You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

NRLW Dragons centre Honey Hireme was a late switch into fullback for the injured Sam Bremner last week and the reluctant fullback was one of the best players on the park in what was her first outing against a host of Kiwi Ferns teammates.

Hireme busted four tackles and her 170 metres, including a runaway try, was easily a match high (Warriors centre Sarina Clark was second with 128) in the crucial 22-10 win.

It's not a bad result given she only found out 24 hours before the game that Jillaroos fullback Bremner had failed to overcome a niggling toe injury.

"I have played a little bit at fullback – 10 years ago!" Hireme laughed when asked by about her preparation.

"I just found out [Friday] afternoon just before training. I was pretty gutted to hear about Sammy's injury. It's one of those times you just have to step up. It's probably not my preferred position but it's what's best for the team so fullback it was.

"I was probably more worried about the lungs, being back there, than anything. I'd run there at training a couple of times. It was just making sure I knew my role back there. I think I was still a bit rusty."

Dragons centre Honey Hireme.
Dragons centre Honey Hireme. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The 37-year-old was the top try-scorer at the 2017 World up with 13 four-pointers in what was her third World Cup but despite her wealth of experience, ranks last weekend's NRLW clash against her Ferns teammates as among the most nervous she has been before a match.

"Usually I don't get so nervous but knowing I was up against my mates, and some of them are my really good mates, I definitely did have nerves out there," she said.

"I suppose the thing with playing against your mates is they know what you can do and vice versa so you can kind of use it to your advantage but they had an advantage as well. They're a smart outfit, they grind and grind."

Despite the confidence-boosting performance at the back, Hireme was hopeful of having skipper Bremner – who was since named in the team on Tuesday – back for the critical third-round meeting with the Roosters.

Dragons coach Daniel Lacey praised the way Hireme and the team coped with the loss of Bremner to bounce back strongly from an opening week 30-4 loss to Brisbane.

"It's not ideal to lose Sammy but we went straight into look at the plan," he said.

"Sam was upset she couldn't play [but] around the girls she's been really positive. We knew we needed to think about what comes next, not what could have been and roll with the punches.

"The good thing is we've been training in all different positions. I wanted these girls to learn how to play rugby league. Some of them haven't played at this level before.

"At training we've been doing all different types of things to work on what your role is in the team. Because I've had to change a few people, I'm changing things on the run and they're adapting to it.

"We gave Sammy til quite late (on the Friday before the game) but the doc said it's probably best to be kept in the boot so we made that call early."

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

Major Partner

Apparel Partners

Icon Partners

View All Partners