday's result between the Dragons and Roosters.
If St George Illawarra win, they will meet Brisbane in Sydney next Sunday.
However, if the Roosters win, the Broncos' opponent will be decided by for-and-against.
BRONCOS 32 (Julia Robinson 2, Rona Peters, Karley Te Kawa, Brittany Breayley, Kody House tries; Chelsea Baker 4 goals) def WARRIORS 10 (Aieshaleigh Smalley, Georgia Hale tries; Apii Nicholls 1 goal) at AAMI Park.